Classes suspended at DUT

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Durban - Student protests about accommodation shortages and other issues disrupted lectures at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday, a spokesman said.

DUT spokesman Alan Khan said a decision to suspend lectures was made in the morning.

“The level of threats were sufficient for police to advise us to close the campuses,” he said.

Lectures were scheduled to resume again on Wednesday, but a heavy security and police presence would be maintained at the university's seven campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Khan said the university's student representative council had tabled a list of demands with the university's management.

The DUT had been allocated R234 million from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for students who sought financial assistance.

Khan said the DUT had approached NSFAS for additional funding for those students who had not received assistance.

“Our hands are tied in this. The funding does not come from the university. It comes from NSFAS.”

He said the DUT provided accommodation for 4700 students, but that there was a shortfall of between 500 and 600 beds.

The institution had 24 500 enrolled students of which 12 500 were receiving financial assistance.

Khan said there were 70,000 applications for the 6600 places available this year.

SRC chairman Ayanda Ngidi could not be reached for comment.

Police spokesman Lt-Col Vincent Mdunge said he was not aware of any incidents where the police had been forced to act.

Durban's Daily News reported on Tuesday that about 1000 students staged a protest march on the offices of university rector Ahmed C Bawa on Monday. - Sapa


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