Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) students shut down the Soshanguve north and south campuses as well as the GaRankuwa campus yesterday morning, saying they are hungry and without accommodation.
The students also complained about the new bus schedules saying they are always late for classes because the buses are never on time.
Sdu Zulu, provincial secretary of Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma), said the university can accommodate fewer than 5 000 students, but over 15 000 students registered for accommodation.
“We are particularly fighting for accommodation for the first-year students. Currently, over 10 000 students are paying R50 per night just to sleep around the area, but the university is silent about this,” Zulu said.
He insists the university must come up with a plan to provide accommodation for these students as they are from poor families and far away from their home towns.
These students cannot afford even the R50 per night. “The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is also late with their payments and about 50% of the students are waiting for their money.
“Some might only get it in March this year, just like the previous year. Meanwhile, students are starving,” Zulu said.
He said while students were allowed to move in and out of the campuses, there were no classes.
TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the university management and members of the student representative council (SRC) are engaged in meetings.
No buses were available to transport the students yesterday and most had to make use of taxis.
This, according to one student, is because the university feared that buses might be damaged.
Last year, students burned a bus during protest action.