The number of students squatting at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) because they are battling to find accommodation appears to have decreased dramatically.
The Citizen toured UJ’s main campus in Auckland Park on Tuesday night, escorted by campus security, and found little evidence of squatters. Tshediso Nyamathe, chairperson of South African Students Congress (Sasco) at UJ, explained: “It’s hard to know who is squatting and how many students are squatting, because not a lot of people are openly talking about it.
“But it happens.” David Raphanga, a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command at UJ, said squatting was not as rife as it used to be.
“But there are still students waiting for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding approval,” Raphanga told The Citizen.
He added: “We will have to see whether the squatting will decrease. “It all depends on how fast students get their funding approvals from NSFAS.”
Surprise Npangane, deputy president of the student representative council (SRC), said “the few people who are squatting are those who are struggling with registration.
“There are not many people squatting at the moment.”
Although there were numerous complaints that NSFAS was not responding fast enough to applications by students for funding due to high volumes this year, the issues of registration and lack of accommodation appear to have been resolved.