Students at Unisa have embarked on a national shut down. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - University of South Africa  (Unisa) students have embarked on a national shutdown of the institution. 

At Unisa's city campus in Durban, students blocked the road as they demanded that their grievances be addressed by the institution.

Andile Ndaba, secretary of the Student Representative Council said they wanted a cancellation of historic debt for students. 

He said they had been promised students who had registered would be getting laptops, this has not happened. 

Ndaba said they were also responding to a call by the institution’s national SRC to ensure that all of the campuses around the country were shutdown. 

Siyabonga Seme, UNISA’s KwaZulu-Natal head of communications said the institution’s management “was on the ground” and had been trying to engage with student leadership but there was a problem that staff at the institution were on strike and it was going to be difficult to deal with complaints with no staff to help resolve them.

Khaya Xaba, National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union media liaison officer said the reason strike was based on four points. 

He said staff had asked for a 9 percent salary increase and the institution and the institution was offering only six percent. 

He said some of the institutions buildings were not safe and complying with the occupational health safety standards. “Outsourcing should also come to end,” Xaba said. 

He said they wanted outsourced staff to be hired internally. "We will continue with the strike until our demands are met," he said.Xaba said the strike had begun last week.

Daily News