The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) hospitality division has revamped and relaunched its All Africa House accommodation offering, and the hope is that it continues to attract visitors.
Nestled between the School of Economics and the Kramer building on UCT’s middle campus, the brick-stone edifice has been undergoing renovations since January and celebrated its relaunch on 15 June.
The occasion also means that for the first time, the 48 newly remodelled rooms await holiday makers/tourists and business travellers alike and not only people with an interest in academia.
Forty-eight newly remodelled rooms await holiday makers and business travellers alike.
“It [All Africa House] was intended to be, and I am quoting from a warden at the time, ‘a showpiece of high-quality accommodation for visiting scholars’, providing well-equipped study bedrooms and social spaces and workspaces for academics who are either from Africa or with a special interest in Africa,” said Vice-Chancellor (Interim) Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy during his address.
“This was a concrete demonstration of the university’s commitment to being a university in Africa and for Africa. It also was a way of promoting collaboration with African institutions.”
“All Africa House is important in many ways, including being a core component to what would be conducive to a sense of community.”
It first opened in 1996, when Dr Mamphela Ramphele was vice-chancellor. It was Dr Ramphele who mobilised a donation from the Rhodes Trust in Oxford to break ground on the structure.
“All Africa House is part of UCT’s renewed commitment, when one considers Vision 2030, to being a university in Africa, for Africa and of Africa. The renovation amounts to a renewal of that commitment,” said Emeritus Professor Reddy.
“Cooperation and partnerships are a sine qua non of successful and effective scholarship and for that to happen, one needs to have physical spaces like these. All Africa House is important in many ways, including being a core component to what would be conducive to a sense of community.”
Over the years, the various clusters of accommodation at All Africa House have had numerous monikers such as Bulumko (wisdom), Chedza (light), Lesedi (light), Elimu (education) and Geduld (patience).
“This is our facility; we should use it and encourage the use of it and support it in different ways. We [want] tourists who come to Cape Town to know they can book accommodation here and have the experience of being in the middle of a beautiful campus,” Reddy said.
“I am encouraged by the utilisation of this building and what it can do for the university. When we talk about a university of the future, this is one of the projects,” said UCT’s chief financial officer, Vincent Motholo.
Director of Hospitality Thobile Dlamini said, “We know that All Africa House will bring in revenue, which the university will really appreciate. We are happy to see how things have unfolded.
“Tell your friends to tell their friends. We are ready to welcome everyone to this part of our Africa.”
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