On Monday night, disgruntled CPUT students erected makeshift structures at the institution’s Bellville campus to protest against a shortage of accommodation. Yesterday, the university’s security guards demolished the structures but students vowed to erect them again. Photo: Twitter / Athi Mtongana ‏

Cape Town – The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) confirmed on Wednesday that two bus shuttles were torched and the administrative building stoned during overnight protests.

In a statement, CPUT said: "The positive start to the 2019 academic programme has been dealt a blow after the institution was the victim of an arson attack overnight.

"Today (Wednesday), CPUT staff woke up to the news that two bus shuttles were torched and that the administrative building on the Bellville campus had been stoned.

"This is demoralising for the dedicated staff who have already persevered through a traumatising crisis period since 2015."

On Tuesday, 21 people, believed to be CPUT students, were arrested in connection with public violence outside the Athlone campus.

"The well-being of 40 000 students and staff will not be held to ransom by a minority pursuing a selfish agenda," CPUT said.

On Monday night, disgruntled CPUT students erected makeshift structures at the institution’s Bellville campus to protest against a shortage of accommodation.

Yesterday, the university’s security guards demolished the structures but students vowed to erect them again.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said: “Dean of students Prem Coopoo has been tirelessly meeting with students to accommodate those who are eligible, applied on time and are genuinely in need (of accommodation). 

"CPUT vice-chancellor Dr Chris Nhlapo has also announced the establishment of a task team to look specifically at student housing and... visited some residences last week.

“The real affected parties are the students who have applied on time (for accommodation) and are being denied a space because late applicants expect to jump the residence queue. 

"CPUT is not unique in facing a student housing crisis. Roughly 33% of our student body is accommodated in residences and this far exceeds the national average.”

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said they were investigating a case of malicious damage to property. No arrests had been made.

"Currently, the situation is under control, the protesters have since dispersed and police officers are still deployed in the area to maintain law and order," said Van Wyk.

Cape Times