Protest action that saw the closure of Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Mbombela campus on Thursday – saw brief disruptions at the universities campuses in the capital city.
A number of the university’s campuses including Ga-rankuwa, Arcadia and the main campus in Pretoria West experienced cancellation of academic activities as student representatives demonstrated at the entrances.
By noon activities at Arcadia, Ga-rankuwa and even the Soshanguve campuses, under the watch of heavy security personnel, were slowing getting back to normal.
However students at the university’s main campus could be seen driving out, trying to catch public transport or simply loitering around, as classes had to be suspended.
Kingsley Baloyi, chairperson of the EFF Student Command (EFFSC), said the students were protesting because they were being undermined by the university, which Baloyi claimed refused to engage student structures
He said students were missing classes standing in queues to sort out issues of being blocked by the university.
Another issue he said they were crying for was student allowance allocation, as first year students were being given a R5 000 book allowance, while senior students had to struggle to make do with R2 500.
This was something senior students felt was unfair and creating unnecessary animosity between students, Baloyi said.
“We want equality as these people are dividing students because of this. Even though the R5 000 in itself is not enough but at least give everyone the same amount.”
Baloyi said the students would not stop until financially excluded students were absorbed and allowances of R5 000 were paid to all.
Issues of accommodation were also touched upon as Baloyi said young female students who had to find accommodation outside were often attacked trying to make their way to lectures and back.