[DEBATE] : (Fwd) DUT grievances
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Feb 12 09:09:18 GMT 2008
DUT riots: students speak out
12 February 2008, 09:52
Broken toilets, holes in ceilings, water leaking through cracked walls,
and poor recreational and study facilities are some of the issues that
have pushed students at the Durban University of Technology over the edge.
They are particularly annoyed about the accommodation problems because
they pay annual residence fees of R10 495 and semester residence fees of
Angry students caused the institution to close last week after a violent
protest on Monday. That was one of at least five demonstrations at the
institution during the past two weeks.
After speaking to a few students it became clear that although they had
highlighted a list of grievances, allegations of poor accommodation and
badly administered student loans topped the complaints.
The Mercury visited the three residences that were the most complained
about this week to investigate whether the allegations were true.
The worst, according to students, is Berea Res, on the university's
Steve Biko Campus.
We were escorted by a student (he refused to be named for fear of
victimisation) who lived in the men's quarters on the campus. He said he
wanted people to know why they were angry.
"The toilets are pathetic. Not even worthy of a dog," he said as he
directed us to toilets on different floors that did not flush.
"The pipes in the bathrooms leak and the doors that are supposed to seal
the bathroom area off are broken. There is also no hot water in one
bathroom," he said.
Another student led The Mercury to his room, a tiny room about the size
of a standard bathroom.
"This is supposed to be a living area. It used to be a communal kitchen,
but then the university stopped students from cooking on the premises
and it was converted into a room. I can barely move around in here," he
The Mercury was led to a room set up as a television room for students.
It is a square room, measuring 16 feet. One student described it as a
"You can see this used to be an old storage room. There are no windows
in here, and all they have done is thrown in a couple of old plastic
chairs," he said.
This article was originally published on page 6 of The Mercury on
February 12, 2008
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