For a first year student, there are three important areas to take note of: firstly, the closest grocery stores; secondly, the restaurants; and lastly, the doctor’s offices.

There are other options available to students, but for most Hatfield residents the following will be the closest. Hatfield Plaza is one of the closest places for shopping purposes. The Plaza is situated on the corner of Hilda and Burnett Street. HatMed is the closest medical centre for Hatfield residents. It is situated on Hilda Street, just a few steps away from Aandklas. All registered students can also make use of UP’s student health services, situated on campus.

For Hillcrest residents, the Hillcrest Boulevard is the closest when it comes to restocking the refrigerator. The entrance on the corner of Dyer and Lunnon Road is the most accessible to students. The Boulevard has a Pick ‘n Pay and a Woolworths Food. Students can also find restaurants, a barber and a Sorbet in the Boulevard. When it comes to medical needs, Hillcrest Boulevard offers a walk-in doctor and dentist, as well as a Dis-Chem with a pharmacy.

When it comes to bars and clubs, Hatfield has a few places to offer. Springbok and Aandklas are two pubs situated across from each other on the corner of Hilda and Prospect Street and are popular choices for students. Both pubs have bouncers to ensure students’ safety and. News Café is another choice for students, and it is situated outside Hatfield plaza, close to Grosvenor Street. Mystic Bull and The Blue Room are a bit further away from the main campus, but they are also popular amongst students. In Hillcrest, just across from the men’s residences, lies the Strip. The Strip is the well-known name for this part of Lynnwood Road, because student spots such as The Jolly Roger, Jukes, The Grind, Latinos, and Fokof Bar are all situated next to each other.

In Hatfield and Hillcrest, there are a variety of options when it comes to transport. In Jan Shoba Street, students will find the Hatfield Gautrain station. The University of Pretoria also offers bus services to registered students between all campuses. The schedules for the bus services are made available on ClickUp and only a valid student card is required. Other options include taxis, Uber, and Bolt, services which are easily accessible around campus. When travelling to and from different destinations, students need to remember that safety comes first. The Hatfield City Improvement District (CID), as described by Danie Basson, COO Security and Cleaning, is “a legally mandated initiative funded by all the property owners in Hatfield (including UP)”. The CID is focused on keeping Hatfield clean and safe, and also works closely with the Tshwane Metro Police and SAPS Brooklyn. Basson told PDBY that the most problematic crimes experienced in 2020 were “common robberies – specifically the grabbing of cellphones and then jumping into a waiting vehicle”. Basson also warned students to be vigilant when waiting for Ubers, as this is another opportunity for cell phones to be stolen. By pretending to be an Uber driver waiting for a customer, criminals can move under the radar and strike unexpectedly.

When it comes to emergency numbers that every student should know, Basson reminded students that the back of every student card has important numbers that students should take note of. The number for the Hatfield CID 24 hour CCTV control room is 073 540 1866. There is also a toll-free number: 0800 061 012. Another number to have is the Hatfield Satellite TMPD: 012 358 5585.

Basson emphasised that “prevention is still better than cure”. By keeping this in mind, every first year student should be able to make the most of this new environment.

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