Ageing Univen in need of billions

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

The University of Venda (Univen) is failing to cater for the majority of students, some of whom are without accommodation because facilities at the institution are dilapidated, management said yesterday.

The university has embarked on a fund-raising campaign, said Nanga Lidovho, spokesman for the vice-chancellor.

Lidovho said facilities had become a major problem for the institution and that billions of rands were required to address the institution's infrastructure crisis.

The department of education has given the university R211million to improve infrastructure.

The funds will be utilised for the construction of a new lecture theatre block, life sciences and chemistry block, environmental sciences building, student administration building, physical sciences building and science and mathematics facilities.

The library is also earmarked for a revamp.

"We are at present able to accommodate 5000 students while we have more than 11000 and this is a problem we can't look only to government to solve," said Peter Mbati, principal and vice-chancellor of the institution.

"We still have a serious backlog in addressing the classroom infrastructure problem," said Lidovho.

He said that funding from the education department would help them solve some of the problems.

"We are doing everything to get funds from various sectors," Lidovho said.

"We are also planning to get a loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa."