Students go on strike

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Lectures have come to a standstill at the Maake Further Education and Training in Tzaneen after nearly 1000 students took to the streets to protest against the shortage of textbooks and the allocation of bursaries.

The students are also unhappy about the bad state of the lecture halls.

The strike started on Tuesday last week with the students blocking the college gates and calling for the chief executive of the college, Martie Johanna Botha, to resign.

The strike could continue for the rest of the month if students and the college management fail to reach an agreement.

The students have given management seven days to attend to their grievances before they go back to classes.

Stanley Letsoalo, the chairperson of the student representative council, said the students embarked on a strike after three years of protests against the shortage of textbooks, bad conditions at the hostels and classrooms and the allocation of bursaries.

He said when they asked the management about the shortage of textbooks, they were allegedly always given the runaround.

He said the management blamed the shortage of textbooks on publishers who delivered them late.

Letsoalo also said the students had to sleep on old and wrecked beds and used toilets that have maggots coming out of them.

He said they were told there was no money to revamp hostels and toilets.

Botha declined to comment, saying she was not allowed to speak to the media.

The provincial education department spokesperson Ndo Mangala said lectures would resume today after students and management reached agreement.

He said photocopies had been made of the textbooks and that other problems had also been resolved.