Barnato students ‘pissed off’

Melissa Douman

VUVUZELA investigated conditions at the Barnato Res this week, after complaints that there were no hot water heads on the communal shower taps.
A student, staying at the co-ed res, said she was “pissed off” at the state of the bathrooms.The bathrooms on all six levels indeed had a problem. Most of the showers had no heads on them.
Some of the baths had oily layers of brown dirt around them, and some of the toilets were not flushed.
The student, who asked to remain anonymous, said she used pliers to open the hot water tap to take a shower. She also said the showers were dirty and blocked.
After about ten minutes in the shower, she found herself “ankle-deep” in soapy water. “I looked down and saw someone else’s blood clots in the water,” she complained.
Another student said she got an infection from using the bath because she was unable to use the shower. Emmanuel Molewa, a fourth year student, said the fact that there were no heads on the taps “makes life very uncomfortable”.
Molewa also said the bathrooms were not cleaned on the weekend and it was the res students’ responsibility to make sure they cleaned up after themselves, so the bathroom facilities were “clean for everyone to use”.
He added that he had already lodged a complaint about the drainage situation, and was assured the problem would be corrected by Thursday morning.
Vuvuzela was told that Res management would only comment on the matter next week, as the complaints were still under investigation.
When Vuvuzela brought the matter to the attention of Head of Residence Life, Rob Sharman last week, he called the Res registrar, who told him two people had been caught stealing the taps. Sharman then demanded that disciplinary action be taken.
Approached this week, The Res registrar would not confirm that it was in fact students. “We have a list of [names] under investigation,” he said. “I am not saying that the people under investigation are in fact students.”
Sharman was out of the office this week and unavailable to comment on recent developments.
Molewa, sitting in his tidy dorm room, said it is “the unfortunate circumstance of res life”. He also complained about the communal kitchen that “is almost always dirty and unsuitable to use”.
He said there was always “hair in the showers causing blockages”, which could be avoided “if students just cleaned up after themselves”.
The Registar did say “this matter is a very serious one,” and that they were “not taking it lightly”.


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