Tshwane University of Technology student leaders put end to protest action

TUT students are back in classes following days of protests. Picture: Supplied

TUT students are back in classes following days of protests. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 15, 2023


Pretoria - While a number of student issues remain unresolved, student leaders at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) have called off protests in the best interest of the academic programme.

According to the Student Representative Council (SRC) president Keamogetswe Masike, the university responded to some of the student issues, while others were more complicated to resolve overnight.

Masike said issues such as graduates using the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and left indebted to the university would thankfully be granted their certificates.

Currently, the university management were having internal discussions around the matter in order to decide on the formula to be used to clear things up.

“This has been a national struggle where you find that the majority of graduates across the country who have graduated, owe the university and could not get their certificates and we have championed that struggle.

“The issue of delayed payments by NSFAS as we speak has not been resolved or responded to, so many students are still going to class hungry every day,” said Masike.

He said nothing had been forthcoming from the university’s side about the deplorable state of the internal residences, however that had been a burning challenge spanning over 10 years.

“Unfortunately, we can’t hold any executive people, officials or even members of the university accountable. Despite this, we can’t remain silent when students are raising these issues plaguing them on a daily basis.

“Notwithstanding these outstanding issues we’ve decided to open the gates as we remain the highest proponents of academic excellence such that in midst of these discussions, students’ academic ambitions should not be compromised.

“Gates are open for students and staff as we strive to resolve these issues going forward.”

University spokesperson Phaphama Tshisikhawe confirmed that meetings with student leaders starting from last Wednesday after protests, led to the disruption of academic activities were addressed.

Tshisikhawe said that the university had reopened its gates and resumed the academic programme as of Friday.

Meanwhile, students at Wits raised concerns about catching up with the academic programme after two weeks of protest action.

During a meeting with students on Monday, student leaders at Wits updated fellow students on the progress that had been made following two weeks of protests, who subsequently raised concerns about the time lost.

And while tensions eased up at TUT and Wits, the same could not be said for students at Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) in Pretoria and according to reports at the Thekwini TVET College Centec Campus.

At Thekwini, students were allegedly demanding working computers and financial aid from NSFAS, they complained about poor wi-fi, while the lecturers were still applying more assignments to them.

While it is unclear what the issues were at TVET colleges in Pretoria, yesterday scores of students filled Madiba Street outside the Pretoria campus.

Pretoria News