TUT campuses shut down after violent protest action

Students at TUT Soshanguve main campus protested over meal allowance and accommodation earlier this year. File photo: Thobile Mathonsi / African News Agency (ANA)

Students at TUT Soshanguve main campus protested over meal allowance and accommodation earlier this year. File photo: Thobile Mathonsi / African News Agency (ANA)

A university spokesperson says the safety of the students, staff, and TUT property on all campuses remains management’s first priority.

Academic programmes for students at all the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) campuses have been shut down until further notice.

University spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said campuses would remain closed due to ongoing and often violent student protest action at TUT campuses since the beginning of this week.

Earlier this week, disgruntled students reportedly disrupted classes. They are demanding a meal allowance from the National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS) and more accommodation.

Students also reportedly marched to the office of Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor where police had to use stun grenades to disperse the crowds.

On Wednesday, students were advised to vacate residences and go home.

“Since there will not be any services available at on-campus residences and because management is concerned about the welfare of our students, they are therefore required to vacate residences for their own safety.”

De Ruyter said that the safety of the students, staff, and TUT property on all campuses remained management’s first priority. She said due to the volatility and unpredictability of the current situation, the university had no choice but to shut down academic activities for students, until further notice, in order to allow the situation to calm down.

She said that management would continue to engage with DHET, NSFAS, and other important role-players in a bid to resolve the current situation.

Information on the recovery plan will be published on TUT’s Website once approved by Senate. Scheduled activities at the university, including the upcoming graduation ceremonies, are expected to continue as planned.

– African News Agency

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