20 April 2017

South Africa: Wits Protesters Demand Removal of Residence Company Manager

Student protesters on Thursday handed over a memorandum to the University of the Witwatersrand, in which they demanded the removal of the Respublica facilities manager.

Respublica is a private company that owns and manages student accommodation.

The memorandum was received by chief operations officer Fana Sibanyoni and Dean of Students Puleng LenkaBula.

Earlier on Thursday morning, about 100 students protested at the institution's Empire Road entrance over residence-related issues.

They barricaded the entrance with rocks and burning tyres.

"As we were relocated from PKV and Esselen Street residence, we had reached an agreement with the university that we will be provided with the same services in the new residence," the memorandum read.

Some of their other demands included:

- Uncapped Wi-Fi;

- Increased security;

- The provision of temporary Wi-Fi in the interim as Respublica promised;

- Increase of cleaning staff who will cater for all students within the residence;

- Visiting hours that operate as per University of the Witwatersrand residence life rules and regulations;

- Only Wits staff should administrate the residence, and not Respublica staff;

- Consistency in servicing lifts and laundry machines, as well as other maintenance problems.

University spokesperson Shirona Patel said the protesters had dispersed.

Source: News24

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