SouthPoint Return to Residence FAQs | 05 JUNE 2020
05 June 2020
We trust you’re remained safe and healthy during lockdown. We look forward to welcoming you back to SouthPoint. In the interest of the health and safety of all of our students, we kindly request that you follow our processes as outlined below:
Q: How do I
return to my SouthPoint residence?
A: You’ll need to apply via our online application portal (log on to https://intake.staysouthpoint.co.za ), which will involve a health screening.
Please note the following important information:
- Online screening is compulsory – and you’ll need to meet certain criteria.
- No walk-ins will be accepted.
- All students’ biometrics have been deactivated as a health and safety precaution and you will not have access to your building without completing this process.
Q: Why do I need to meet ‘certain criteria’?
A: Under Level 3, and as outlined by the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, only students who meet specific criteria will be able to return.
- Students who are in the final year of their programmes, scheduled to graduate in 2020; or
- Final year students who require access to labs, tech equipment, data and connectivity; or
- Health Science students in all years of study who require clinical training; or
- Post-Grad students who require lab and tech equipment; or
- Vulnerable students who face extreme difficulties in their home learning environments (e.g. those who don’t have reliable access to Wi-Fi or connectivity; those who live in unsafe or overcrowded environments; those whose home facilities are not conducive to studying; those whose family dynamics have a negative impact on your ability to study).
Q: What criteria do I need to meet?
A: Criteria to meet prior to applying on the portal:
Q: When does the online application portal open?
A: Our online portal will accept applications from midnight, Monday, 08 June 2020. Please note that you will not be able to return to residence until you receive an official confirmation communication from SouthPoint, which should be provided within 24 to 36 hours from our receipt of your application. If you don’t hear back from us, please email email@example.com or contact the SouthPoint call centre on 060-018-9901 during office hours (8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).
Q: When can we move in?
A: SouthPoint’s operations will resume and its buildings will reopen for qualifying students who meet all criteria, from 8am on Monday, 15 June 2020.
Q: Is there any other qualifying criteria?
A: Make sure your account is up-to-date (through 30 June 2020). Only students whose accounts are up-to-date will be able to return, subject to meeting the other criteria outlined above.
Q: Once I’m
approved, what’s the actual process to enter a SouthPoint building?
A: In the interests of health and safety, every student’s biometric has been deactivated. Before entering your residence, you’ll will first need to report to the SouthPoint office to perform the final step of your health screening, after which your biometric will be activated. You will then be able to enter your SouthPoint building once you complete the compulsory entry-screening process that includes:
1) MASK: Every person entering a SouthPoint building is required to wear a face mask.
No mask means no entry allowed.
2) TEMPERATURE: Every person entering a SouthPoint building is required to take a temperature reading. Individuals whose temperatures are 37.3 degrees Celsius and above will be denied access until we receive a COVID-19 clearance certificate from a registered health practitioner.
3) HEALTH SURVEY: Every person entering a SouthPoint building will be required to fill in a health assessment survey. Should the individual fail the health assessment, access will be immediately denied access until we receive a COVID-19 clearance certificate from a registered health practitioner.
4) SANITISE: Should the individual pass all tests stated above (i.e. mask is worn, temperature result is 37.3 degrees Celsius and/or below, health assessment passed), the individual will then proceed to the sanitisation station to sanitise their hands.
Q: How often is screening done?
A: Every time you enter the building, even if you enter multiple times a day.
Q: What happens if I don’t (or can’t) comply with the above?
A: You will be denied access to the building. And, should any person be found entering any SouthPoint building without having been screened prior to entry, such entry will be dealt with by the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the non-compliant individual may be charged in a court of law.
Q: Should I still pay rent for lockdown even though I was not living in the building?
Your rental contract is for the full 10-month period, from 1 February to 30 November. The April period largely coincided with the Easter holidays during which you would most likely not have been in occupation of your room in any case. SouthPoint did not deny access to rooms during the month of April (i.e. forcing students to return home) but rather suggested, from a health perspective, it would be better to do so. A number of students chose not to go home and remained in the buildings. During May, the country was under Government-prescribed Level 4 travel restrictions, which prevented your return to, and occupation of, the building and your room.
