Campus closed as students demand meal grant

2017-03-27 17:15
University of Venda website. (News24)

University of Venda website. (News24)

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Thohoyandou - Protesting students at the University of Venda say they have been living like "beggars" because their meal grants have gone unpaid.

On Monday, thousands of students shut down the university and disrupted classes demanding payment of their meal allowance.

The university in Thohoyandou east of Polokwane in Limpopo has majority of poor and disadvantage students who depend on the National Students Financial Aid for tuition and meal grants.

Students, who have not received their meal grants since the beginning of the year said they have been living like beggars.

"We have been struggling for too long and it appears NFSAS was not ready to listen to our demands, as students we felt it cannot be business as usual while we are suffering," said George Maluleke, a second year student who lives on campus.


Some students said they are forced to rent part of accommodation to their fellow students who will in return pay them with food.
The university said there was no damage to property or injuries reported but the institution gates remain locked.

"Today there was no academic programme taking place in the campus, staff and students could not access the facilities due to protesters," said university spokesperson Takalani Dzaga.

He said the management will be seeking a meeting with the students to resolve the problems.

"There is commitment from NFSAS to start dispersing meal grants, and we had hope that will assist but we are unable to engage student leaders," said Dzaga.

He said it was doubtful if lessons will continue on Tuesday as students' leaders were not immediately available to discuss issues with management.

Dzaga confirmed that students have not received meal grant since the start of the academic year.

However, he said NFSAS had promised to start distribute funds today.

Read more on:    university of venda  |  polokwane  |  university fees  |  university protests

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