Although Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) students have returned to their classes, they would resume protests if their demands were not met within three weeks, reports Pretoria North Rekord.
This was according to TUT’s campus student representative council (CSRC).
Khomotso Mashao, CSRC chairperson for Soshanguve campuses, said they decided to resume classes so that the management can have time to work on students’ demands.
“We understand that suspending classes will also have an impact on us as students. That is why we decided to go back to classes and wait for three weeks,” Mashao said.
Students embarked on a protest that led to the shutdown of both the Soshanguve campuses on 24 February.
The protest was related to the academic exclusion of students, first years’ registrations, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) and accommodation.
Mashao said they were working closely with management to make sure that all their grievances were addressed.
Mashao said that if the TUT management did not respond to their issues, they would be left with no choice but to strike.
“In the three weeks that we have given the management, we expect to see change and if there is no change, we will strike again and this time it will be worse. We saw that the only thing our management understand it is a strike,” said Mashao.
He said the issue of accommodation on the campuses should be attended to urgently.
“We have asked the TUT management to bring in engineers to check if the residences at our campuses are safe for the students to stay in and we will wait for a report from the company that will be hired,” Mashao said.
He said that if the report states that any of the buildings were not safe for students, management would be asked to demolish the buildings and move students to a safer place.
Lebogang Motlaisane, a student and on-campus resident at TUT Soshanguve south campus, said TUT management must act fast as the situation in the residences was not pleasant all.
“In the room that I sleep in, the windows are broken and also in the toilets, the taps are leaking, and it smells bad,” said Motlaisane.
Another student who stays at a residence on Soshanguve north campus, Tebogo Tshwale, said management needed to act regarding overall issues.
“As students, we cannot live in places that are a danger to our health,” Tshwale said.
Meanwhile, TUT management has applied for a court interdict from the Pretoria high court to help with the situation on their campuses.
TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the interdict would prevent the actions of the students to disrupt academic activities on any of the TUT campuses.