19 February 2019

South Africa: Several TUT Campuses Remain Closed Due to Protests

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has suspended all academic activities at its campuses in Pretoria, Arts, Arcadia, Ga-Rankuwa, eMalahleni and Mbombela due to ongoing student protests.

However, academic activities at the Soshanguve and Polokwane campuses proceeded on Monday, according to TUT spokesperson Willa De Ruyter.

De Ruyter said academic, administrative and support staff reported for duty at all campuses on Monday morning, despite the protests, and added that they would continue to do so on Tuesday.

"During Monday's meeting, management's response to the student representatives' memorandum submitted on Saturday was given to the student representatives to be shared with their constituencies.

"It was also impressed on the student leaders that the academic project is under threat of losing professional accreditation if it does not resume without any further disruptions," she said.

A follow-up meeting between management and student leaders is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

De Ruyter said registration for all students would be extended by five working days.

Last week, academic activities at the campuses were suspended as a result of the protests.

The university apologised for the inconvenience the suspension of activities caused and advised students and others who were affected to visit its website for updated information.

"The safety of staff, students and infrastructure is a priority for the university. As a people's university, TUT remains committed to resolving issues within its mandate soonest. Therefore, management will continue to engage with student leaders and other relevant role players to reach amicable solutions," she said.

Chairperson of the EFF Students Command, Kingsley Baloyi, claimed that students also missed classes because they had been trying to sort out issues they had, such as not being allowed to register.

He added that they were also unhappy about student allowance allocations.

First-year students were given a R5 000 book allowance, while senior students received a R2 500 allowance.

Baloyi said senior students felt the discrepancy was unfair and that it created unnecessary animosity between student groups.

Source: News24

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