UP Vice-Chancellor Prof. Cheryl de la Rey also attended the event and welcomed everyone, including the late Prof. Visser’s family. Prof. De la Rey spoke about how the university places an emphasis on students enjoying a holistic education and that the quality of residences forms part of that vision. She said that there is a growing demand for residence space and mentioned that the university is trying to expand the residences and to also modernise the existing ones. Prof. De la Rey referred to the TuksMonate project as a “good news story” as the project highlights the importance of leadership, changing times and communication, which all played a role in making TuksMonate possible.
Prof. De la Rey also paid tribute to Prof. Visser and, together with his wife Retha Visser, unveiled a plaque in his memory. Throughout the evening Prof. Visser’s contributions were echoed and highly honoured.
Guests were divided into groups of four and taken on a tour of TuksMonate led amongst others by TuksRes operations manager Danéte Coertze. The tour included the mini-market, the food storage area, the kitchen and the dining hall. The mini-market offers students necessities such as toiletries, salads and frozen food. Some of the shelves in the store were empty but Coertze explained that it is because students buy a lot which is an indication of the quality of service the new dining hall offers.
The dining hall consists of the “Grill” area, the “Touch of home” area, the “Build it” area and the “Spoil” area. At the “Grill” area, students can grill patties and other food. “Touch of home” offers students traditional home-cooked meals, which Coertze said students tend to miss, and the “Build it” area where students can make their own pizzas or get salads and sandwiches. In the “Spoil” area students can get desserts such as waffles and pancakes.
The tour ended in the function venue where the official programme began. The function venue is soundproof and has an elaborate mural on the wall featuring the Merensky Building and the Old Arts Building. The function venue has a coffee shop that is open until 21:00.
SRC Deputy President Taymoon Altamash said, “It [the dining hall] is clearly world class and the SRC will also ensure that Prof. Visser’s legacy continues.”