All Huis ten Bosch residents on the Stellenbosch University campus have accommodation for the night after a fire broke out in the residence around 19:00 on Monday evening (12 August 2019).
The fire in the residence for women on the Stellenbosch University campus was brought under control by 20:30, and as far as could be determined, all residents have been brought to safety. One student was treated for burn wounds to her hands, and another was treated for smoke inhalation at the Stellenbosch hospital, but both students are doing well. The fire was reported around 19:00 on Monday evening, 12 August 2019. The cause of fire is currently unknown.
Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching, and Prof Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer were on the scene. The 164 students that were safely evacuated from the residence gathered at the Wilgenhof residence, where information was shared and where they were addressed by Prof De Villiers. “I told them that we will support them, we are here for them, and alternative accommodation will be arranged for them. We just wanted to make sure that everyone is safe. We are very grateful for everyone's help and cooperation," Prof De Villiers said.
The University’s priority at the moment is the safety of our students and to guarantee alternative accommodation. The necessary counselling and support services are in place. Our Centre for Student Counselling and Development’s 24-hour crisis service, in collaboration with ER24, has been activated and can be contacted on 010 205 3032.
"Thank you to all staff members, students and the greater Stellenbosch community who have been offering support and assistance. We are currently assessing the needs and will communicate further," Prof Du Plessis said.
Due to smoke and water damage students could not return to Huis ten Bosch, but alternative accommodation was provided in other residences.
Once the fire was under control and accommodation was secured for all the residents for the night, the University management convened a contingency committee in the Council Chamber in the Administration B building.
At the contingency committee meeting the Stellenbosch University Management expressed its gratitude and appreciation to its students for all the support and assistance to the residents of Huis ten Bosch. "It was heart-warming to see how the student community united during adversity," Prof Schoonwinkel said. "A sincere thank you also to the Stellenbosch emergency services for the various forms of assistance during the fire," Prof De Villiers said.
• Arrangements are being made for academic support for all the residents.
• ER24 will be on site throughout the night in the Monica recreational hall
• Security has been arranged at Huis ten Bosch for the night