After nearly two weeks of protests and unrest at the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Soshanguve campuses, classes would resume today after issues between student bodies and management were resolved.
Led by various united student representative bodies such as the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC), South African Students Congress (Sasco), DA Student Organisation (Daso) and Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma), students had shut down both the Soshanguve north and south campuses for more than a week, demanding that management resolve their issues.
They were demanding the allocation of residences for first-year students, since scores of students were sleeping at the campus stadium, or else provide funds for alternative accommodation, as four residence blocks were still under renovation.
But the university resolved on Thursday that final touch-ups on the renovated buildings would be completed by the end of the month.
“Block K is still being renovated and alternative accommodation and transport arrangements will be made for affected students,” TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said.
“Cleaning of bathrooms and the renovation of some bathrooms will be finished by the end of the month in identified wings.”
Some of the students were aggrieved by the new bus timetable. Buses travel at two-hour intervals, instead of the usual hourly departures. This created longer queues, leaving students to arrive late for class. De Ruyter said the university will revert back to the 2017 bus timetables as an interim arrangement. “
Consultation with the contractors will be undertaken to obtain a full picture of student transport provision. Students are requested to please be patient while the process is unfolding.” EFFSC deputy chair Albert Baloi said they welcomed the resolution, but would keep a watchful eye to ensure promises are kept.
– Rorisang Kgosana