Sol Plaatje University suspended classes on the 14th and 15th of March after uproar on campus when students marched from Central Campus to their respective residences the previous evening, to show their dissatisfaction with their allowance payments and residence matters.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) informed the student community that all academic activity would be halted until further notice so as to ensure that a viable solution is found while they are in discussions with management relating to students’ complaints.
“We are doing this in the interest of ensuring constructive discussions in resolving the issues that students have raised related to allowance payments and residence matters,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Yunus Balim.
Thabo Moilwa, president of the SRC, addressed students in a mass meeting held in the C016 auditorium. Voicing the grievances students had regarding the allocation of their allowances as well as issues with some of the residences, particularly those temporarily placed in private residences, “We have small desk spaces that we have to share with other students to do our work” they lamented. Many students had not received their R5000 book allowances and could therefore not complete assignments on time. Another issue at hand was the delay of statements from the finance department. Moilwa stated that the allowances were to be paid from the morning of the 14th and that these would be issued per residence. With regards to fee statements, the SRC is giving the CFO until Wednesday to issue them to the students. A student also lodged the complaint that they are only allowed to take books on their account at Van Schaik’s Bookstore, while they would rather buy second-hand books to save money.
All issues have not been resolved as yet, and the SRC as well as the managerial parties are still in discussions over the weekend.
“The SRC have undertaken to ensure that any protest action is peaceful and that no persons will be harmed or intimidated in any way,” Balim encouraged students.