Students shut PE university over fees, results

2016-07-11 22:41
(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University students on Monday protested against the withholding of results and some being prevented from starting their second semester.

“Students are unable to add modules for the second semester due to outstanding funds of the first semester. The students results are being withheld,” the SA Students Congress said in a statement.

Sasco claimed students with outstanding fees were being evicted from their residences.

They closed the entrances to the north and south campuses. No violence was reported.

"The issue now is that debt relief has turned into a debt trap for the students,” Sasco branch secretary Athengosi Bhangushe, 22, said.

“We told the university in January that we didn't have money, so where do we get the money now?”

Sasco claimed the university was not abiding by an agreement reached last year during the #FeesMustFall protests. This included its alleged failure to implement insourcing of services, and to pay a R5000 monthly minimum wage to security guards, kitchen staff, and grounds people. They were still getting paid R3500.

One worker who asked not to be named said they were still working under the same conditions as last year.

"We are still being subjected to draconian conditions. We don't enjoy any benefits like medical aid. We are grateful to students for their solidarity with us."

A student from Limpopo said her parents were excited last year when they were told their debt had been cancelled.

"I am actually shocked that the university is now demanding me to pay last term’s money. My parents are not working," she said.

Bhangushe vowed that the shutdown would continue until the university addressed the issues.

"We will intensify our mass action because this is the only language that the university understands."

University spokesperson Derby Derry could not be reached for comment. In a statement the university issued earlier, staff and students were advised not to enter the institution for their own safety.

In another statement on Monday, the university said management had been in talks with various groups to seek solutions to the #FeesMust Fall student and staff related issues. These talks would continue on Tuesday.





Read more on:    nmmu  |  sasco  |  port elizabeth  |  education

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