Work begins on old buildings and depreciating utilities after Raiders meet with Wits Campus Housing  

Wits Campus Housing has commenced maintenance at the Men’s Residence after co-operative emergency talks with the residence’s house committee on Monday, August 16. This followed the committee’s threat to protest over unaddressed maintenance issues and visitor access.

The house committee of Men’s Res, which consists of Dalrymple and College House and accommodates about 416 students, was present at the meeting, along with the director of campus housing, Basil Mugwena, who was handed a copy containing a list of demands relating to the state of the residence. The statement referred to the building as “dilapidated”, and said “washing machines, tumble dryers, toilets, heaters… need urgent attention”.  

“House committee members indicated that they were frustrated, particularly by the fact that some washing machines in the residence were constantly breaking down,” said Mugwena. 

He added that a contractor was sent on Tuesday, August 17 to assess all washing machines, and purchase orders for microwaves had been processed. 

A follow-up meeting between Mugwena and the house committee is scheduled for August 23, at which a report on progress at the residence and on visitor sign-ins will be given. 

Vice-chair of the house committee, Saneliso Mbisi, told Wits Vuvuzela“Firstly, the biggest issue is washing machines. After we came back at the beginning of the year the washing machines at Dalrymple were not working. There are bathrooms here that do not work, taps do not work and the microwaves do not work.” 

Upon raising complaints at the beginning of the first semester with the relevant authorities, the house committee was told that “a quotation has been launched”, Mbisi said. 

Another topic highlighted in the committee’s statement was the signing in and out of visitors to the residence. Covid-19 measures have led to tighter and stricter controls, limiting movement. According to the statement, unlike the common access controls at other residences, visitors at Men’s Res are not allowed.  

“We understand that students are social beings and they have their needs for social interactions. Together with the ARSC (All Residence Sub-Council) we will come to an amicable arrangement to have the matter [of visitation] addressed,” said Mugwena. 

FEATURED IMAGE: A Men’s Residence student wearing a Raiders jacket. Photo: Zanolwazi Kunene