With reference to the University of Pretoria’s website, the Department of Residence Affairs and Accommodation, most commonly known as TuksRes, is the largest university residence in the country. It is said to have been established in 2004 as one collaborative business unit. It now consists of at least 28 residences around Pretoria that are spanned across the different campuses and accommodates the undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The Hatfield Campus has 16 residences to its name – eight female residences, six male residences, and two mixed residences. All the female residences, except Azalea, are situated close to and surrounding the Hatfield campus. The rest of the male residences, Azalea, and one mixed residence (TuksVillage) are situated on their own campus. TuksRes Hillcrest which is a few kilometres away from the study campus. The Groenkloof Campus (Faculty of Education campus) has three female residences and one male residence. The Faculty of Veterinary Sciences also has their own campus known as the Onderstepoort Campus with just one mixed residence, OP Village.
As one would expect, in proximity to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, there is the Prinshof Campus which belongs to the Faculty of Health Sciences. It has four residences – two mixed residences, one female and one male residence. Then finally, there are three postgraduate residences which are mixed residences and are all located in Hatfield (close to Hatfield campus).
Each undergraduate residence has its own curriculum and development programme tailored to the unique culture and tradition of the house in question. This includes but is not limited to numerous social events with other residences (mostly between the female and male residences), where all kinds of fun activities are carried out by the students under the supervision of the House Committee members. Clubhouses (run only by male residences) are the residence bars which host themed parties and events on weekends. Moreover, as a result of a collaboration between TuksRes and the Student Culture Committee (STUKU), there are large inter-res events and activities.
This includes the first year’s 1nsync competition – where first year students of different residences compete against one another in coordinated dance and musical medleys. TuksRes also collaborates with Reach Out and Give (UP RAG) – where first-year students play a crucial role in various projects. The various residences partner up into teams of two or more – usually a female residence is partnered up with a male residence. They merge their residence names, create a joint logo to make one team and then operate under a RAG House Committee portfolio that plans and organises different fundraiser events.
PDBY asked a few House Committee members a series of questions and these are some of their responses:
What can your new first-year students expect from the house this year and what should they look forward to?
“The first years can expect LOVE and a lot of it because that is our main value and we will ensure that we live it out to the fullest… One thing [they] should be looking forward to is our Interior Night which is the biggest night and event we host in Azalea…” – Hope Mathebula, Chairperson and Discipline (Azalea)
“The Rhino Calves of 2022 can expect a year filled with adventure, growth, bonding, and self-discovery, all of which are facilitated through events such as Orientation week… Wellbeing sessions and an array of amazing Res socials’’ – Kgothatso Thutse, Former Minister of RAG (Tuks Ekhaya)
What sets your residence apart from the other houses, what makes it special?
“What makes [us] special [is] the people that call it home. Every year brings a new generation of Houtemanne, and subsequent opportunities to invest, share and learn more about one another.” – Kgothatso Thutse, Former Minister of RAG (Tuks Ekhaya)
“We are the most balanced. We are a hard-working, yet very social residence. We are competitive, but not within our own res, we truly work as a unit to get things done. We have respect, yet we know our power and ability to speak up.” – Estelle Bronkhorst, First Year Guardian and Marketing (House Asterhof)
What cultural activities, with COVID restrictions being eased, will you bring back as a house this year?
“We will be bringing back Party Fest, the girls should really be excited about it!” – Jabulisile Zuma, Primaria, and Discipline (House Asterhof)
“We will be bringing back Speed Dating. It’s one event that had the biggest hype so we can’t wait to host the event…” – Hope Mathebula, Chairperson and Discipline (Azalea)
What can we expect from your clubhouse this year?
“The clubhouse will be active on a weekly basis [pertaining to COVID restrictions]. The Tower’s Clubhouse, formally known as Dogbox, is easily the most popular clubhouse amongst the residences and we are excited to see it flourish again…” – Jonathan Grant, Wellbeing and Vice-Chairperson (The Tower)
“We do not have a clubhouse but I believe there are BIG things coming from our lovely RAG partners, House Mopane and their clubhouse.” – Estelle Bronkhorst, First Year Guardian and Marketing (House Asterhof)
Which residence is the best house (besides yours) and why?
“House Erica. It is very vested in res culture activities and has a great house spirit.” – Asanda Dyarvane, Vice-Chairperson, Wellbeing and Archive (House Asterhof)
“Our neighbouring [house] House Tau seems to be a fairly good residence as friends of mine that stay there appear to enjoy it.” – Jonathan Grant, Wellbeing and Vice-Chairperson (The Tower)
“Honestly speaking I wouldn’t know because Azalea is the best” – Hope Mathebula, Chairperson and Discipline (Azalea)
“Erica, not only because they are our RAG partners for 2022, but because you can always count on them to bring spirit, passion, and intentionality to anything that they do.” – Kgothatso Thutse, Former Minister of RAG (Tuks Ekhaya)
“I feel that Asterhof is the best ladies residence. In terms of the guys’ residences, we love and stay loyal forever to our RAG partner House Mopane, they definitely take place. #Mopsterhof!” – Estelle Bronkhorst, First Year Guardian and Marketing (House Asterhof)
Photo: Madeeha Hazarvi