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Goldfield residence gets state-of-the-art dining hall
Author: Asiphe Nombewu /Corporate Communication
Published: 19/09/2019

​​​​​Students at Goldfields residence will be able to enjoy a new state-of-the-art, halal dining hall from 16 October.

Goldfields residence head, Renee Hector-Kannemeyer says the dining hall named Sada Ohms, a Khoisan word meaning 'our house', is one of the many ways in which Stellenbosch University (SU) is positioning itself as an institution that provides a transformative student experience – with transformation and inclusivity at the core.

Kannemeyer says the new dining hall belongs to everybody who lives in the residence. She says the naming is significant because Goldfields was the first residence for people of colour at SU.

“We have moved on from that, as the residence has become more diverse over the years with a demographic of 60% students of colour living there." She says the naming of the dining hall had to be in line with their vision at Goldfields, which is to be a welcoming, supportive and an innovative community.

Sada Ohms is another way to make students feel like they matter and belong; it is also testament to where we are going as a residence in terms of transformation. In the old dining hall, students felt like they were in a neglected place, whereas now there has been a cultural shift and everyone is feeling positive," she says.

Kannemeyer says the naming of the dining hall to Sada Ohms comes after a rigorous process, which involved both current students and alumni of Goldfields residence. “We sent out a link where students could submit names; we opened it up to our alumni and received more names. In the end, we had a list of 12 names, and as the executive of the residence, we met and looked at whether the names spoke to our vision," she adds.

She says the new name is celebrating a coming together. “We are very diverse at the residence. This new space belongs to us and everyone's voice matters because it is our house. We had different names put forward, but this name was in line with our vision. We wanted to create a new trend, celebrating first nations and indigenous nations," states Kannemeyer.

The SU's newly-appointed Senior Director for Student Affairs, Dr Choice Makhetha, says Sada Ohms is more than just a name. “This is an indication that Stellenbosch University is ready for change. It also shows that students are comfortable in going to uncomfortable spaces and having uncomfortable conversations and challenging the status quo."

Dr Makhetha says this is a way for students to learn one of the first and oldest languages as there will be curiosity around what it means. “With this naming, we are recognising history as part of who we are," she says.

Austin Pepar, the primarius at Goldfields Residence for the year 2018–2019 academic year, says as a residence, they are recognising themselves and not waiting for validation from anyone. “We want to become a blueprint of what transformation needs to look like on campus, and we feel it is important for the campus community to understand why it is our house as per the name.

“We are one of the most diverse residences on campus. At our residence, men and women from different cultural backgrounds live together as equals."

With the naming, says Pepar,  they also wanted to create a new trend, as opposed to following trends from other residences.

 The new dining hall will be able to accommodate more than 350 people, and will be also be available to both staff and students to hire as a venue for functions. For bookings, email Austin Pepar on or Luke Mosie on