Some Walter Sisulu University students at the Ibika Campus in Butterworth, Eastern Cape, say the living conditions in their residences are appalling. They claim that these living conditions have been reported for a long time, but the university has not responded. Images were circulated on social media illustrating the alleged state of one of the residences.
This is terrible, shocking, disgusting. pic.twitter.com/fTI4oEbP96
— TP PILLΔY (@TP_Pillay) February 20, 2018
Third year student Siphelele Mgcineni said in an interview with The Daily Vox that the living conditions were “bad” and poorly maintained. “Most of our door lockers in the student village are not working, and our sink and toilets have blockages and showers in main campus res do not have curtains and some toilets don’t have doors, so we cannot even use them,” he said.
Mgcineni said students have been living like this for a very long time.
Another student said to The Daily Vox the university knew of these problems, including the vice chancellor, because he conducted a residence oversight early last year, but nothing has been done yet.
The Daily Vox tried to reach out to the student representative council for comment, but were unavailable by the time of publication.
The university spokesperson Yonelwa Tukwayo said in an interview with The Daily Vox that unregistered students who occupy residences were sometimes the cause of residences not receiving maintenance.
“Those residences should not have been occupied and according to our contract with the cleaning company, no personnel were allocated because there shouldn’t have been occupants,” she said.
“Over 75% of our students come from households with income of R122 000 per annum, majority being state grant supported homes. These students want to return to campus early to escape the difficult situation back home,” she added.
Tukwayo also said that students are given toilet paper upon registration, but instead use “material like newspapers” which cause plumbing blockages.
Tukwayo also said that the images that have been circulating on social media were taken prior to residence maintenance, and that residences have been fully serviced and are cleaned on a daily basis.
Featured image via Walter Sisulu University