No solution yet to TUT strike

Tshwane University of Technology students took part in a protest calling for better education on 16 August 2012. Picture: Christa Van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Ministry of Higher Education is yet to meet with with management at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), following the closure of three of its campuses.

The Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa and Pretoria West campuses this week, following a week of violent protests by the university’s Student Representative Council (SRC) over financial exclusion.

On Friday, students moved protest action to the Pretoria West campus, blockaded the entrance, burnt tyres and sang struggle songs in effort to have they voices heard by TUT management.

The SRC and other student bodies are up in arms over the failure of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to pay tuition fees for at least 30 percent of students who rely on the funding.

Students claim the funding body told students they were not eligible for funding after months of having their names put on the waiting list.

Students also complained that food served in residences was unhygienic and unhealthy.

They said they were not allowed to cook in the rooms, thus forced to eat food from the dining hall.

They called on management to cancel contracts with the university’s catering services.

Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana met with the institution’s SRC on Friday and said their concerns were valid.

He said SRC members raised concerns about inadequate funding allocated to the university as well dilapidated residents.

He said a way forward was being investigated.

(Edited by Thato Motaung)