Students at UKZN call for better housing

2014-10-08 00:00

STUDENTS at UKZN are complaining of unhealthy living conditions at the Kensington residence between Boshoff Street and Bulwer Road.

They told The Witness that they pay about R20 000 a year for the accommodation but the living conditions are unbearable.

A representative for the student housing committee who didn’t want to be named, said the students living in the residence are suffering.

“For the past 10 days we’ve had no water and electricity. Toilets are blocked, pipes are leaking and the kitchen is dirty,” he said.

The unhappy students claim their academic performance has dropped due to the situation.

“The residence only has one cleaner for the entire property and hires security guards that are not professionally trained for the job. We are victimised by crime,” said the representative.

Another SRC member said the university has failed its students.

“We were told at the beginning of the year that the residence was temporary accommodation, but we still haven’t been moved to a proper place,” she said.

Some students claim to have suffered medical complications due to the unhygienic conditions.

A residence supervisor, who said he wasn’t authorised to speak to the press, shifted the blame onto the students.

He accused the students of tripping the electricity and breaking the water pipes.

UKZN executive director Lesiba Seshoka said the university is aware of the problems at the residence and is negotiating with the students to find a solution.

“A team of cleaners, an electrician, plumber and security have been dispatched to the residence in order to resolve the immediate difficulties,” he said.

He added that 21 spaces have now been made available at other residences to accommodate the most affected students.

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