Following rumours on social media that Rhodes University will not be opening for the 2019 academic year due to water shortages, the University would like to put it on record that this is not the case. The University’s plans to open for first year registrations on 02 February 2019 are on track.
However, it is indeed the case that, following a number of years of low rainfall, Grahamstown (Makhanda) is facing water shortages. This challenge is compounded by the infrastructure that has outlived its design lifespan.
The University is working closely with the Makana Municipality and various stakeholders, including the national government, to find workable solutions to the challenges faced by the Makana community and the University.
A number of practical interventions aimed at reducing water consumption and wastage will be rigorously implemented. The University is confident that, provided these interventions are implemented and adhered to, it will be able to continue to offer students the same high-quality educational experiences it always has.
In addition to measures aimed at reducing consumption and wastage, the University is currently complementing its water supply with harvested and filtered grey water and borehole water.
Members of the Rhodes community are urged to comply with the water-saving measures to be announced shortly, and to report any leaks immediately to prevent water wastage. Drought makes it crucial for everyone to be creative and to embrace new habits and ways of saving our single most precious resource - water.
Under the circumstances, all members of the Greater Makana community, including Rhodes University, must play their role by using water sparingly.