Students Have Called For a Shutdown of Universities in KwaZulu-Natal
The shutdown is a result of students struggling with funding for the new academic year.
According to IOL, students at four universities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, have called for a total shutdown of the campuses on what is supposed to be the first day of the academic calendar.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) and the University of Zululand (UniZulu) are all currently the sites of student protests.
Sanele Hlongwa, the SRC president at UKZN said:
"We will close the university until all our demands are met. These are not new issues as we have been engaging with the university management for a long time but they never complied with us. The university keeps pouring money into programmes that are not benefiting students.''
The Student Representative Councils (SRCs) at these four universities have aired their grievances in memoranda submitted to the management of the respective universities. They have cited that there are students who have not been able to register or find accommodation owing to government funding, National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which has still not paid out to eligible students.
Numerous students are drowning in debt and many who have qualified in their various fields, are unable to obtain their academic transcripts and degrees because they have not paid their fees in full. The timing of the protests is apt as it adds pressure to university management to resolve the issues quickly in an effort to resume activities without further delay.
Police have been deployed onto the campuses to monitor the increasingly volatile situation. A motor vehicle has been set alight by some students on the Westville campus of UKZN.