New Student Residence Handover
‘Thank you for your professionalism and delivering on time,’ UKZN’s College of Health Sciences Director: College Professional Services, Professor Fanie Botha, was heard saying whilst accepting keys to the College’s newly refurbished student residence at Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
The building was given to the College by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health (KZN-DoH) to help alleviate the problem of insufficient accommodation in Pietermaritzburg. UKZN and the KZN-DoH, together with Department of Public Works, entered into an agreement to have some of the government facilities leased to the University for student accommodation.
The Grey's Hospital Doctors’ Quarters and Nurses’ Home was amongst the buildings identified and given to the University on condition that it will refurbish the facilities and use them for an agreed period.
A building and maintenance company, PRO Group’s Director, Mr Jeeva Govender, handed over the keys to the facility that has a capacity to accommodate 160 students. The renovations have been completed and the expected date of occupation is the beginning of second semester.
Accepting the keys, Botha commended the relationship the Department has with the University, ‘It took a few years to come to this agreement but we are happy to see that we are a team with the same purpose to help our students. We started this project two months ago. Botha gave us two weeks to complete it. We had over 100 staff, four sub-contractors to refurbish three floors and 160 rooms,’ explained Govender. He thanked UKZN and Botha for the opportunity, inspiration, understanding and support.
‘We didn’t think it was possible, thank you for the co-operation and support. Especially to the project managers Mr Lindo Mzolo and Miss Ntando Luthuli,’ added Govender.
DoH’s Infrastructure Real Estate Deputy Director, Mr Bongani Mthembu, said he was happy with what has been done to the building. Mthembu had been liaising with UKZN and DoH departments to make sure that the MOA is signed for the project to progress.
Decentralized Clinical Training Programme (DCTP) Manager, Mrs Siphiwe Mathonsi said, ‘I am happy with the work that has been done. This is the first, we have more to come at Addington Hospital, RK Khan and Strelitzia in Empangeni.’ Mathonsi revealed that the next building to be renovated is RK Khan Hospital which will be home to medical students returning from Cuba.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini