Barnato residents signing for meal vouchers

Barnato residents sign for meal vouchers during the power outages. Photo: Emelia Motsai

Witsies staying in Barnato Hall want the university to pay for groceries they lost during recent power cuts.

The self-catering residents want compensation for the groceries and for the money they had to spend on take-aways because of the power outages in the residence.

“We didn’t expect that we would be living without electricity. We ordinarily cook not buy take-aways,” said Barnato resident Godfrey Maja

The outage happened from 15-18 March. “They literally left us to fend for ourselves for two days,” said Barnato House Committee member Tafadzwa Chagonda

“The power cut came right after I’d just brought my groceries. To watch them rot like that was sad,” said self catering resident Tshegofalo Seile.

The students said that they should be reimbursed a standard amount.

“We all get a standard amount after they have determined how much everyone lost,” said Ndumiso Duma

The WitsSRC tweeted that it is “coming from a place that says Wits University management must own up and reimburse Barnies for rotten food etc.”

Michael Kunyeto-Lambert, chairperson of the Barnato House Committee said “residence life office said it is open to negotiations but they have not told us how or when. We are concerned about how long it will take.”

Rob Sharman the Director of Campus Housing and Residence Life said that he will “engage with senior management regarding compensation for the losses incurred during the power outage.”

The residence is now running on generator power.

According to a representative of Property and Infrastructure Management Division (PIMD), a waste pipe was leaking and the water seeped into the substation causing an electrical explosion: “If everything goes well Eskom power should be restored by Thursday evening.”