Also, please note that SouthPoint has fixed costs that it must pay including staff costs, municipal costs, Wi-Fi, etc., which makes it impossible for us to credit the rent for the period you were away.
Notwithstanding the above, SouthPoint is sympathetic and is committed to facilitating the balance of the academic year without any significant extra costs to your housing budget. At this point, it seems that the academic year is most likely going to extend past 30 November 2020 into December and probably January 2021. Looking ahead, SouthPoint will let students, subject to their rent having been paid for the full period from February to November, stay in their rooms for the extended academic year without charging rent for the December and/or January period if they are still attending classes and/or writing exams – effectively crediting two months’ rental against the period you weren’t in residence.
Q: What should happen if I pay, or have already paid, rent in advance
and will not occupy it until given the go ahead?
The same applies as above. Given the current uncertainty, there is currently no view to offer any discounts or refunds.
Q: What happens if my
bursar or sponsor hasn’t paid?
A: Please note that it remains your responsibility to ensure that your bursar or sponsor has made payment and that your account up-to-date to 30 June 2020.
Q: What are hygiene measures are being put in place for students since
this pandemic will not be going away any time soon?
A: In line with best-practice health and safety protocols, we have a fortnightly building decontamination programme that is being implemented in all the regions. We are fogging all buildings, doing a deep-clean physical wipe-down and spraying Prosan Q to decontaminate.
Q: What other good-health measures is South Point taking?
A: In the interest of the good health of its employees and clients, and to support of the Government’s effort to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, SouthPoint is taking a firm and proactive approach. We have implemented intensive training of our employees and are applying strict health management guidelines in our buildings. All SouthPoint employees, contractors and essential work-related visitors will go through the very same screening process as the students in all our buildings, including our head office and other properties. Employees, work-related visitors and suppliers will be required to wear masks at all times – and you’ll see we’ve installed COVID-19-required infrastructure (safety shields, hand sanitiser stations and social-distancing demarcations and signage, etc.) throughout all of our buildings.
Q: How will SouthPoint assist in providing students with further
A: SouthPoint has installed COVID-19 directional and social-distancing signage throughout the public spaces of its buildings. This will include – but is not limited to – the building entrance, lifts, communal kitchens, lobby areas, toilets and staircases. We ask that you adhere to the instructional signage. Please note that study rooms and entertainment rooms will remain closed until further notice.
Q: How can students assist the health management process?
A: SouthPoint is in the process of developing a student-driven social distancing ambassador programme. We’ll be in touch regarding this opportunity via a separate communication.
Q: How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
A: Wearing a mask, keeping your hands clean/sanitised and avoiding close contact with others at all times is your first form of defence. For more information, see https://sacoronavirus.co.za/
Q: What else
can I do to minimise risk?
A: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash. Stay at home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. For more information, see https://sacoronavirus.co.za/
Q: Must I
really wear a face mask at all times, including in the building?
A: Per Government regulations, you must wear a face mask from the moment you step out of your home (i.e. your room). You will need to wear a face mask in all public spaces, as you move through the buildings, streets, stores, restaurants and other public spaces. Please note this includes all spaces inside the building, any time you leave your room; failure to adhere will be in contravention of the amended house rules.
Q: I’m finding this scenario scary/confusing/stressful.
Where can I get support?
A: For mental health tips to help you better manage these unusual times, see: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/2020/04/10/covid-19-lockdown-and-your-mental-health/
Q: Where do I get additional and reliable health information?
A: Call the Department of Health’s 24-hour national Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999. Or, WhatsApp ‘HI’ to 0600 123 456 to subscribe to the Department of Health’s free and easy-to-use WhatsApp service. Or visit: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/
Q: What happens if I show symptoms?
A: If you show any COVID-19 symptoms (see https://sacoronavirus.co.za/ ) you must immediately consult a medical practitioner. Should the medical practitioner refer you for a COVID-19 test, you will be required to self-isolate in your room until the test results are back. If you occupy a sharing room, your roommate will also need to self-isolate until your results are received back.
Q: What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?
A: Should you test positive for COVID-19, you must immediately notify SouthPoint, either through your building manager, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or contacting our call centre on 060-018-9901 – in order to receive treatment and to protect the health of staff and fellow students. You will then need to move to a quarantine site – it’s important to note that you will not be allowed to return to residence until you test negative.
