Trauma counselling for Maties staff

Zinhle Khumalo

The University of Stellenbosch staff affected by the fire that engulfed the Van der Sterr building on the campus on Sunday, will be offered trauma counselling, university’s spokesperson, Susan van der Merwe said on Monday.

“Our trauma counsellor will take the various staff members up to their offices so that they can observe what exactly they have lost.”

The building was damaged during a fire on Sunday morning. The cause of fire was not yet established, said Martin Viljoen, another university spokesperson. Viljoen said the accounting building was built in 1949, with the other side built around 1960s.

On Monday, lectures were continuing as usual and students who had attended classes in the building before, were requested to consult the University’s website regularly for updates. The University said there were about 75 staff members working in the building and 2 500 students attended classes per period, including some from other faculties. “Funds will be made available to replace urgent books and equipment,” read a statement issued by the University.

A contingency committee met on Sunday to discuss the necessary measures to be taken and a forensic team was to investigate the cause of the fire. “When the forensic investigation is completed, the necessary arrangement will be made to allow staff and students with property inside the building access.” said Van der Merwe.

“Alternative arrangements are being made to reschedule tests and classes, and to accommodate staff elsewhere,” said Professor Stan du Plessis, Economic Management Sciences faculty dean.

The university said it was implementing lessons learnt from its 2010 RW Wilcocks building fire and Eendrag men’s residence fire. Van der Sterr building was covered by the university’s insurance.

Article provided with the kind courtesy of www.citizen.co.za

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