South Point refutes reports

Image from Google Images.

South Point management has moved to clarify conditions in some of its Braamfontein buildings that have featured in recent Wits Vuvuzela reports.
On Friday July 27, 2012 Wits Vuvuzela published a story stating Diamond House had empty first aid kits. Ndumiso Davidson, chief operating officer, said South Point disputed this issue. He said the keys to the kit are kept with the building manager who is contacted in case of an emergency.

“The day before the article the first aid boxes were inspected as part of a formal building inspection process and were found to be fully compliant, this is stated in building inspection reports,” said Davidson.

However the Wits Vuvuzela reporter says he saw the first aid kits “empty”.
Davidson also said the headline “Still no hot water at Norvic” from Wits Vuvuzela’s previous edition [Friday August 31 2012] was misleading.
He said the headline made it seem as though students did not have water from the beginning of the year. He said students did not have hot water on two occasions.

The first was during the installation of heat pumps and the second was when South Point decided to revert to the old system because the heat pumps were not meeting the building’s capacity, which took 18 hours to fix.

He said most students paid their rent on time “but South Point spends a considerable amount of time chasing money from students who have no intention to pay and want to find excuses for non-payment”.

Davidson said: “If we don’t receive our rental on time we will not be able to pay for electricity, water and the lift company to fix the broken lifts.”

Diamond House students had also complained about hot water problems. They said some floors in their building did not have hot water while other floors had hot water. Davison said this was due to two pressure valves that bust on the boiler and water could not be pumped all the way to the top floors.

“This is an unforeseen and unplanned occurrence. This was fixed permanently within a week,” said Davidson.

Davidson said they try to work on a two to three day turnaround time but sometimes they rely on external service providers and this can cause a delay.
Davidson said: “It’s important to note the security, water and electricity have red status at South Point. This means that they have the highest priority from our maintenance team and therefore the shortest possible response times and often the Chief Operating Officer and/or CEO is engaged with resolving the issues as soon as is humanly possible.”

Published in 24th Edition September 14, 2012

Still no hot water at Norvic

Norvic students claim management has gone deaf to their complaints about a lack of hot water. Image by: Zinhle Tshabalala

WITSIES staying at South Point (Norvic) say they are being ripped off because they hardly ever have hot water.
BA student Anna Tladi said there was no hot water at all on the morning of Wednesday August 29. She said they complained about the problem to the building manager, but he told them to report the matter to the security guard and write the complaint in the log book.
Tladi said the security guard told them not to write the complaint down because someone else had already noted it. At other times, she said he told them the problem was in the process of being fixed.
The building manager, who would only give his name as Trust, disputed this. He said students did not tell him about the lack of hot water. “How are we supposed to know about this problem if they don’t tell us?”
“I stay here at the Norvic building and I have my own geyser upstairs and the water is hot 24/7. So how am I supposed to know that students don’t have hot water?”
The security guard claimed students only started writing in the log book after they threatened to go on strike and take their complaint to the head office at South Point Central. He told them they would need proof that they had complained and nothing had been done, he said.
The building manager said only one student had complained about the water. He and the security guard showed Wits Vuvuzela the log book, where two written complaints had been entered during the past two months.
One complaint read: “The problem is that when we wake up before 7am there is no hot water. It only begins to heat up later. This is unacceptable because it’s winter.”
According to Tladi the students had a meeting about the problem and asked: “How many times must we write in the book in order for the problem to be fixed?”
When she had class at 8am, she woke at 1am to bath with hot water. “Between 1am and 4am the water is hot, but from 5am it’s lukewarm, but after 6am the water is cold.”
Kabelo Makgala, projects and facilities manager said he was aware of the problem. However, he said the students were exaggerating the issue. The problem was a common household issue.
He said the geysers at South Point carried about 4000 to 8000 litres of water, which took up to three hours to heat up. He explained that, if 300 students showered at the same time, the hot water would be depleted. A heat pump had been installed to assist the geyser to heat up the water all day.
Earlier this year Wits Vuvuzela reported that students at Diamond House were complaining about the lack of hot water or no water at all. Last year there was a water shortage at three South Point buildings in Braamfontein.

Published in Wits Vuvuzela 22th edition, 31 August 2012

UJ student drops rape charge

A University of Johannesburg (UJ) student was allegedly raped by her ex-lover on Sunday. She reported a case of assault to the police, but dropped the charges a day later.

Margie*, 3rdyear BA student said she dropped the charges because she wants Thulani* to study and she felt bad.

The couple had an argument outside the McDonalds in Braamfontein, and then walked slowly towards the South Point Norvic residence in De Korte street.

Thulani was apparently drunk and forced Margie out of McDonalds, according to Lisa Xaba, a Wits student who witnessed the argument. Xaba is also a South Point Norvic resident.“I didn’t really stop him when he took off my clothes but I wanted to go,” said Margie.

She reported the incident at the Hillbrow police station on Tuesday but dropped the charges on Wednesday morning after he apologised.

Constable Jacob Maluleke said he could not comment on the details of the case but this was not a unique case. “Such cases are common especially if it involves alcohol and couples or domestic matters,” said Maluleke.

Although Statistics South Africa shows the high rate of sexual violence against women especially by their partners in metropolitan cities, the conviction rate seems to be lower.

Margie said she wants to focus on her studies and although this was a dramatic experience for her, she will still be friends with her ex-lover.

“I just hope he learns a lesson,” she said.

Thulani did not want to comment.

*Names have been changed.

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