Protests continue at Durban universities

Written by on 18 February, 2019

By: Lethiwe Mdluli


Students have barricaded the entrance at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi Township, South of Durban.

Currently police are in the area where students are burning tyres calling for a shutdown of the institution.

The university was supposed to officially open today after being closed following protests where students were demanding for the management to sort out problems with fees and accommodation.

Police spokesperson, Thulani Zwane, says the protests started yesterday in Durban.

“Police are still monitoring the situation after students from one of the universities in Durban were taking out mattresses through the windows at one of the residential houses and burning them yesterday. It’s being reported that they are angry over accommodation. The protest has started again this morning and police are there,” says Zwane.

Meanwhile students at the Durban University of Technology are currently marching to the Durban City Hall to hand over a memorandum.

Academic activities did not resume today as expected.

Zwane says police are also monitoring that situation.



18 February 2019
For immediate release
This morning, 18 February 2019, students commenced their protests just before 7h00. Executive management has subsequently met with the students and will regroup and meet them at 12h00.

The students’ demands are as follows:
1. Concessions
We agreed on fee concessions and have been implementing as per agreements with the SRC. However; in today’s meeting the SRC informed us that, because Friday was the last registration day, some students could not register. This means that the University will have to extend its registration. 
2. Allowances
The SRC has made a claim that some students have not received their allowances. The University’s records show that 7022 students have been paid their allowances and learning material. Only 46 students had wrong accounts and their issue is being resolved. The SRC has indicated that there are more payments still outstanding. Executive management has requested the SRC to produce the evidence which they claim to have.
3. Infrastructure: Extension of library and clinic opening hours to 24 hours as well as increasing the number of printers across campus
The DVC Resources and Planning will advise at the meeting scheduled with the SRC on how best we could deal with this. 
4. Fee increment
The students have requested the fee increment to be reversed. The University will provide feedback on this when the meeting with the SRC resumes at 12h00.

5. The issue of accommodation was discussed last week but not raised at today’s meeting
Previously, the SRC had requested that those students doing post-graduate programmes be allowed to register for free and be allocated free accommodation and meals even if NSFAS is not paying.

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