By Nkosingiphile Dladla
Private colleges will not be left outside from the list of institutions that need a revolutionary visit, said the provincial chairperson of SASCO, Mqondisi Duma, when addressing students at the DUT City Campus on Monday.
As the chairperson and his entourage left City Campus for the private colleges, the group looted refreshments that were stored in a delivery van which was entering the main gate of the campus.
The KwaZulu-Natal university student bodies have enforced a total shutdown of various campuses across the province, forcing institutions to suspend all lectures until further notice.
This comes after dissent between students and the universities remained unresolved on Monday, 4th of February 2018.
The masses picketed from the early morning to the afternoon from the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) to the University of Zululand (UZulu).
“We have got challenges that we are experiencing, especially us as returning students. We are being blocked by the institution and today we want to force the institution to unblock us,” said the (EFFSC) led SRC president of the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Siyasanda Godlimpi.
According to Godlimpi, in 2018 the institution used a system referred to as the quintile system, that allowed students to register even though they did not have NSFAS. However, the system changed this year as many students who did not have registration fees faced a huge problem.
“The residences that the students are allocated to by the universities are also a concern as they are not in good conditions, most of them,” added Godlimpi.
EARLIER COVERAGE: Wits SRC Protest Against Student Financial Exclusion – Eyewitness Source
The protests turned violent in the province as a car was torched at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Westville Campus.
During the protests, #FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Education Khanyile took to twitter to share three video clips showing smoke and fire erupting at UKZN’s Westville and Edgewood campuses.
At DUT, SASCO was allegedly trying to make the whole mass action about their party and not the issues it was designed to address, causing the protests at DUT to turn violent, with the two student bodies opposing each other. SASCO are also alleged to have done the same at MUT.
According to a report in the Mercury online, the UKZN SRC president, Sanele Hlongwa, said the students who received free education last year were asked to pay at least 50% of their fees this year by the institution.
The students were told to sign an agreement to pay “only what they could afford” on a monthly basis, Hlongwa added.
Institutions have since issued statements suspending the academic programme all dated 4th February 2019.
The statement from the office of the Vice-Chancellor of UKZN reads: “Dear Staff and Students; Please be advised that in light of the call for a Provincial Shutdown of all Universities the Executive Management (EMC) have taken the decision to suspend the academic programme with immediate effect until further notice.”
The Office of Registrar at DUT also released a statement reading, “The academic programme at the Durban University of Technology will be suspended on Tuesday (5 February 2019) and on Wednesday (6 February 2019) following the student protests on our campuses today (4 February 2019).
“Whilst the academic programme is suspended, DUT remains open. Student registration will still continue on campus and online.” TOJ
Reporting by Nkosingiphile Dladla; Editing by Adryan Ogle and Gaby Ndongo.
Feature image: A protestor carrying a placard written “Asinamali khoka NSFAS(S);” translating to “We do not have the money, pay NSFAS(S)” in the Courtyard at DUT‘s, City Campus on Monday 4th February 2019.
Image courtesy to Nkosingiphile Dladla.