Letter to the editor: 16 March 2015

Racial discrimination is not just a thing that foreigners in South Africa experience. In the university, even Tsonga and Venda people go through it every other day. I personally have been through more than I can ever mention, but the thing is that we have to understand where we come from as black South Africans. The system has always made sure that we find, or only see, our differences and rank ourselves in terms of culture and language, with Zulus and Xhosas ranking themselves first among black people while Tsonga and Venda people are last on the list. So even when it comes to services that we have to render to each other (for example, at the cafeteria as last week’s letter stated) culture and language seem to play a role and the attention you get revolves around it.

Read more: Letter to the editor: 16 March 2015

Letter to the editor: 9 March 2015

The issue of racism has been circling quite a bit now. What I am about to share isn’t exactly racism in the conventional sense, although it is discrimination partly based on the colour of my skin.

As a black international student I am faced with quite a challenge: the language barrier. I have come to notice that because I am black, people tend to assume I speak one of the local languages (excluding Afrikaans) and because I don’t speak it, some people assume that I am one of those black snobs who only speaks English and thinks themselves too good to speak their mother tongue (which is quite silly). I am specifically talking about the workers at the residence dining halls. Time and again I have been made to feel like an outsider, even more than I already am, simply because I greet them in English.

The following are a couple of examples of the reactions I get when I greet them in English: they don’t greet back, they pretend they didn’t hear me, they look the other way, they mumble a half-hearted hello or they even greet me in their mother tongue.

Aren’t they like that with everyone? The answer is no! I have observed carefully how they respond to different people based on their race and the language they speak.

Read more: Letter to the editor: 9 March 2015

Letter to the editor: 23 February 2015

I would like to bring to your attention an incident that occurred last night (17 Feb, 2015) on Prospect street in front of the University of Pretoria residences.

After attending an event held at Aandklas, I arrived at my car parked outside the residences and encountered an informal security “guard”. He followed us to the car and exclaimed how nicely he had been looking after my car. My boyfriend gave him some change and we began opening our respective doors. I asked my boyfriend how much he had given the “guard” out of curiosity, but mostly to find out if I should perhaps give him more. After my boyfriend told me the amount, the “guard” shouted, “Do not lie to your woman, it is only R3”, to which my boyfriend responded, “count again”. The “guard” then approached my side of the car with his hands outstretched. I closed the door, irritated by his arrogance.

I began to put my car in reverse and simultaneously noted movement in my rearview mirror. Once I had realised I couldn’t reverse easily, I told my boyfriend that I believed the “guard” had put a brick behind my wheel to prevent us from leaving. Upon inspection, we found that he had actually placed a large drinking glass behind my right rear wheel in an attempt to cut/slash my tyre.

Read more: Letter to the editor: 23 February 2015

Letter 9 February 2015

When I first read the news about the introduction of Hatfield Studios into the TuksRes family, I rejoiced and thanked the Tuks gods for solving the need to accommodate students in a safer and closer environment that has resources like the library and Hatfield Plaza, among others, within close proximity, but it seems I counted my chickens before they hatched.

I am not arguing the fact that the introduction of this new (luxurious) building has not has not reached one step into providing beds for students (yes it has), but it came at a hefty price that amounts to R52 000 annually, excluding meals, electricity, laundry, parking, Wi-Fi, and other hidden costs. The majority of students that have been placed in this new dwelling point already have a financial crisis and find themselves having historical debt due to the lack of allocation of funds by NSFAS. My question is, how do we expect these students to pay for all these costs if they are only allocated close to R50 000 per year by NSFAS? This must cover all costs for the academic year, including meals, books, and accommodation.

Read more: Letter 9 February 2015

Letter to the editor

It all started with the little things in res being taken away, then it was long-standing traditions and now they have taken liquor away from Pot en Pons. For a whole year we were under the impression that Pot en Pons would carry on as normal but now, five weeks before the event, we find out that there will be Pot but no Pons. A certain residence is turning 100 years old but instead of celebrating residence traditions, the DSA wants to do away with more and more of res life. As a student I understand that UP is trying to create a better image of the university, but what about the students already in university? We appeal to the people in power to give us one last real Pot en Pons without the new proposed restrictions, one more for the books, and next year we will accept the change happening around us.


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