TUT Ga-Rankuwa campus is shut down due to student protests. Picture: Goitsemang Tlhabye

Pretoria - Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has been hit by further disruptions as strike action saw all of the university's campuses shut down by protesting students early on Monday morning.

Messages by student leaders as far as Polokwane, Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa and the main campus in Pretoria West, were circulated on Whatsapp, with student leaders warning students not to attend classes.

Tyres were burnt and students huddled around the entrance singing struggle songs at the Ga-Rankuwa campus.

A student leader who refused to be named, for fear of victimisation, said the problem they were facing currently was that the university was refusing to give off-campus students meal allowances.

He said the university vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Lourens van Staden, had been given the powers to resolve this matter and there had been countless engagements to this effect.

TUT Ga-Rankuwa campus is shut down due to student protests. Video: Goitsemang Tlhabye

He said despite the involvement of other stakeholders and university student leaders, they had repeatedly reached a deadlock. 

“The powers have been given to the principle to solve this matter of which he is refusing to do. So he would rather let off-campus students starve.”

Another issue the student leader highlighted was the long-standing problem of accommodation at the university. 

As he said for years the university had battled to provide needy students with accommodation. 

“The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, noted that the university had a bed shortage of 200 000. And we don’t understand the problem as they were given the budget to alleviate this issue.”

Pretoria News