College of shame spooks the students

05 March 2020 - 05:57
By Yoliswa Sobuwa

Broken windows, knee-high overgrown grass, falling ceiling boards and dilapidated student residences are some of the appalling and unsafe conditions at a run-down North-West college.

Orbit TVET College, Mankwe Campus at Mabele-a-Pudi village, about 56km north of Rustenburg, is falling apart from long-term neglect.

These conditions prompted the students to boycott classes, for a month so far, as they demand better conditions.

During a visit yesterday, the Sowetan team saw buildings which desperately needed renovation, with some no longer having lights.

Dirty water from a blocked sewage system runs nonstop past the student residences, leaving a bad smell in the air.

The students of the campus which is on the border of the Pilanesberg National Park also told of how invading troops of monkeys and baboons are creating more problems them.

Reotshepile Lesele, 18, a hospitality student, complained about rusty sinks for laundry and ablution facilities.

"We bath in [plastic] washing basins. With foul sewage flowing outside our rooms, how does one concentrate on their studies in these appalling conditions?" Lesele asked yesterday.

Another student, Kgalalelo Senne, 21, said she constantly feared for her safety.

"The ceiling is falling down and the grass is too long, as a result we can't even open our windows for too long because [we fear] snakes or monkeys entering the rooms," she said.

Nkosinathi Delmani, the SRC president, said something needed be done urgently.

"An infrastructure budget for R9m was approved in 2018 but it never served its purpose," Delmani said.

Mariette Viljoen, the college's spokesperson, said she could not comment on the issue.

In a statement issued by Orbit, the college's senior management at the main office in Rustenburg Central stated that the college was part of the department's approved college capital infrastructure project.

"The project started in 2018 but the college is currently in the process of inviting prospective suppliers for tenders to attend to the maintenance and needs of the campus infrastructure," the statement said.

"As senior management, we remain committed to implementing recovery plans to ensure that order is restored and conducive learning and teaching environment prevails once more."