Protesting students have shut down the Tshwane University of Technology Emalahleni campus in Mpumalanga. They are demanding proper student accommodation and allowances. The students have been protesting for a week and classes are still suspended.
The protests has also spilled to Pretoria campuses. They have led to the cancellation of academic activities at a number of campuses – including Ga-Rankuwa, Arcadia and the main campus in Pretoria West.
SRC’s Given Mthimunyi says : “The department of higher education states clearly that universities must abolish historical debts of students. Why, because we want progress here. They must not hold a grudge to say a student not paying those previous years. We know that NSFAS itself has shenanigans. They must fix their issues and fund our students. Every student must be reinstated. Every student must go to classes.”
The chairperson of the EFF Student Command, Kingsley Baloyi, said the students were protesting as they were fed up with being undermined by the university’s management, who refused to take their demands seriously.
He said students were missing classes while waiting in queues to sort out issues such as being blocked by the university.
University spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the eMalahleni campus remained closed as a result of disruptions experienced on Monday.
She said the Mbombela campus would also remain closed until further notice following last week’s protest action.
“Disruptions at the Pretoria campus are being monitored. Staff and students at the affected campuses will be advised immediately when normal university activities are set to resume.
“Although the Ga-Rankuwa campus experienced disruptions this morning, students have decided to call off the protest action and the campus is accessible.”
De Ruyter confirmed that sporadic disruptions had been experienced at the Arcadia and Arts campuses.
However, she said, activities at these campuses had resumed and staff and students could access them.
No incidents were reported at the Soshanguve or Polokwane campuses.
“The university apologises for the inconvenience these disruptions cause, and will continue to issue updates with regards to the situation as new information is verified,” De Ruyter said.