Hostel closure slated

Nkosana Lekotjolo

Nkosana Lekotjolo

Student organisations at the University of Free State's Bloemfontein campus say the integration of black and white students, and the closure of the controversial Reitz hostel on campus, were superficial and therefore unnecessary.

The South African Student Congress (Sasco), ANC Youth League and the Freedom Front Plus' youth wing said the closure of Reitz would not address the fundamental issues of integration, transformation and racism, but would worsen the crisis of scarce residences on campus.

The closure of the controversial Reitz male hostel at UFS is set for today.

The students are expected to vacate the hostel as it would be converted into a R1 million institute for diversity centre.

The institute aims to address issues of racism, sexism, xenophobia and reconciliation.

Sasco president Mawethu Rune said the university was dragging its feet on integrating white and black students in residences.

"The UFS's integration programme has not taken off," Rune said. "We are facing the challenge of a shortage of residences in universities and the university is not addressing this issue."