The start of the 2023 academic year has not gone well for students at Western Cape University. Some of them are threatening to launch protests if they are not provided with adequate accommodation.
They are demanding that the university address these issues.
The CPUT Students’ Representative Council accused the university of hiding the issue of the accommodation shortages. They claim that over 200 students don’t have proper lodging.
According to Gilingwe Mayende, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Operations, the students who don’t have accommodation are usually returning learners. He also noted that some of them might be academically ineligible.
According to Mayende, the university is prioritizing the accommodation needs of first-time students.
The university is also prioritizing the accommodations needs of first-year students, who are usually from distant regions.
The university has made available rooms for the students while it works on addressing the issue.
However, according to SRC member, Ramano Mpfunzeni, the situation is still not under control as many students are still not able to secure adequate accommodations.
According to Mpfunzeni, many students have been staying in the university’s sports hall and student center.
In response to the issue, the Higher Education Minister, Buti Manamela, urged university managers to get in touch with the students.
In order to resolve their issues, student leaders were urged to find ways to work together. However, they noted that students should respect the institutions’ property when they protest.
Due to student protests, classes have been disrupted at several universities. These actions forced schools to take classes online.