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Walter Sisulu University students threaten to shut down East London campus

By Yolanda Palezweni - May 30, 2017
Walter Sisulu University students threaten to shut down East London campus

Students at the Walter Sisulu University's East London campus on Tuesday vowed to shut down the campus and if the institution's management continues to ignore their demands.

The students have been protesting for four days now and are demanding among other things, that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) office extends its deadline for the signing of agreement forms as apparently most students are still not captured and have not received responses from NSFAS.

The protesters are also demaning that university finds improved accommodation for students.

According to the student leaders, they received a notice that all the NSFAS loan agreements forms are to be signed and submitted before the 31st May 2017 and that all those, who failed to sign for their NSFAS loans will not be funded.

Speaking to RNEWS, Walter Sisulu University BCC campus President, Aurie Bavu, said that their main grievance is the NSFAS issue and that the management is not being fair to students for setting a deadline while students are still facing challenges with NSFAS itself.

“Students are facing challenges with NSFAS yet management sets a deadline, we want all the students’ challenges and needs to be solved first,” said Bevu.

She added that the management is being unreasonable as some students have not received responses from the NSFAS.

“We are saying to the management of this institution, it must take charge of these things by giving all the deserving students their meal allowances and book allowances,” Bevu explained.

She also said that students were unhappy with their living conditions in outsourced residences and were demanding that everyone be accommodated in better facilities.

“The issue of these residences remains a serious challenge, we have given the management seven days to vacate our students and we are still waiting if nothing happens we will continue to protest because our students cannot stay in such,” said Bevu.

Furthermore, the students are claiming that the institutions have shortage of lecturers in some of the faculties.

“This remains a serious challenge in our struggle as the organization, because we are an organization that promotes academic excellence, we cannot expert our students to perform well whilst there are no lecturers,” Bevu said.

A meeting between the Student Representative Council (SRC) and management was expected on Tuesday.

“If management does not do anything or come up with solutions to our demands, we are continuing with the shutdown,” said Bevu.