Financial Aid thanks students

The Wits financial aid and scholarships office held a prize giving to reward students who have signed their lease forms in time. A lucky draw with student names was used to select the winners of the voucher.

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The South Point and NSFAS team gathered quickly inside Senate House after the students name to pose for a picture. From the Left: Luthando Falakahla (From South Point), Khodani Ramukumba (winner), Zahraa Badrodin (winner), Nombini Nteyi (NSFAS) and Lehlohonolo Bhulane (winner). Photo: Anelisa Tuswa

Financial Aid Office Manager, Ennie Kubeka said that students don’t sign their lease forms on time and this creates a problem with them getting their allowance, registration fees and accommodation payment.

According to Kubeka, 3282 students were offered loans, but only 3017 came to sign.

“The 266 students that didn’t sign on time are worth R12 million,” she said.

One of the problems she raised is that students get funding somewhere else and this leads to them not signing their forms. “Now the problem with that is that we’ve got students that do qualify for the loans but we couldn’t give them anything because the funds were depleted.”

This Prize giving was to thank the 92 percent who have signed their lease forms on time and to motivate other students to do the same.

The winners were given South Point sponsored Pick n Pay vouchers valued at R1 000.

South Point Bursary Administrator, Luthando Falakahla told Wits Vuvuzela that “As South Point we thought we should contribute and make sure that the students are signing leases on time just to smooth up the progress and make sure that they get what they are actually looking for in funding.”

When asked about why they were giving students food vouchers, Falakahla said “we as South Point need to guide the students. If we give them food vouchers they will actually get food and you cannot study very well if you are hungry. So getting that voucher will actually help.”

The winners include first-year Biological Sciences student Lehlohonolo Bhulane, Accounting Sciences student, Khodani Ramukumba and first-year BA Law student, Zahraa Badrodin.

The winners expressed their excitement and joy on winning the vouchers. BA Law student, Zahraa Badrodin said “I feel very lucky because I don’t really win anything, so it’s my first time winning, so it’s quite cool. I was told to buy healthy things so I think I’m going to do that.”

Students accuse South Point of false advertising

One of the South Point buildings in Braamfontein. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

One of the South Point buildings in Braamfontein. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Students are complaining about dirty accommodation in a South Point buildings despite advertisements promising daily cleaning services.

According to the advertisements, all student accommodation common areas are supposed to be cleaned daily, but Clifton Heights is cleaned only once a week due to a lack of staff.“It is not possible to clean all communes every day at Clifton because we do not have enough cleaners.” said South Point facilities, manager Jan Botha.

Second-year social work student, Thabo Mokoena and other students have complained that their commune houses are not cleaned but said there was no response.

“I ended up writing in their maintenance book that they should not come to my room at all, because I can do better,” said Mokoena.

Students also said that they chose to stay at South Point because they saw on the advertisements that it is a convenient place for students and would be clean.

“I came to this place because I thought they clean for us every day. We are students—we do not have time,” said microbiology honours student, Keneilwe Ranakabae.

Clifton Heights has five cleaners to service 126 communes. Cleaning services are outsourced to the Tsepo Cleaning Company.  Common areas include kitchens, bathrooms, television room and verandas.

According to the Consumer Protection Act: “Consumers have a right to fair and responsible marketing. Suppliers are not permitted to mislead consumers in respect of pricing, the nature, properties, advantages or uses of goods or services advertised, if such goods are not actually available for purchase or procurement in accordance with these standards.”

Wits looking to “colonise” Braamfontein

Braamfontein is set to become an extension of Wits campus. The university will take responsibility for the upgrade of facilities in the area. Photo: Roxanne Joseph

BRANCHING OUT: Braamfontein is set to become an extension of the Wits campus. The university will take responsibility for the upgrade of facilities in the area. Photo: Roxanne Joseph

Wits University is to receive R30 million from the City of Johannesburg for the upgrade of facilities in Braamfontein.
Wits vice-chancellor (VC) Prof Adam Habib has confirmed that an agreement has been reached with city officials which will allow the university to extend the campus beyond its current borders in Braamfontein.
As part of the agreement Wits will take responsibility for part of Braamfontein’s lighting, security and paving, as well as the upgrade of a number of buildings in the area over the next three to five years.
“We are looking to colonise the area,” Habib said. He has met with the mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau and City manager, Trevor Fowler, who have agreed to provide financial support to Wits for the project.
In addition, Wits is in negotiations to “borrow” bandwidth from the city to increase Internet access and availability across the campus.
As part of the upgrade, international technology company IBM will locate its Braamfontein research lab on the Wits campus. This is in order to support the university’s continued study in the origins of the universe and of human species.
In 2009, the university together with public and private funders invested R1.5 billion into upgrading campus infrastructure, including the Wits Art Museum, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and education campus facilities.
According to Shirona Patel of Wits communications, the “investment had gone into new buildings and in upgrading existing infrastructure, which comprises more than 260 buildings.”
The facilities department is currently conducting a survey, looking at the need for student and staff accommodation and in an upcoming council meeting, will strategise ways to manage the Braamfontein build up so that it does not detract from “normal internal infrastructural duties,” Habib said.