Some CPUT students sleeping on chairs as university stands firm on late applicants

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CPUT students sleeping on chairs as they await accommodation.
CPUT students sleeping on chairs as they await accommodation.
Cebelihle Mthethwa, News24

Some Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students are still sleeping on office chairs, four days after classes have commenced.

CPUT’s academic year began on Monday, but some students are still waiting for a place to sleep. The university says its system, which has approximately 50 residences catering for students, first accommodates students who applied on time.

"We've been sleeping on the floor next to our bags at Sandenburgh residence," a student, who asked to remain anonymous, told News24.

"One of the residence assistants took our names and allocated us to a residence that still has space, but we have not received the yellow form that allows you to move into a room."

The students were placed at Sandenburgh residence, where they sleep on the chairs with their bags until they are given a room.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley on Thursday said that CPUT had 12 460 beds in student housing this year.

"A third of this is designated for first years. CPUT has brought an additional 3 065 beds online this year to meet the demand for residence placements."

A parent, Bulelani Gora, was accompanying his son who is beginning his first year in Public Administration. Gora drove from Port Elizabeth and arrived in Cape Town on Thursday. He said he had no idea where his son was going to sleep.

The CPUT student council said they were aware of the issues and were trying to assist the students in the best way that they can.

"CPUT accepted more students, but has no space to place them. We encourage students to apply at private residences and will make sure that NSFAS pays for them," said Aviwe Nteyi, a member on the EFF Student Command-led council.

Kansley added that any late registrations needed to go through certain procedures.

"Squatting students is an issue that the university deals with right through the year. It must be made clear that we allocate accommodation to those students who applied on time, are registered and who meet residence admission criteria," she said.

"We cannot place students who applied late or not at all, although we have committed to contacting late applicants if beds become available. Our student housing department is working with the squatters to see whether they meet the minimum requirements for housing."

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