Durban university closes hostels

2014-01-30 17:08

Student residences at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) were closed, the institution has said.

Most students returned to their families and the Durban university had given money to those who could not afford to go home, spokesperson Alan Khan said today.

Small groups of students with their bags milled around the Steve Biko campus. Khan said that unlike previous days no violence was reported. A staff member was injured during protests yesterday.

The Student Representative Council’s main demand was that students whose fees had not been paid by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) be allowed to reregister despite the nonpayment. The university said it had no control over NSFAS.

Lectures were suspended on Tuesday until further notice and students had until midday today to vacate residences.

Khan said the decision to close the university was to protect the majority of the 24 000 students and staff members at DUT from the violence.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that R1 billion would be added to the NSFAS.

“My department has made available an additional amount of R1 billion, sourced from the National Skills Fund, to all universities to cover the 2013 and 2014 shortfall,” he told reporters in Pretoria.

The NSFAS had a shortfall of R2.6 billion in 2013, he said.

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