UKZN staff vow to bring university to stand still

Classes were meant to resume today, but students and staff were a no-show at lecture halls.

Picture: @UKZN/Twitter.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the university's response to the matter.

DURBAN - Staff at the University of KwaZulu-Natal have on Monday vowed to bring the institution to a stand still until their demands are met.

UKZN staff union representative Mandla Mdhluli said their grievances included salary disputes, unequal distribution of work and safety during violent protests.

Mdhluli said they have tried to talk to the university for a year, but their requests have been ignored.

Classes were meant to resume on Monday, but students and staff were a no-show at lecture halls.

Students said they have deadlocked with university management over the contentious issue of historical debt, while staff members said the university management failed to listen to their concerns.

"The university tried to silence us rather than responding to the demands, they issued a notice of 'no work, no pay'. It's actually a bit intriguing for us. They take too long to make decisions, but they were quick to throw the decision," Mdhluli said.

However, the university’s Indumathie Naidoo said the university has always been prepared to listen to the staff members’ demands.

"The university management has been in extensive negotiations with UKSU since 2019 on all the matters cited as the reasons for the strike. Management continues to engage with UKSU and is of the understanding that the negotiations are still in progress."

"The university has always engaged in good faith and has made every effort to resolve a number of these outstanding historical demands made by UKSU."

Other universities that have recorded crippling protests in the province include the Durban University of Technology and the Mangosuthu University of Technology, which has stopped classes indefinitely.