NMMU is aware of the parking challenges experienced by students on its south campus (“More students but less parking”, February 25) and is working on various solutions to dissipate students’ frustrations.
An extensive shuttle system has already been introduced transporting more than 5 000 NMMU students daily and various new grassed areas have been opened up to allow for the overflow of cars on campus.
Students are encouraged to form lift clubs or use public transport. An extra bus to and from the northern areas by Algoa Bus, for example, was introduced last week as part of NMMU’s efforts to assist its students with their transportation needs.
Additional parking is included with all new building projects, as will be the case with the new science block presently under construction on south campus. However, as a university with respect for the natural environment as one of its values, we’re ever-mindful of our need to reduce our carbon footprint and would like to see the present 7 000 to 9 000 vehicles visiting our north and south campuses daily decrease.
The introduction of a pilot bicycle rental system, similar to those offered in top tourist cities around the globe, is on the cards for these campuses this year. This scheme will bolster the ranks of an increasing number of students who have already opted to use pedal power in preference to expensive petrol power.
We’re mindful and are sorry about students’ parking frustrations. Our university may have the space to expand car parks since we are privileged to be uniquely situated in 720ha nature reserve, but at NMMU we’d prefer to try to do things differently.
So we’re encouraging our students to “go green” and lead the way by forming lift clubs, using public transport and/or pedal power instead of driving solo in their own cars.
-Pieter Swart, NMMU director of marketing and corporate relations