Witsies staying in South Point Diamond House say there is nothing diamond about it.
From the outside, the building looks like any other South Point student residence but female students have to wash in male showers because there is no water supply to their floors. In addition, the building has lifts and stoves that don’t work and an empty first aid kit.
Two students share a room and pay R2, 200 each. They claim South Point is ripping them off. “Sometimes there’s no water or it’s cold, the lifts don’t work but they put up notices that we have outstanding payments,” said Patricia Mohlala, 1st year mining student.
“Like now I didn’t bath, I just washed my face,” she said timidly.
When Vuvuzela visited the building on Wednesday there was no warm water on the sixth floor where Mohlala stays and only one of the four stoves worked. There was no water on the third and seventh floors either, there were damaged shower doors and only one of the three lifts was working.
“We have been complaining about the stoves that don’t work, the showers and general maintenance but nothing is done,” said Neo Mohale, 2nd year medical student.
South Point projects and maintenance officer Kabelo Makgala said they were aware of the water problems and repairs were underway.
“It is an ongoing problem. First it was the pressure pump, then the boiler and the electric circuit breaker, but we are in the process of procuring a new boiler,” said Makgala.
When asked about putting up student names for outstanding payments, chief operating officer Ndumiso Davidson said students had been notified by smses and e-mails before.
“Legally those students have breached the lease agreement by not paying over three months, now we have the option of kicking them out but we hope they will make the payment.”
Davidson maintained that South Point is committed to the expectations they set in the agreement, however some maintenance may take time as procuring external services is difficult.
“We want people to come back but we also need people to be reasonable in their expectations.”
Last year Vuvuzela reported on a water shortage at three South Point buildings in Braamfontein. At the time, South Point said it was a municipal problem although Vuvuzela established another building nearby was not similarly affected.
Published in 17th edition of Vuvuzela.