WSU students flee rooms as sewage flows through residence

Rooms were flooded by sewage and water at WSU's Mthatha campus after blocked drains overflowed in student residences.
Rooms were flooded by sewage and water at WSU's Mthatha campus after blocked drains overflowed in student residences.
Image: SUPPLIED

Rooms at Walter Sisulu University’s Mthatha campus had to be evacuated on Sunday afternoon after sewage and water flooded the student residences.

Student leader Emihle Goniwe said the stench in the corridors of Zamukulungisa site was unbearable and that belongings of students from M and L residences had been damaged.

Goniwe said: “We question how the management inspected and approved residences in this condition ... We don't have maintenance at the university.

“We expected the university to carry out proper maintenance before allocating accommodation to students.”

University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo told DispatchLIVE that acting campus rector Dr Lulamile Ntozima had confirmed the flooding at one of the residences.

“This has affected 15 students. The students will be temporarily accommodated in one of the private residences,” she said.

Rooms and corridors were flooded by sewage and water at WSU's Mthatha campus after blocked drains overflowed in student residences.
Rooms and corridors were flooded by sewage and water at WSU's Mthatha campus after blocked drains overflowed in student residences.
Image: SUPPLIED

Tukwayo denied that the flooding was due to poor maintenance, rather blaming “improper use of infrastructure”. She said the plumber on site had confirmed that the blockage was caused by plastics that had been flushed.

DA MP Baxolile Nodada, who visited the Mthatha campus last week, said: “When you arrive you can see the dilapidated infrastructure that is ageing, poorly maintained and some buildings are run down.

“Non-maintenance of these buildings is a health and safety hazard for our brothers and sisters. These environments are surely not for living and learning and are most likely to make it tough for any student to succeed.”

Tukwayo said the university had applied for a grant to refurbish the entire residence structure of Zamukulungisa site to DHET. “An R100 million proposal was submitted in October 2019 and we hope that the request will receive positive consideration,” she said.

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