DUT students sleep on Vice Chancellor's steps
Nearly 100 Durban University of Technology students slept on the steps of the Vice Chancellor’s office as a housing crisis enters its third week.
The institution is scrambling to find a place for the estimated 1500 students who were promised accommodation‚ but have no place to stay.
The situation reached crisis point last week when protests over the lack of student housing forced DUT to shut its doors. Classes resumed on Monday morning.
As the mercury rose on Friday morning‚ the sit-in continued.
Mattresses and luggage occupied the steps of the administration block of the Steve Biko Campus as a line of security officials stood sentry.
Nokwanda Mhlongo‚ a third year IT student from Empangeni‚ said that the protest was a move of desperation.
“I am far from home and I am not the only one. We have not bathed in days. Where can I go. We will stay here until they decide to deal with us. Some of us go to class but we will be back. We have no other option‚” Mhlongo said.
She said that they had been abandoned by the university‚ which had known about the looming crisis.
“They would have seen this coming. The know that our NFSAS funding comes in late and after the housing applications close. More than that‚ they shut down residences last year and there is not enough space to accommodate those in need. They have had months to negotiate leases and contracts and this is only being done now‚” she said.