Still no end in sight in students'stand-off with TUT
The university is in its third week of uncertainty, during which management took the decision to suspend activities at all the campuses last week.
TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said academic activities for students at the Pretoria, Arts, Arcadia, Ga-Rankuwa, eMalahleni and Mbombela campuses remained suspended until further notice.
The normally problematic Soshanguve and Polokwane campuses, however, continued with academic activities without any problems.
“It has been quiet at all campuses, except for Ga-Rankuwa campus, where staff were prevented from continuing with work.”
De Ruyter said that, in meetings between the executive management committee and the transitional institutional SRC yesterday, management furnished student representatives with a response to the memorandum of demands submitted over the weekend.
“During the meeting it was also impressed on the student leaders that the academic project was under severe pressure and should resume without any further disruptions,” De Ruyter said.
She added that follow-up meetings had been scheduled for today, with a view to normalising the situation at all campuses.
Registration for all students had been extended by five working days.
According to the EFF Student Command chairperson at TUT, Kingsley Baloyi, the protests were sparked by management’s dismissal of demands made by students.
Speaking at the start of protests at the university’s main campus in Pretoria West, Baloyi said students were missing classes while standing in queues to sort out several issues.
Another issue they had was that first-year students were being given a R5000 book allowance, while senior students had to make do with R2500.
He said senior students felt this was unfair and created unnecessary animosity. “We want equality, as these people are dividing students. Even though R5000 is not enough, at least give everyone the same amount.”
Baloyi said the students would not stop until financially excluded students were absorbed and allowances of R5000 were paid to all.
Female students who had to find accommodation off campus were sometimes attacked on their way to lectures and back, he added.
De Ruyter said that, without wanting to antagonise the students, the university had obtained a court interdict to help normalise the situation and ensure the resumption of academic activities.