Campus closed as students demand meal grant

University of Venda website. (News24)
University of Venda website. (News24)

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.

Resolution

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.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
36% - 2130 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
27% - 1567 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 2146 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.02
(-3.84)
ZAR/GBP
21.08
(-2.83)
ZAR/EUR
18.30
(-3.75)
ZAR/AUD
11.85
(-2.47)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-3.48)
Gold
1773.03
(-1.67)
Silver
27.48
(-1.53)
Platinum
1219.50
(-3.13)
Brent Crude
66.41
(+2.64)
Palladium
2416.50
(-0.98)
All Share
67483.76
(+1.94)
Top 40
62063.35
(+2.17)
Financial 15
12334.48
(-0.17)
Industrial 25
86843.77
(+0.34)
Resource 10
70371.81
(+5.45)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo