Monday, December 6, 2010

Cold Showers, Inadequate Internet Access & Poor Library Facilties Empower People

Eric Mkhunjulwa

TUT empowers in the lecture hall
But residence shower facilities are
not the best.
My first year at the Tshwane University of Technology has ended and I believe that this university really does empower people as it says it does. I have learnt that my department, the journalism department, is one of the best in the country and the United Nations has named it one of the four journalism schools with potential for excellence. The other potential centres of excellence are Rhodes, Stellenbosch and the Walter Sisulu University.

Some people choose to study at TUT because of the motto, “We empower people!” On the whole the university does live up to these words, but there are places that lack in a big way.

As a university they focus strategically on developing the human resources of South Africa to address the country’s labour market needs. They remain in touch with the needs of its immediate environment and the surrounding community. This is through the university’s formal and informal community engagements namely work-integrated learning and partnerships with numerous community-outreach activities respectively.

Honestly speaking (or writing, if you wish), this institution gives many opportunities of empowerment. No matter how much of a “houtkop” or “numb skull” you were told (or reminded) you were back in high school, this place will push you to get up and make things happen for yourself or watch as things happen for others.

If you are (or were) doing the latter, it means you failed to hear professor Errol Tyobeka’s advice when he said “Those who join us for the first time - my advice for you is to immerse yourself in your studies and in student life in general, soon you will find your place in the TUT family,” and surely you have to admit you have a problem.

In published brochures, posters and advertisements and in each and every faculty prospectus you see these beautiful pictures and clips of this multicultural institution, a perfect place!

Although some may argue with me, I am of the opinion that the university failed us as its students. Despite waking up in the morning to have a cold shower before going to a lecture, the library facility in the Soshanguve North campus is small and less functional than the more superior Pretoria West campus. There are limited books to use as references in assignments. You may find that the books you are looking for are at a different campus which is kilometres away from Soshanguve.

The internet centre facilities are not enough to accommodate every student registered with the institution and the internet is not always available.

But still, the university still strives to achieve its quest in EMPOWERING PEOPLE and ITS STUDENTS. Again, it’s still producing graduates who are equipped with necessary skills needed in the labour market.
Whether positive or negative, circumstances empower people to do something good with their lives. It is unfortunate though that as students we expect people to do things for us and we tend to forget that it is us who should seize every opportunity. I am expecting a student strike at the beginning of 2011 and I believe it should be about poor library facilities.


  1. Okay Eric, now that you have Identified the problem in this highly opinionated piece, what have you done to ensure that in 2011 there are no cold showers, library facilities are upgraded, internet access in no longer at a ratio of 17 computers per 8741 students at the North campus? Does TUT management know about the publication of this opinion piece? What have you done to secure change?
    -Public Relations Practitioner

  2. Good day, Public Relations Practitioner

    Despite the obvious, maybe we can sit down together and talk about the changes.

    You can send me an email or call me to setup a meeting; (e) OR (c)078 355 1590

    I thank you

    Eric Mkhunjulwa