Q: What guarantee is there that my belongings in my room are secure as
we have seen/heard of lootings at some university residences?
A: Throughout the lockdown, our buildings remained safe and were locked. All student belongings should remain safe, as there are no other parties who have access to our buildings.
Q: What happens if the power went off and my food spoiled?
A: SouthPoint will arrange cleaning of student fridges that may have been impacted by any power supply issues. As a contribution, we will also issue you with a per-fridge food-replacement grocery store voucher (the value of which will be confirmed at a later date).
Q: I share a room. How will I know my roommate will comply with health
A: All students who share a room will need to sign a roommate contract, specifically designed to provide peace of mind around any potential COVID-19 health and safety protocol issues. SouthPoint will provide you with the contract.
Q: Will all of SouthPoint’s services be operational?
A: Yes. All of SouthPoint’s services will be fully functional, including front-desk security, cleaning services, IT/Wi-Fi support and admin support – all operating under strict health and safety protocols.
Q: How will SouthPoint control its buildings?
A: For access control purposes, only one entrance/exit door will be active, all other access doors/points will be locked and secured to prevent any unauthorised access to the building. All doors that have been locked for control purposes will contain notices indicating the reason for them being locked. Also, all students and SouthPoint staff and contractors must first report to the sanitisation station to sanitise their hands before proceeding into the building.
Q: What about the
A: Fire escapes will continue to be accessible (from the inside of the building) and compliant should an emergency occur.
everyone be screened on arrival at the building?
A: Every person who requires access to a SouthPoint building will undergo a thorough and comprehensive health screening before access is permitted. This is done to ensure, as far as possible, that no person who is COVID-19 positive (or who show symptoms of COVID-19) is allowed to gain access to the building. Such strict measures are implemented specifically to ensure the safety of all staff, students, tenants and visitors as well as to minimise the transmission of the virus. Please be patient while we practice our COVID-19 protocols – it’s for your health, and the health of others.
Q: How do I access the building from the parking?
A: Students who park in/at our buildings must first report through reception. You will not be allowed to access the building directly from the parking.
MY SOUTH POINT LIFE
Q: Do SouthPoint’s house rules cover the COVID-19 scenario?
A: SouthPoint’s house rules are being amended and updated to reflect our new reality. The protocols around COVID-19 management will be strictly enforced, with strict consequences, including lease terminations, for non-adherence.
Q: What can I do if I see other students or others who are not following
COVID-19 health and safety protocols?
A: Our RAs will help monitor adherence to COVID-19 health and safety protocols but if you see any students or others who are jeopardising your health, or the health of others, through non-compliance, please contact us. You can email: email@example.com – or speak with your RA. Please note that we will respect your privacy and will not share the names of students who report in, if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.
Q: Will study rooms and entertainment rooms be open?
Unfortunately, not. COVID-19 is highly contagious. All public spaces will be closed until further notice. You’ll need to study and relax in isolation, maintaining strict social distancing – for your health and for the health of others.
Q: Will there be any SouthPoint or student events?
A: Unfortunately, all student life events – including exercise classes, private study groups and prayer groups – are not allowed, and are postponed until we resume events nationally, and under strict Government guidelines.
Q: Am I allowed to have visitors?
A: No visitors will be allowed into SouthPoint buildings until further notice.
Q: How do I go about paying my rent?
A: You can pay via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) if you are a private paying student. Fundi students can make payment via using the SouthPoint Merchant code 912229 (JHB) or 9026358 (PTA) (if you don’t have data or airtime, you can still pay via texting *134*87646).
Q: How do I update my
A: In order to update your contact details, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Update my contact details”.
Q: Can I terminate a lease?
A: Your account must be fully up-to-date, and you will be liable for an early termination penalty.Please send through an email to email@example.com with a request to terminate and our team will call and take you through the process.
Q: What if I need to engage about a specific concern with a SouthPoint
A: We’ll be happy to assist, and advise that – rather than coming to a SouthPoint office – please log a support request by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the appropriate South Point team member will respond to you.
Q: Where can I get the latest updates?
Please follow our official social media accounts and visit our blog for ongoing updates: blog.staysouthpoint.co.za