The University of Pretoria is the biggest residential university in South Africa with 28 residences.

The undergraduate residences are characterised by academic, social, cultural and sport activities that see the residences compete against each other for various titles. Each residence has its own identity and traditions that have been formed over the years. Perdeby has put together a crash course on the biggest residences for you. Enjoy, and steal a jottir.

Female residences:


Identity: “Trou vrou” (marriage material ladies).

First years: Sterretjies (little stars).

Mascot: A giraffe known as Giraster.


Identity: Ladies that pride themselves for being a residence with class and style. They are known as the Purple Ladies.

Mascot: A unicorn which resembles purity, virtue, immortality and power.


Identity: A place for girls with personality, charisma and charm.

First years: Slurpies.

Mascot: An elephant named Nymsaj – Jasmyn spelled backwards.

Tradition: The ladies are not allowed to wear shoes when attending house meetings.


Identity: Their motto is carpe diem meaning “seize the day”. They value individuality and everyone is respected for their ideologies.

First years: Skerf.

Mascot: Stuffed animals Oogies and Yster which resemble cats.

Tradition: The house committee members and first years wear scarves and all the ladies wear church clothes to Sunday lunch.


Identity: The ladies value passion, spirit and pride. They believe their power comes from within and that mental strength is key.

First years: Welpies, the Afrikaans word for lion cub.

Mascot: Lions named Cleo and Patra.


Identity: “The ladies of Tuks” known for their elegance and charisma.

First years: Knolle.

Tradition: Each first year has to wear a jottir (hats that are unique to the Madelief ladies) which are seen as their crowns. It is a common sport on campus to try and steal these jottirs and many male residences pride themselves on the number of jottirs they are able to steal. The Knolle are often spotted with one hand on their head protecting their jottirs and tend to migrate in packs.


First years: Spikkels.

Mascot: Young girl known as Maer Grietjie who stands for femininity, balance, beauty and strength.

Tradition: To hupple and sing: the Spikkels hop and skip while singing a special song every time they leave or arrive at Magrietjie through the runway.


Identity: Nerina emphasises the role of ladies in modern society and the power to make a positive difference in the lives of fellow sisters.

Mascot: A harlequin called Nika.

Tradition: They believe in the ghost of Emily, who committed suicide in the 20th century when Nerina was a convent. The ladies of Nerina are said to be the daughters she never had and the room where she hung herself is painted black.


Identity: Inca is characterised by the colour blue. Inca is the name of a delicate lily and the Inca ladies believe that residents are a reflection of this.

First years: Bugster.

Mascot: A ladybird.


Identity: Lillium is known by the colour green.

These ladies pride themselves on being able to work and play hard.

Mascot: A green gecko called Apatili.

First years: Geitjies.


First years: Pixies.

Mascot: Tink, a fairy.

Motto: Make magic happen.


Idenitity: Curlitzia is the girls’ res on Prinshof campus and houses students studying health sciences. The Curlitzia girls are infamous for being able to balance their academic and social lives.

First years: Kloekies.

Mascot: A rooster.

Male residences:


Identity: The men of Boekenhout value pride, brotherhood, respect and tradition.

First years:Ysters.

Icon: The Eiffel Tower, which represents their steadfast strength with the four pillars symbolising each of their values.

The Republic of Kollegetehuis

Identity: The Kollege boys are famous for their “party animal” status and their crazy socials.

First years: Vreemdelinge or Vremies. This translates to “strangers” because the first years are said to be strangers to the Republic of Kollege until their second year when they become citizens.


Identity: Maroela believes that its residents should see their place in Maroela as a privilege and not as a right. This house has lots of heart and likes to see itself as a united residence.

Mascot: Marools.

Fun fact: Maroela prides itself on being the only male res to have its own swimming pool.


Identity: Mopanie men believe in brotherhood and friendship.

First years: Peppies.

Mascot: A worm-like figure named El Torro meaning “bull” in Portuguese.

Motto: Through unity still higher.

The Republic of Olienhout

Identity: Olienhout strives for excellence, growth, friendship, integration and unity.

Mascot: A rhino named Rodney.


Identity: Taaibos prides itself on being a residence of gentlemen. The res is characterised by the colour red and can be easily identified on Proefplaas (on Sport campus) by their famous water tower.

Tradition: The Taaibos men can be spotted by the caps they wear. The caps are imprinted with the emblem of the dog Rokkit.


Identity: Sonop is an accredited private men’s residence.

Tradition: Sonop first-years stand out on campus as they are required to wear a formal suit and tie every day. It is said some members keep their car’s petrol tanks full and will chase you if you hoot outside their res.

Fun fact: Sonop has a unique structure to their residence which enables them to keep pets. Each senior area at Sonop has a pet dog that is said to live like a king. The pets are active members of the house that attend meetings and some sporting events.


Identity: Kiaat is said to be the ideal residence for young men who are committed to their personal growth and development.

First years: Cubs.

Mascot: A tiger.

Motto: “Tirisano” meaning “working together.”

Fun fact: Kiaat has published its own magazine called Kiaat Diaries.


Identity: Prinshof campus’s male residence,Olympus is home to health science students. The men of Olympus are known as Olympians.

Mascot: A bird in flight called Mercury.

Tradition: Olympus is well-known for its annual Around the World Party.

Photos: Hendro van der Merwe and Eleanor Harding

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