The roof of Rand Lofts building collapsed and fell onto the 2nd floor of University Gate building last week Wednesday as gusty winds and heavy rainfall ripped through Braamfontein.
University Gate is situated on corner Ameshoff and Bertha Street and houses many Witsies such as final year students, Setjeka Chueu and Angelina Edje, who enjoy convenience of staying within walking distance to campus.
Chueu, the construction management student, said: “When the whole thing [the roof of Rand Lofts falling into University Gate building] was happening I really thought I was going to die. The thunder was violent on its own and when mixed with the sound of corrugated iron falling, it was unbearable.”
The storm disjointed the corrugated iron sheets of the Rand Lofts building and they started falling one by one onto University Gate due to the violent winds.
“On their way down the sheets damaged the electric [fence separating the two buildings] and broke our unit’s fascia board. The alarm went off and there were rocks and concrete all over our doorstep,” said Chueu.
Edje witnessed the falling roof from her bathroom window during the ordeal. The quantity surveying student said: “I was really shocked [to see the roof fall] but what worried me the most was the safety of people in the building.”
“After things calmed down the building’s caretaker spoke to us and also assessed the damage the swirling wind had caused. Students started coming out and taking videos of the building with their phones.”
The caretaker of University Gate building known to Vuvuzela as Ndaba said the building is “quite tough” and therefore the damage was minimal.
“You can blame anyone in these kinds of situations where nature takes its cause. I am just thankful the situation left nobody hurt,” he said.