Many postgraduate students stay in private housing off-campus because UCT-based accommodation is limited. Finding a place to live in Cape Town can be a long and competitive process, so start your search early.
- Start your search at least two months before you plan to get here.
- Seek accommodation within walking distance of one of the UCT free Jammie shuttle bus stops. This will save you time and money.
- Pay careful attention to the lease agreement before you sign it.
- Make sure you budget for things like WiFi, water and electricity which might not be included in monthly rental costs.
Off-campus student accommodation services (OCSAS)
OCSAS gives information and guidance for finding off-campus accommodation. They have a database of landlords looking to lease their properties to students. The OCSAS team also lets you review choices that suit your needs and affordability level.
Visit the OCSAS web pages for a list of private landlords offering student accommodation. Many of the properties listed here are within walking distance of the main campus and the Jammie Shuttle route.
While not all the properties advertised by OCSAS are accredited, students and landlords can request an OCSAS site inspection to assure the property is as described.
OCSAS does not get involved in tenancy agreements. However, it does provide students and landlords with advocacy services regarding lease terms such as deposits, rental and lease periods.
Where should you stay
It is helpful to orient yourself with the suburbs of Cape Town before starting your search. UCT campus maps give you the option to view the campus on Google Maps. This gives you an idea of suburbs closest to UCT, such as Rondebosch, Rosebank, Mowbray and Observatory.
Private accommodation search engines
There are various online platforms that can help you find a place to stay in Cape Town. If you choose to use these options, use caution. Be aware of scams and false advertising.
UCT has on-campus accommodation for just over 600 postgraduate students. Priority for these spaces is given to Black African, South African students admitted for Honours degrees.
Postgraduate students are eligible for second-tier accommodation and third-tier accommodation. This housing is available on-campus to postgraduate students and must be applied for separately during the admissions process.
There are residences that can accommodate students with disabilities. The Student Accommodation Office and the Disability Service can help you address your specific needs.