Student leaders from various student organisations are calling for a shutdown of all Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) campuses and have warned students to stay away from academic activities.
They have also called on all students from all TUT campuses (Ga-Rankuwa, Soshanguve, Arcadia and the Arts campus) to meet at the administration campus in Pretoria West. The meeting is scheduled for today, Monday, 1 April 2019, at the Arcadia Bus Terminal at 10:00.
Jabu Masilela, a Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) activist, stated that they want the Student Representative Council, South African Students Congress (SASCO), Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC), Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO) and Students’ Christian Organisation (SCO) to sort out issues of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The students’ demands include an increased food allowance for students staying off-campus to R2000 a month, students to be granted accommodation in accredited residences and that postgraduate students be covered by the NSFAS as well, which is not the case at present. Student leaders demand that NSFAS gives students feedback on their applications by Friday, 5 April 2019.
The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) has gone to the extreme of threatening to burn or destroy property so that TUT management will take them seriously and respond to their demands. They have warned those who will take the chance of attending tomorrow’s academic activities despite the threatened actions.
The country received information from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) led by Dr Naledi Pandor, who claimed that money was allocated to help students who had outstanding fees in 2018 to pay off their historical debt. The TUT students’ actions do not complement the promises made by the minister and her department.
Political Analysis South Africa spoke to Thando Mbedu, an IT student from the TUT Soshanguve campus, who says that Dr Pandor mislead the public by claiming that they are doing something about their situation. “We are told that the money has been injected into NSFAS to help us but we never see it on the ground, the other problem is that it’s election year and politicians use our sufferings as a political football,” Mbedu said.