15/08/2012 TUT students gathered outside the Vice Chancellor's office in protest against various grieviances.
Picture: Phill Magakoe
15/08/2012 TUT students gathered outside the Vice Chancellor's office in protest against various grieviances. Picture: Phill Magakoe

TUT students take to streets to air grievances

By Time of article published Aug 16, 2012

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Mogomotsi Magome

TSHWANE University of Technology (TUT) students at its Pretoria campus took to the streets yesterday to protest about their various grievances.

The students have complained about the allocation of funds from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), claiming many students who were on a waiting list had now been told they weren’t eligible for funding.

The students, who were united under the banners of various student organisations, also demanded that catering contracts at the university be terminated. The unrest spread to the Pretoria campus yesterday.

The students barricaded the entrance to the campus, burning tyres and singing Struggle songs to make their voices heard.

Most students who live in residences on the campus told the Pretoria News that the catering for students who lived in residence was unacceptable, in quality and price.

Students were not allowed to cook in their rooms, so they had to use their meal cards at the main kitchen on the campus, which they claimed was failing to meet even the minimum standards for cleanliness and healthy food.

The pricing was also exorbitant, with their meal cards quickly running out if they had three meals a day from the main kitchen, they claimed.

Reading out their memorandum yesterday, students’ representative council secretary Veli Zwane said students were demanding the immediate termination of all catering contracts and the immediate allocation of the funds by the NSFAS.

“The quality of food offered here at the main kitchen is questionable, and Afronet [another kitchen] is expensive with many health hazards. We demand that the main kitchen be closed down,” said Zwane.

Among the other grievances raised by the students was the lack of university buses between the Arcadia and Pretoria campuses, along with what they said was very expensive transport.

TUT spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said the situation was set to return to normal today.

She added that the management had taken cognisance of the grievances and had already agreed on ways to resolve the situation.

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