Power failure angers students

NOT HAPPY: University of Venda studentsare upset about power outages on campus, saying
management does not have
their interests at heart. © Sowetan.
NOT HAPPY: University of Venda studentsare upset about power outages on campus, saying management does not have their interests at heart. © Sowetan.

DISGRUNTLED students at the University of Venda have accused management of adopting a cavalier attitude to the continued lack of power on campus.

DISGRUNTLED students at the University of Venda have accused management of adopting a cavalier attitude to the continued lack of power on campus.

The accusations come amid the institution's battle to restore electricity to the campus since last week.

This has caused students to go hungry and to resort to using fire wood to cook with.

The power cut hit the university after cables were allegedly damaged during construction work carried out at the institution's sports complex.

The South African Students Congress feels that the university management failed to show leadership and chose to be silent while students were literally left in the dark.

Univen Sasco branch chairperson Jimmy Machaka said they wanted management to compensate students for damages incurred while there was no power on campus.

The university does not have generators to provide the institution with power when there is a blackout.

Machaka said management did not care about students but was only interested in their cash.

"How could such a big institution fail to have generators? They don't care about us - but they care about our money.

"Their silence is an insult to students - while their offices are provided with a generator," Machaka said.

Power problems have haunted the institution and in 2008 students took the institution to court to demand an alternative source of energy. But the students lost and were ordered to pay legal fees.

The students said they had been forced to throw perishable groceries away. The problem was compounded by frustrated students vandalising property.

Forty-four students have been arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property.

"What little money I had is finished because I can't cook because while there's no electricity," said one of the students, Christopher Maila.

University spokesperson Takalani Dzaga said technicians had been dispatched to solve the problem.

The university also blamed the problem on the fact that the contractors had been misled about what areas to avoid when refurbishing the stadium.

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