Durban - The Durban University of Technology has resumed lectures in full swing, following protest action by disgruntled students on Monday.
According to a statement issued by the university’s senior director of Corporate Affairs, Alan Khan, the 2023 academic programme was meant to have commenced on Monday after extending the registration period by two weeks.
This was to give time to students who encountered financial issues.
Khan said the start of the lectures was, however, disrupted by a political student organisation who had allegedly threatened and intimidated students, preventing the registered students from entering the university campus.
“This was after 98% of all first year students and more than 91% of returning students had successfully registered and were prepared to start the academic year.
“According to journalists who had engaged with some of the protesters, issues raised related to registration, accommodation and financial aid. The Student Representative Council (SRC) did not sanction Monday’s protest,” he said.
Khan said that a special meeting with the SRC and DUT management took place on Monday afternoon to discuss all the issues.
“Given the progress regarding the number of registered students, the payments made by NSFAS and the allocation of students in the residences, management and the SRC agreed that lectures must continue on Tuesday. The plan was for the academic programme to proceed while the university continues to implement measures to assist the remaining students,” he said.
Khan also noted that the management of the institution meets with the SRC every Thursday to discuss matters that are related to students.
He further stated that students had since returned to their classes to continue with their lectures.
Sanele Khumalo of the SRC said that the issues brought forward by the students were being attended to.
“We are trying by all means to efficiently address all the issues brought forward by the students and have since allocated beds, and are working on ensuring that all of them get their accommodations sorted so that teaching and learning can resume efficiently,” he said.
He said that no protest action could be anticipated any time soon.
“As there are no issues currently affecting students, we do not anticipate any protests, but you may get some people who are opportunistic and may use student issues to try and push their political and personal agenda. Currently, all issues have been attended to and the SRC is at the forefront of attending these issues,” he said.