DUT shuts down residences

By Drum Digital
30 January 2014

Student residences at the Durban University of Technology were closed on Thursday, the institution said.

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

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

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 re-register despite the non-payment. The university said it had no control over NSFAS.

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

Kahn 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.

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

"[My] department has made available an additional amount of R1bn, 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 R2.6bn in 2013, he said. - Sapa

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