Students protested at the Mangosuthu University of Technology on Tuesday as they said they had not received funds from NSFAS. 
Pictures:Twitter
Students protested at the Mangosuthu University of Technology on Tuesday as they said they had not received funds from NSFAS. Pictures:Twitter

Classes at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) have been temporarily suspended following a protest by students on Tuesday.

The classes are expected to resume on Thursday.

Mqondisi Duma, the provincial secretary of the South African Student Congress (Sasco) said students had been protesting because some had not received any benefits due to them from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme(NSFAS).

“The national office of NSFAS has been on strike and the students have not received money for accommodation, books and for their meals. They have been forced to fend for themselves and it got to a point where we said as Sasco that enough is enough and went on strike.

“It is very difficult for students when they are faced with that situation,” he said

“The classes today have been suspended and the management said they will have the situation resolved by the March 1,” Duma continued.

He said MUT along with the Durban University of Technology(DUT) were among the institutions with a large number of students that were beneficiaries of Nsfas, “about 60% of students in MUT are funded through NSfas.”

In a statement posted on MUT’s Facebook page, Professor M.M. Ramogale, MUT's Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal said a canteen, dining hall and bookshop were looted and a lecture room was petrol-bombed during the Tuesday protests. He said several windows were also broken at the institution.

“Please note that academic programmes are suspended until further notice but the university remains open. Students are expected to remain in their residences and staff are required to report for duty today(Wednesday),” he said.  

Meanwhile at DUT where staff have been on a seven week wage strike, negotiations between labour unions and the institution's management was expected to resume on Wednesday morning.

This comes after the intervention of the deputy higher education minister Buti Manamela who spoke with the unions and management on Tuesday.