Students at Wits Junction are calling for their maintenance issues to be fixed  

Scholars at a Wits resident are complaining about the upkeep of their building  

The All-Residence Sub Council (ARSC) — a representative body for all Wits residences — has called for the Property Infrastructure and Management Division (PIMD) — which manages campus residences and the whole university — to act swiftly in fixing maintenance issues at Wits Junction – one of the most expensive residences on campus.

Its been three months since Junction residents have been complaining about the lack of hot water, which is caused by the water heating system that is not working correctly, forcing students to take cold showers. Students have also complained about Wi-Fi connectivity issues, which have been compounded by the rolling blackouts.  

Students have been complaining about these issues since the first term of 2023, but their laments have fallen on deaf ears. Thembinkosi Dhlamini a third-year electrical engineering student at Wits Junction said, “there’s usually no water from 06:00 to 07:30 am every day. I have reported it to the maintenance, but nothing has changed till today”. 

The ARSC has expressed their dissatisfaction with PIMD’s lack of urgency in addressing these issues that students find themselves in, even after they repeatedly promised to bring results, but have not done so till today.  

On May 3, at 18:00, a meeting was held with residents and Wits information and communication technologies desk, which is in charge of the Wi-Fi and PIMD were expected to attend to give students clarity and an action plan of solving these maintenance issues. However, they did not attend the meeting even after confirming attendance.  

At the meeting, the director of campus housing and residence life Basil Mugwenya said that he will also investigate the issues raised by students himself and engage with the dean of residences regarding maintenance in residences.  He said he will then hold a meeting with the service providers and they will work to resolve the issues. 

However, Kabo Mosiane, ARSC chairperson told Wits Vuvuzela that they are awaiting communication regarding the date that the meeting will be held and will push for it to happen.  

Wits Vuvuzela reached out to PIMD for comment, however, they did not respond. On the day of publishing, the issues were still not fixed.  

FEATURED IMAGE: The PIMD building on the East Campus of Wits University. Photo: Lesedi Maako


Goalless draw for Wits and Jomo Cosmos 

by Lesedi Maako | April 5, 2023 

No win in the last game of the season in the ABC Motsepe League. 

It ended in a stalemate for Wits University and Jomo Cosmos Football Club as they wrapped up the ABC Motsepe League after battling it all out on Workers Day, Monday, May 1 at Sturrock Park Wits University in Braamfontein 

The tight game started with Wits showing dominance with ball possession, almost scoring in the 12th minute of the first half, while Jomo Cosmos seemed to be biding their time in the first 20 minutes.   

Twenty-four minutes into the game Jomo Cosmos started to make their moves, with three shots on goal in quick succession. Feeling the pressure, Wits midfielder, Tebogo Mandyu tried but failed to make contact with the back of the net. Instead, many balls off Wits players boots made contact with the goal

Wits and Comsos players checking the injury of the Wits player on the ground on May 1, 2023 at Sturrock Park, Braamfontein. Photo: Lesedi Maako

The Wits defence was also incredibly strong in the first 45 minutes of the game with Cosmos having seen most of their goal scoring opportunities turn into fouls. Wits showed a fair amount of dominance and possession in the first half. 

The second half came with yellow cards, one for Wits’ Lehlohonolo Mollo and three for Jomo Cosmos, a signifier of the tension and frustration on the field.   The last minute of the second half saw Wits miss an opportunity to score a goal just as the final whistle went.  

Mandyu midfielder from Wits expressed his disappointment to Wits Vuvuzela, “The game was very physical, and we wanted to win and could’ve done better,” he said. While an opponent from Jomo Cosmos, Ange Lebahe said that he wanted to win but a draw is okay as it is only the first season. 

Wits University Coach Andile Zulu said, “In the first half they were able to secure the ball better and had a few passes and chances whilst the second half also had many chances especially in the last minute.  

 Wits supporter also weighed in.  Sthandile Mthetwa said “It was a tough game as there were shots on target, it’s a war as Wits shows communication but getting the goal is a struggle”. Whereas Luyanda Mfusi said “wits shoots on target and on point, their ball position is fine. Jomo Cosmos is also playing but they are making too many mistakes”. 

