This paper examines the slummification of a university village in post-1994 South Africa. Universities are considered to be the main influence on the character of the host town and its spatial development. Although little work has been done in global southern rural contexts, researchers have studied the impact of students on host towns, and processes such as studentification. By examining the heterogeneous associations at play here it can be argued that relationships among actors are characterised by disconnections, and incongruent, often conflicting actions. In consequence, and ironically, these planning processes have transformed the village into a slum, a paradoxical response to the need for student housing. Drawing on qualitative methods, this paper examines the institutional actors and processes that led to the slummification of the village, drawing out the complex and conflicting roles of local and traditional authorities and the actions of the University.