Students protest fees, res shortage

2011-01-28 00:00

AN estimated 1 500 pupils from the Durban University of Technology in Durban yesterday demonstrated, protesting the shortage of student funding, accommodation and the exclusion of students with fees outstanding.

Mthandeni Ngcobo, the president of the student representative council (SRC), said the students chose to embark on a march after they learned that first-year students and B Tech students will not receive financial aid this year.

He said there were also problems with accommodation as the institution is trying to force students to use residences that are not suitable.

“Last year we went on strike protesting the issue of accommodation. Management was trying to find some of the students accommodation at the Market area in Durban and we protested the issue. They cancelled the lease of the residences, but now they are bringing them back.

“The biggest problem with those residences is the location; they are at an area where the Durban taxi ranks are, where there are vendors selling vegetables on the street. Those residences are not suitable to accommodate any normal person.”

He said there were also problems with outstanding fees. “There are people in residences who have paid R2 000 in accommodation fees only to find that they will not be allowed to register because they still owe money to the university.”

Ngcobo said the students will remain on strike until management resolves the problems.

Bhekani Dlamini, the spokesperson for the DUT, said the management is aware of the strike and the issues raised by the students and that it is attending to the matters.

“The financial aid shortfall is about R55 million. We are engaging with the Department of Higher Education and Training and with NSFAS [National Student Financial Aid Scheme] about the shortfall.”

He said the institution does not have enough accommodation for the large number of students who have applied but it is working on the problem.


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