Decent bed to sleep a worry for UCT students

2016-02-16 06:00
A shack erected by Rhodes Must Fall calls attention to the need for more student accommodation at UCT.

A shack erected by Rhodes Must Fall calls attention to the need for more student accommodation at UCT.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Student accommodation at UCT came under the spotlight yesterday as Rhodes Must Fall campaigners constructed a shack on Residence Road to draw attention to poverty and the housing needs for students.

While the university says it respects the constitutional right of any member of the UCT community to participate in protest action on the campus, they also admit that UCT is facing an accommodation issue.

“The main reasons for this is that some 700 beds normally released in early January in any given year could not be released due to deferred exams,” says Elijah Moholola, a UCT spokesperson. “There are also outstanding financial aid decisions and a dramatically increased call from students for help with accommodation.

“We suspect this was influenced by national public statements about debt relief, the promise to fund all those in need and discussions about free education.”

The university has 6680 beds for its 27 000 students. Therefore 75% of students live outside the residence system.

“We are making significant progress in dealing with the situation and have found accommodation for hundreds of students,” says Moholola. “We have provided temporary accommodation, food and transport for these students. We are appealing for private property owners in Cape Town who may have rooms, cottages available to step forward and help us in placing students who are still in need of accommodation and who are in temporary accommodation.

“UCT rejects completely the accusation by Rhodes Must Fall that we are seeking to exclude students from accommodation on the basis of race.

“Interfering with staff and operations at UCT compounded the accommodation issue as various offices that where meant to deal with accommodation had to be closed due to Rhodes Must Fall interference.”

He mentions some unacceptable behaviour during the protest yesterday, including the burning of rubbish bins and interrupting traffic access to upper campus.

“We call on the protestors to cease those activities that are outside the boundaries of acceptable protest action and to respect the rights of other students and colleagues.

“While we fully support Rhodes Must Fall members’ right to freedom of expression, this right must be exercised responsibly. We are again reiterating that protest action is part of the fibre of UCT as an institution and we will always protect this right. But protest action may not interfere with the right of others to participate in the official business of the university.” V Members of the public who would like more information about how they can help with student accommodation can call 021 650 4934 or email ocsas@­

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.