More than a thousand student nurses at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital staged a protest yesterday against a massive rent increase for their living quarters.
The Students' Representative Council deputy president, Themba Tshefu said the rent was increased from R242 a month to R500.
Tshefu said student nurses were informed yesterday of the increases, and also learnt they were all in arrears because the new rentals were backdated to July 1.
The striking students said they would not go back to their classes or the wards, until the arrears were cancelled and their dilapidated quarters were upgraded.
They said the buildings leak badly, the bathrooms lack hot water and toilets in the male section are in a poor state.
Gauteng Health Department spokesman, Zanele Mngadi said no wards had been affected by the protest and strike, because students were completing their practical training and were not part of the staff complement.
She said the Public Works Department would attend to the maintenance of students' accommodation.
Mngadi said the Public Services and Administration Department was responsible for the increase.
A spokesman for Public Services said student allowances had been increased, which was why the rent had more than doubled.