POLOKWANE – Wednesday saw a shutdown of the Capricorn and Seshego TVET colleges, with students demanding that management address their grievances.
At the Polokwane-based campus, students were seen protesting.
Pastor Mashaba, the Vice-Chairperson of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the college and a member of the EFF student command, explained that the protest was the only way in which students could have their voices heard.
“We have tried to engage with management since January over transport and accommodation allowance issues,” he said.
According to Mashaba, no student has received the transport and accommodation allowance from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) but their statements received from NSFAS show the money has been paid.
According to Mashamba, little has been done about students’ grievances.
He said the students submitted a memorandum of grievances on 20 August which highlighted the most pressing concerns but they have yet to receive any response. Students also protested about the college not issuing progress reports for students who are behind on payments, despite receiving confirmation from NSFAS that outstanding fees had been paid.
A fourth year student at the college shared her reasons for taking part in the shutdown with Review on condition of anonymity.
She is a hospitality student and said since the beginning of the year, they haven’t had any of the required trips for practicals located outside the college premises.
“We don’t have the tool kits we need for our studies and the kitchen where we do practicals had a blocked drain. In addition, everything is outdated,” she said.
Tumelo Morobe, Spokesperson for Capricorn College for TVET, told Review he believed yesterday’s actions by the students were politically motivated. “We are aware of the grievances, and the issues have been addressed”.
At Seshego TVET College, 20 students were apprehended by police yesterday (Wednesday) in a protest that turned violent. The student protest was an extention of the one at the Capricorn TVET College, with students sharing the same complaints as their Capricorn TVET counterparts. The police confirmed the arrests, saying cases of damage to property had been opened.
In other university news, three videos on social media showing hundreds of University of Limpopo students leaving an examination hall spread like wildfire on Wednesday. The students described the philosophy exam they had to write as ‘too difficult’ and subsequently refused to write the examination.
According to University of Limpopo Spokesperson, Johannes Selepe, they are investigating the authenticity of the videos.
The videos have had over 12 000 views with as many comments on Twitter and Facebook by yesterday afternoon.