The outcome of the game leaves both teams remaining in the top ten where Cosmos is in third place with Wits at the tenth spot of the league. The teams will await the Nedbank Cup Preliminary round whilst the ABC Motsepe League will resume in the third quarter of the year. 

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits and Cosmos players fighting for the ball possession. Photo: Lesedi Maako


Data rollover for Witsies 

Wits University extends its data services for the third year running, to support students with blended learning model.    

In a walk back from an announcement made at the beginning of the 2023 academic year, Wits University has asked service providers to continue supplying monthly data allowances to registered students.  

The beginning of April 2023 saw students on the Cell C, MTN, Telkom Mobile and Vodacom networks access 20GB’s of AnyTime and NightTime data, a combined 40GB’s a month.  

This comes after protests in March 2023 led by the student representative council (SRC), the #WitsShutdown was centered on financial exclusion and the ongoing accommodation crisis. An additional demand made by protesting students included the continuation of a data allowance. 

Wits student applying for the 2023 data packages. Photo: Lesedi Maako

Rachel Selogiloe from Wits Information Communication Technology (ICT) said, “It will not be easy like last year 2022 where every registered Wits student received data packages.  There will be systems put in place to check eligibility such as where a student stays and their area of affordability.” 

For instance, students residing at all Wits residences will not be eligible to receive the data packages as they have access to the internet connection provided by the university. Along with those students have to apply.  

Wits Master’s degree student in International Relations, Sbabalo Ntloko, has already put in his application and said, “I don’t feel safe as I always leave campus late at night doing my school work so this data will be helpful should I get approved”. 

Second-year student doing a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Andrew Brunsden, told Wits Vuvuzela “I stay in Noordheuwel, Krugersdorp which is 26km away from Wits and I can only come to campus when I have classes. I am not able to access the Wits Wi-Fi constantly and so getting this data will benefit me and my schoolwork.”  

To apply students must go to the self-service portal, upload their mobile number and install the Wits Data Bundle VPN.  

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits website showing students how to apply for the 2023 data packages


Former hotel is newest residence for Witsies

Amani House offers students a quality lifestyle at affordable rates. 

It has been three months since Wits University welcomed students into a new residence called Amani House at 49 Jorissen Street in Braamfontein.   

Amani is the third residence in the Wits Braamfontein cluster after Braamfontein Centre and Noswal Hall. The university leased the fully furnished student accommodation building in 2022 from Campus Africa, a property rental business that offers student accommodation. In return, Campus Africa in turn took over Rennie House located in 19 Ameshoff Street, Braamfontein, according to a company representative who did not want to be named. 

Nomfundo Msuthwana, the Braamfontein cluster manager for Wits Campus Housing and Residence Life told Wits Vuvuzela that Amani is housing under one roof students who would have been at replacing Rennie House and Yale Village. “Both Rennie and Yale leases were expiring, so the decision as a way forward was to find residential space that will accommodate the numbers from the two buildings. Amani House could achieve that,” she said.   

Rennie House former resident and first-year electrical engineering student, Phenyo Kojang (who is doing a second degree), said that the university had told residents of the two accommodations in 2022 that they would no longer be under Wits in 2023, and advised them to apply for Amani House or for other Wits residences.   

Amani House in Braamfontein has replaced Rennie House and Yale Village whose leases came to an end. Photo: Lesedi Maako

Amani houses 596 students in a two-section, fully furnished, self-catering residence. Five floors make up hotel-style accommodation in double rooms with ensuite bathrooms and a communal kitchen on each floor, which are mostly for first-year students. The 18-floor tower section is built in an apartment style and offers two- to three-person units that share kitchens and bathrooms.

Facilities at the residence, which used to be the Devonshire Hotel, include a cinema room, a braai area, two tuckshops, a library and a games room. This makes it different from all other Wits residences.   

Annual fees at Amani range from R64,116 to R69,332 this year, making it one of the least expensive Wits residences.   A first-year BCom accounting student, Amkhitha Wana who stays at Amani, said, “The place where we are situated at is very accessible to a lot of places and we have great infrastructure. It’s actually a perfect place to stay at because of the pretty views and the friendly culture that allows everyone to be themselves.”

FEATURED IMAGE: Students enter Amani House, which used to be the Devonshire Hotel. Photo: Lesedi Maako