TUT shuts down campuses after protests

Pretoria – Despite hours of meetings and consultations with student leaders – the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has opted to shut down all its campuses on Wednesday.

This after protests at Mbombela campus and the Main Campus in Pretoria West escalated on Tuesday. With students blocking the entrances of the university with burning tires and rubble.

Following meetings that went well into the late evening, TUT spokesperson, Willa de Ruyter, said the management team had decided that activities at all TUT campuses would be suspended on Wednesday. This includes lectures at all TUT campuses in Pretoria, Ga-Rankuwa, eMalahleni and Mbombela

“The situation at all campuses will be monitored continuously. The university apologises for the inconvenience the suspension of activities may cause and would like to advise students and other stakeholders to visit the university website for updated information on the way forward.”

She added: “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.”

The latest protests at the university were sparked after students complained of accommodation shortages and cutting off of a meal allowance for students not residing in university accommodation.

And while most of TUT campuses in the city continued with academic activities, main campus and Mbombela campuses remained inaccessible.

Issues regarding meal allowance cuts were according to students aggravated by what they alleged was the university and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS) ploy to create animosity between students by allocating disproportionate book allowances.

With senior students lamenting against first-year students being given a R5 000 book allowances, whilst seniors had to make do with a meagre R2 500.

goitsemang.tlhabye@inl.co.za 

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