University of KwaZulu-Natal students at the Westville Campus in Durban blockaded access to the facility on Tuesday morning protesting over filthy and unhygienic conditions of their residence.
This, after the university suspended general workers who were protesting over working hours last week.
The students claim that their residence has not been cleaned since then, and that the university management had not bothered to communicate an alternative cleaning plan with them.
On Tuesday morning, they started burning rubble on campus. The security at the main entrance was turning any vehicle away explaining the volatility of the situation at the time.
When The Witness got to the campus, the protest had quietened down but there was still heavy police presence in front of the university’s risk management services building.
At the time, the students had gathered at the Varsity Drive entrance with police trying to convince them to move away from the road at the entrance.
The students would have none of it until the police finally agreed to take representatives from the group to the management.
A student, who asked to remain anonymous, said this could have been avoided had the management communicated with them and put contingency measures in place.
“We heard that general workers, including the aunties who cleaned our residence, had been suspended for protesting over working hours. This left us in a compromising situation because even if I clean my room, I can’t clean the entire building because I have to study.
“What’s worse, there is a budget for this service so what is the university doing with that money now because the management has not replaced the suspended employees? There are opportunistic diseases and in a filthy place one risks catching those, and the university will not accept liability should that happen,” said the student.
Another said the leader of their student representative council arrived earlier and stood at a distance with his friends and left without addressing them.
This is a developing story.