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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Cape Peninsula university halts all operations amid student protests

Students are protesting over shuttle service matters, cafeterias and the need for additional accommodation.

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) has halted all operations, including academic activities, at the Bellville and Wellington campuses amid continued violent disruptions and torching of buildings.

“Unruly students, acting in bad faith, with the sole purpose of making the university dysfunctional have left management with no other choice but to act swiftly and decisively,” said CPUT on Thursday.

“The safety of staff and students is our primary concern at this stage.”

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The university ordered all residences to be vacated by Friday.

“Transport to key areas for students living in other provinces will be provided,” said the university.

Student protests

According to the university, protesters on Monday set fire to a cleaning supply room on the Bellville Campus, while a student recreational space was torched overnight in Wellington.

“CPUT Management strongly condemn these acts of violence, which are perpetrated by a relatively small group of students. Management equally condemn acts of intimidation, arson, malicious damage to property and any other form of criminality,” said CPUT.

Perpetrators will face the full might of the law, as well as CPUT’s institutional disciplinary rules and regulations, it said.

Reasons for protests

Students are protesting over shuttle service matters, cafeterias and the need for additional accommodation.

Students are also unhappy with a new NSFAS requirement that any student who is studying for less than 60 course credits is no longer eligible for accommodation, living and transport allowance.

ALSO READ: Students threaten to ‘burn down’ Wits VC’s home if demands not met

According to CPUT, NSFAS had initially verified these students for study at the commencement of the 2023 academic year, and the new condition left some students unfunded in critical areas.

“We understand the frustration of students with regards to this, and we, along with student leadership, continue to engage with NSFAS on the way forward.

“We wish to reiterate that we respect the right to protest peacefully. However, disruptions of this nature impede on the rights of the majority of students to attend classes and for staff to work in a non-hostile environment.”

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