Water woes among many Fort Hare backlogs

Amid student calls for management to address a decaying water system at the main campus, the University of Fort Hare has an infrastructure backlog of R50-million.

The amount has been revealed in a report tabled by UFH vicechancellor Dr Mvuyo Tom to a higher education and training parliamentary committee.

Some of the backlogs include a bulk water infrastructure upgrade and the erection of a perimeter fence for the main Alice campus.

Tom said a water upgrade tender process was under way.

“It is to be implemented before the end of the year [and] security fencing of the Alice campus will probably start at the beginning of next year,” he said yesterday.

“These backlogs are from the 2013 to 2015 cycle but was delayed by procurement processes and the costs.”

Students have raised issues relating to water challenges at the Alice campus and of decaying infrastructure at the historic university’s main campus.

According to Tom’s report, students had demanded management to:

  • Expand existing libraries and laboratories or build more;
  • Build more and also refurbish lecture theatres;
  • Provide books and library materials;
  • Renovate sport facilities; and
  • Provide shuttle services for off-campus residences.
Tom said students had been told funding was a problem.