Letter from the Resident Head

Renee Hector-Kannemeyer – Goldfields Resident Head 2017- Current

Renee is currently on maternity leave and will return as resident head in early 2018. Our visiting resident head until then is Mawethu Nyakatya.


Mawethu Nyakatya – Goldfields Visiting Resident Head 2017 /2018

To the 1st years at Goldfields Residence

I would like to welcome you all as first year students of Stellenbosch University, and more especially as first year students in the Goldfields Residence. I am looking forward to being your residence head especially during the welcoming period. Your welcoming will be a wonderful period because as the Goldfields team we have many exciting experiences planned for you. I hope you are as excited as we are to make your first experience of Stellenbosch University the best.

Our residences at Stellenbosch University play a very important role in the realisation of the university’s mission, by offering opportunities for academic, personal, as well as social development of our students. Our residences provide a student-friendly “living and learning” environment that promotes the academic objective of the university, and ensures a community of students from diverse backgrounds but with a high level of understanding and respect for differences.

The year ahead will be filled with lots of challenges and opportunities for you as you journey into the next stage of your life and becoming an independent, responsible, and an active member of Goldfields residence, Stellenbosch University and the broader South African society. At goldfields we will do our best to prepare you for the years ahead and I can promise you will learn a lot from the various residence activities and projects planned for the year 2018. We will work together through the university support structures to overcome some of the challenges that you may encounter during this time. And I hope that you will all take full advantage of the opportunities that will be presented to you by the university and the community of Goldfields residence.

I look forward to meeting you and having a wonderful time with you in 2018.

Yours sincerely!

Mawethu J. Nyakatya


Andrè Müller – Goldfields Resident Head 2016 /2017



IN FRONT of the MetLife some of our students are sitting in the shade, under the tree. This is where you will find them after lunch, before 15:00.

Max, an international student, has everyone in stiches, arguing that Hitler was not such a bad guy, killing fewer people than Stalin, Mao or Catherine the Great. And taking part in the debate are engineering, commerce and science students, all arguing about political history, morality and leadership.

This is what being a university is about: talking beyond our disciplines, listening to what others say and building outrageous (and courageous) arguments. Imagining new futures. Laughing. Changing our minds. Creating stories, and sharing familiar, old and sacred ones.

Maybe as resident head I should reproach them when the turquoise plastic chairs are carried out from the dining hall on to the lawn (and left there all day and all night long), but I do not. To me this is where the magic happens. This is the shared space where residents truly live and learn. Not in the building, but in the open; not at a desk, but under a tree. Not from a lecturer, but from one another.

Jy sou kon umfundi ngumfundi ngabafundi: ‘n student is ‘n student deur (die teenwoordigheid van) ander studente.

Want in ‘n era waar inligting vrylik ge-Google word, is dit van meer belang om kennis krities te ondersoek as klakkeloos te herhaal; perspektiewe van mekaar te onderskei en met mekaar te versoen, eerder as om ‘n waarheid aan te hang. Dit is goed om saans stil en ondergronds boeke oop te flap, ja, solank jy ook bedags saam in die skadu van die koelteboom kom sit.

Hier by Goldfields heers daar ‘n gesonde balans, lyk dit my. Miskien is dit omdat ek betreklik nuut is, dat ek dit so duidelik raaksien: dat hier waarlik ‘n gemeenskap is waar dit okay is om van mekaar te verskil; waar jy aangemoedig word om jouself uit te leef (vryheid) solank jy as familie saam bly lag (eenheid); waar jy gehelp word om suksesvol te studeer (verantwoordelikheid) en mense wat anderste dink as jy waardeer (respek).

We gladly welcome 60-odd new residents to Goldfields every year, having just months before said goodbye to the group that graduated the year before. Until we meet again / wanneer ons vir reünies bymekaarkom om onse stories vir mekaar weer te vertel; om te beleef hoe ‘n koshuis die oorgang van ‘n land se verweefde geskiedenisse vooruitgegaan en help vorm het.

We open our doors during the heat of summer. The sun stings. But we invite you join us and to sit with us in the shade of the camelthorn trees.


Andrè Müller

Goldfields Resident Head | Inwonende Hoof