Wits: We're prioritising students who’ve been sleeping in labs, library

This comes after students held a mass demonstration on Wednesday, demanding accommodation be provided for at least 200 students.

Wits University SRC leaders disrupted classes, calling on other students to demonstrate with them as they called for an end to the accommodation crisis at the institution on 4 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Wits University SRC is accusing management of leaving students to fend for themselves.

This comes after students held a mass demonstration on Wednesday, demanding accommodation be provided for at least 200 students.

SRC president Thuto Gabaphete said students had been sleeping in labs, libraries and bathrooms as a last resort.

“The university is on record saying it does not have anything to assist these students, but we told the university it has buildings and beds, open the rooms so that students can occupy them.”

WATCH: Wits students shut down financial aid office over NSFAS payment delays

However, dean of student affairs, Jerome September, said the homeless students lost their funding due to academic exclusion.

He said the students were readmitted by the university, which had used at least R17 million of its hardship fund to provide beds.

“We’re prioritising the students that have been sleeping in the labs and library and the name of that group was brought to us by the SRC, but also independently by security, who’ve been helping us monitor them for the last few weeks. This is a challenge beyond the university, and we need partners to help us.”