ARTHUR HORN

 During the 2010 World Cup, the University of Pretoria will face many inconveniences including the closure of certain areas, making traffic control within the campus a problem. Construction will cause parts of the circle road to be inaccessible, though entrances to the campus will remain open to staff members. Furthermore, recess times have been adjusted in accordance with the Soccer World Cup schedule.

Prof. Denver Hendricks, Director of Community Engagement, serves as co-ordinator for the 2010 planning and his primary responsibility is to ensure the co-operation of university departments.

According to Prof. Hendricks, road closures during the tournament will result in severe traffic problems and access to the campus will be problematic for students, as was seen with the Confederations Cup last year. The Confederations Cup was referred to by Prof. Hendricks as somewhat of a “trial run” for 2010. To alleviate traffic problems, the campus will be closed during the World Cup. The April recess has been shortened and will run from 1 to 11 April, with a longer mid-year recess, from 10 June until 11 July, with the World Cup running from 11 June to 11 July.

While students are away during the World Cup, the varsity will run normally. Staff will have to take leave as usual if they choose to not be on campus. Some students, such as those studying chartered accountancy will still have essential assessments, despite most classes being suspended. Engineering week will still take place as this is essential for the marketing of this faculty and, according to Prof. Hendricks, because the country needs a larger supply of professionals in engineering.

The vacating of residences will take place as it does every year during recesses. During the World Cup, over 4 000 residence beds will be made available to tourists for basic backpacker-style accommodation. Prof. Hendricks is as yet unsure what projected profits for this period might be. Rooms are priced at roughly R600 per night, and as residences function separately from central university control and funding, these profits will be used by the individual residences for development.

Prof. Hendricks is adamant that the campus will not become a “parking lot”. For this reason, LC de Villiers grounds will be made available for parking and a “park ‘n ride” facility will be implemented to shuttle people to and from Loftus. The campus will function normally and there are no more than minor syllabus and timetable changes. The greatest differences will be that mid-year supplementary examinations will take place after the recess and that the scale of renting out residence rooms during the recess will be much greater.

Several requests have been made from businesses and entrepreneurs to use campus areas for the public viewing of games, and a committee has been set up to assess benefits to the campus as well as security concerns for each individual business proposal.

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