DUT taps running again

2010-02-05 00:00

WATER has been restored at the Durban University of Technology’s Indumiso campus and students have been called back to register for their residences so that classes can start on Monday.

The campus, which has shared the same water meter with Sukuma High School and the Plessislaer campus of the Umgungundlovu Further Education and Training College in Imbali from the time when the site was used as a teacher’s college, has gone without water for the past three weeks.

The university shut down operations at its Midlands campuses last Wednesday and sent everyone home following the unresolved water problems. The decision to suspend all academic and residential activities was to avoid health hazards.

It is understood that R14 million is owed on the account and until recently no one was taking responsibility for it.

Earlier this week, the DUT served the municipality with legal papers announcing its intention to apply for an interdict to have the water restored.

DUT’s executive director for the Midlands campus, Reggie Ngcobo, told The Witness on Wednesday that half a million rand had been paid by the institution and it had attempted to make more payments last week, but they were refused as the municipality wanted settlement in full.

Water was restored following agreements between the Msunduzi Municipality and the DUT’s legal representatives.

The Witness understands that the account is in the Education Department’s name and that both the DUT and FET College in the past have not received a water bill.

FET spokesperson Lynn Horan said they were approached by the municipality telling them of their plans to split the meters, but to date this has not happened.

“We have not received an account for the water at Plessislaer campus. We have never been billed by the municipality.” Horan said they have never received an electricity account for the midlands property.

Roy Bridgmohan, Msunduzi’s deputy manager for finance, said the water reconnection was ordered by the mayor and the municipal manager after it was decided at their executive committee meeting yesterday that debt collections from defaulters should not have a negative impact on institutions where there are children.

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