By Puleng Maphisa 13 November 2020
Director of Student Accommodation and Catering, Mr Kgotla Marumola
The Vaal University of Technology (VUT)’ s Director of Student Accommodation and Catering, Mr Kgotla Marumola hosted a webinar session for the VUT community under the topic of ‘Managing student residence during the COVID 19 pandemic’ to explain the returning students in phases, chaired by Mr Peter Masombuka HOD Alumni.
Mr Kgotla Marumola opened the session by acknowledging the wonderful work done by the Student Accommodation and Catering team together with the Institutional COVID-19 Task Team to ensure that all precautionary measures were in place before students could return to residences and campus. He said that managing student accommodation during this period has been a continual struggle for both the workers, students as well as VUT at large.
Mr Marumola mentioned that it was not easy to prepare for the first phase of returning students because he needed expertise within his department to put all stops to get the residences ready within the lockdown regulations. Although some students went back home to comply with lockdown regulations, his team had to make sure that several international and postgraduate students who were left behind stayed in habitable spaces.
“To prepare for the welcoming of our students into a conducive environment, we had to involve other departments to work together within the stipulated COVID-19 regulations. Joint efforts and collaboration made the entire process easy,” said Mr Marumola. Students were screened, went through safety inductions, and daily temperature checks at their residences. Students were made aware of the rules and regulations that the COVID-19 Tasks Team had put in place at the residences and the campus to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations set out by the South African government.
Counselling and Support Services were provided to those that were infected and placed in quarantine. The loss of few of our staff members created fear and anxiety amongst staff and students, hence there was a need to provide counselling and support to those who were affected.
In closing, Mr Marumola mentioned that VUT was regarded as a high-risk institution due to COVID-19 cases that were reported amongst other institutions. He urged students to adhere to the measures that are in place and to always wear a mask, sanitize or wash hands regularly, keep 2m social distance and to always remember that even during level 1 COVID-19 virus is still with us.