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Students take protest to college offices in city


Staff at the college offices in Long Street hurriedly evacuated the premises when the students tried to force entry

Students protested outside of the college management offices and also handed over a memorandum of demands. Pictures: Danie van der Lith

DISGRUNTLED students from the Moremogolo and Phatsimang TVET campuses in Kimberley protested at the offices of the college management in Long Street on Thursday, where they also handed over a memorandum of demands.

The students embarked on protest action earlier this week. Their long list of grievances include outstanding National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) payments, the issuing of laptops and challenges relating to accommodation.

Staff at the college offices hurriedly evacuated the building when the students tried to force entry to the premises.

The students resorted to burning a tyre when they could not gain access to the premises.

The angry students accused the college management of “playing a cat-and-mouse game” with them.

“We came to hand over our memorandum stipulating our grievances, but the principal of the institution is not here. The people inside the offices are afraid and have run off,” they said.

The students said they would continue with their protest action unless management agrees to address them.

“We will not stop with protests. We cannot continue having our voices shut down by management. We were promised many things and none of those things were delivered.

“They promised us last year that they will issue us with laptops, yet we are still waiting on those laptops. We are supposed to continue with online learning, but how will we be able to do that if we do not have the right resources? We also have no textbooks which makes studying challenging.

“The management also needs to procure accredited student accommodation. Currently, students are renting from residents in the location. We cannot have that trend continue

as we are living in very dangerous times. It is especially risky for female students to continue living under such conditions. The institution needs to be sure where the students are placed to ensure their safety.”.

The students acknowledged that while they are aware that they will be starting with their semester tests soon, they will leave the responsibility of a recovery plan in the hands of management.

“We know we are supposed to start with tests soon, however, we cannot write when we have not yet had an opportunity to sit with management. The tests had been postponed until April and we demand that management must come up with a recovery plan for students who have not been able to submit their assignments.”

They also accused the student representative council (SRC) of not assisting them in their fight.

“The SRC does not care about the students. We have been protesting without them. It is not a problem as we realise that we are fighting for our futures and for our free education,” the students said.