Students living in res are extremely vulnerable during the load shedding hours because they rely so heavily on electricity. Most of the residences also don’t have any form of alternative power sources such as generators.
Many students are concerned about studying times: “You can study in the library when there is load-shedding, but it isn’t safe for girls to walk around late at night alone”, says second-year drama student and Asterhof resident Nikita Mokgware. According to Bonolo Makhele the Values and Wellbeing HK of Magrietjie, “first-years would have to find alternative means of studying which often meant sitting in the corridors, which isn’t necessarily conducive because it’s too many people in one place.”
Other concerns such as meetings, serrie practices and even making food were raised because these activities usually fall within the load shedding schedule. According to some residents, the ongoing power cuts are starting to affect vital aspects such as security and safety. “When the power is off the security doors at res are disabled,” said one Katjiepiering resident. “You can get into res [without a student card] because neither the doors nor the turnstiles work. It’s also not entirely safe for the first-years because they are also not well acquainted with the area as yet, so having to walk to the library or other places to study is just not safe.”
Students are pleading for some form of an alternative power source. “We need generators,” said Makhele. The University was not able to comment on the issues.