Pietermaritzburg college campuses shut down

2018-04-17 07:11
Students bang on the gates of the central campus offices of Umgungundlovu Tvet College in Pietermaritzburg, demanding that principal Ntombi Ntshangase come out and address them. (Nompendulo Ngubane, GroundUp)

Students bang on the gates of the central campus offices of Umgungundlovu Tvet College in Pietermaritzburg, demanding that principal Ntombi Ntshangase come out and address them. (Nompendulo Ngubane, GroundUp)

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

"We want our money!" students demanded at the Msunduzi campus of Umgungundlovu TVET College in Pietermaritzburg.

Last week, students barricaded Burger Street with rocks and burning tyres, demanding that the college pay their accommodation fees from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), GroundUp reported.

The issue has lead to the closure of all the Pietermaritzburg campuses. On Monday morning, students marched to the central administrative offices.

About 30 students said they had been evicted from Ikhaya boarding house on Friday. They said the college had not paid the landlord their accommodation fees since last year. The students come from Msinga, Nquthu, Ixopo, Richmond and Umkhambathini.

"We don't have any place to go," said a business student. "On Monday we were evicted and taken to some dodgy hostel. There were no beds. We slept on the floor. The landlord said he cannot accommodate us anymore. The college has not paid him since last year."

"I'm from Msinga and it's far [145km]. Since last week we have been having problems. The college management does not care. Instead the principal, Ntombi Ntshangase, is running away from us. We are stranded and we have no place to stay," said the student.

President of the student representative council, Cleo Ntombela, told GroundUp they had met with the college management on Tuesday and Thursday.

"It transpired at the meeting that they used the money for tuition fees in 2017," said Ntombela.

'What do we tell our parents at home?'

But Ntshangase said it was not true that the money was received and used by the college.

She said: "All campuses were paid late. We know that there are some students without accommodation. It's not the college's fault for the delay. We are waiting for NSFAS to approve their bursaries. Once their bursaries have been approved, students will be paid. We are not to blame. They will have to wait for the approval."

Ntombela said: "Students were told to wait... [But] they have been evicted from the boarding house. As we speak they are stranded. They have no one here. How long are they expected to wait?"

A student from Ixopo, who had been evicted from Ikhaya, said college management were supposed to have a meeting with the landlord.

"They have not met with him. We have been evicted. We came here to study. They are not helping us. Where do we go from here? We have no relatives. Our homes are far from here. What do we tell our parents at home?

"They (management) don't care about our education. We need this money to pay for our accommodation. Currently, we are not studying. This is our future," said the student.

Protesting students have vowed not to leave the administrative offices until they get a response.

GroundUp has tried since last week to get comment from NSFAS. Emails, messages and phone calls have gone unanswered.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  education  |  protests

Join the conversation!

24.com 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 24.com 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.