DUT SRC STRIKE SHUTS CAMPUSES EARLY
By Samkele Maseko
The Durban University of Technology’s student protest caused an early shut-down on Monday.
The march began on DUT’s ML Sultan campus behind Curries Fountain Sports Field to Ritson Campus on the other side before getting to the main campus (Steve Biko). Protesters also made their way through the Market to reach City Campus which is located across Botha Park.
Student Representative Council (SRC) President Ayanda Ngidi said that the institution’s management failure to honour their part of the agreement forced them to strike again.
“ Not all the students have been unblocked and allowed to register as we had agreed with the management, instead we have seen that they are taking long to attend to student’s issues whilst the academic calendar is proceeding,” said Ngidi.
Ngidi also added that just about 5 700 returning students have been unblocked to register. Another 322 students have full (NSFAS) packages yet their whereabouts are not known as they are not registered.
About R48 million is required to register the 3 400 students who still remain excluded. The student leadership demands that financial aid prioritises those who have met the 50% pre-requisite pass mark.
Students took to the streets 14 days after the campus re-opened following the January 2014 shutdown.
NSFAS had initially allocated R248 million to DUT which would only cover 8 100 students. The spate of strikes countrywide then prompted the government to make available R1 billion to NSFAS. DUT was allocated R28 million to pay for historical debts of 2013 and another R15 million to pay for those who owed from 2012.
“We also wanted the minister to use the R13 million for the tablets to fund B-Tech. However, he refused and said that he would take this tablet money and use it as a pilot project to Mangosuthu University of Technology,” said added Ngidi.
The SRC states puts the number of students who have submitted their appeals to financial aid isat 4 000. A great chunk of them are said to have not received any response.
ANCYL DUT-DBN Branch Secretary Qhawe Mzimela said, “We will render DUT ungovernable until our demands are met, our fellow brothers and sisters have been excluded by management and this new National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) system that being piloted here.”
The DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Ahmed Bawa is expected to respond to the SRC’s demands at midday on Tuesday when he addresses the students at Fred Crooke’s Sports Centre on the institution’s Steve Biko Campus.