South Africa: Prohibition On Stellenbosch Campus - a Temporary Solution for a Long-Term Problem

Stellenbosch University
analysis

Following the 2019 death of a student in a Stellenbosch University residence and the wave of action against gender-based violence in the country, the university has banned alcohol in residences. Will it be effective?

Students returning to campus for the 2020 academic year were welcomed with the news that Stellenbosch University had placed a temporary ban on alcohol at residences.

On 27 January, Dr Choice Makhetha, senior director of student affairs at SU, sent an email to students announcing that alcohol could no longer be bought or consumed in residences or university-owned private student organisation (PSO) houses.

The rationale

SU expressed concern over a student dying last year after allegedly partaking in "some kind of drinking game or ritual" and said it also wanted to diminish gender-based violence (GBV).

The dead student lived in a male residence and "presumably aspirated" after a drinking bout.

In September 2019, SU responded to a memorandum from the Anti-GBV Student Movement by promising to take a stand against GBV.

It said alcohol abuse is one of the "various aspects of the problem of [GBV]".

Makhetha said the ban will remain until residences implement rules about handling alcohol in a healthy manner.

"We are open...

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