Walter Sisulu University is refurbishing teaching and learning facilities on all its four campuses to costs in excess of R180 million for building construction, ICT, residence and student infrastructure development.
As the year 2019 comes to an end, the bulk of the projects have reached completion stage.
At the Zamukulungisa site in Mthatha, where the construction of two new 200 and 400 seater auditoria commenced on 3 April 2018 are erect, completion is expected in December 2019, according to WSU’s executive director ICT and Operations, Sinethemba Mpambane.
“The overall progress on site is currently at 71% and the contractor is behind schedule due to the delivery of steel trusses and inclement weather delays,” said Mpambane.
Other areas sharing the same glorious fate as the Zamukulungisa site are the Komani, Buffalo City and Butterworth Campuses.
The Komani Campus’ Grey Street site boasts brand new R13 million lecture theatres and practical completion (100%) was achieved in July 2019.
The Komani campus rector, Professor McGlory Speckman, said the need for more lecture halls was felt even before the designation of the site as a faculty. This is a consequence of the large numbers registered in commerce-related programmes over the years.
“We have had to scale down on some of the plans to make the new buildings 4IR compatible from the outset and we are hoping to add these as time goes on,” added Speckman.
To mitigate the growing bane of lacking student accommodation and comfort thereof, the Mthatha: Nelson Mandela Drive site and East London’s Potsdam site, will see the completion of renovations on student residences, which commenced on 20 June 2019, between January and March, 2020.
Walter Sisulu University is a proudly Eastern Cape university with a footprint of four campuses spread throughout the eastern part of the Eastern Cape, from East London in the south, to Butterworth and Mthatha in the north and Queenstown to the west.
These four campuses have multiple sites. In East London, the University is spread over six sites – Potsdam, College Street, Cambridge Street, Chiselhurst, Buffalo City Stadium and the Heritage Building.
Queenstown (Komani), or the Whittlesea campus, and Butterworth, also known as Ibika, are sometimes grouped together, based on past history when these were managed as one campus.
The biggest of campuses is Mthatha which has two sites – Nelson Mandela Drive and Zamukulungisa.
Numerous improvements have been made to the campuses which include the installation of Wi-Fi access, upgrading computer labs, ITS and security, student accommodation, teaching and learning equipment, improved access for people with disabilities, well-founded laboratories, teacher education infrastructure and infrastructure backlog.