It is day 3 of the accommodation protest action at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University as students have staged a sit-in at the university’s main building to have their demands heard.
An accommodation crisis at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth has caused students and Student Representative Council (SRC) to stage a sit in at the university’s main building.
The sit-in, which had been going on since Sunday night, is aimed at accommodation. Hundreds of NMMU students who have found themselves without a bed despite having been accepted by the schools accommodation office.
“[Things were] hostile last night because students had blocked the building, however we are waiting to meet with the vice chancellor today,” Baxolile Nodada, SRC secretary general at NMMU, told Wits Vuvuzela.
According to the NMMU SRC, the university has 3 237 beds on-campus divided between George and Port Elizabeth campuses which only extends to 11.9% of the total student population. Of these beds, 33% currently accommodate first year students.
Nodada said no outcome was established at last night’s protest action but the university’s vice-chancellor, Prof Derrick Swartz, had committed to meet with students and the SRC where the group intends to hand him their memorandum of demands.
“Students are still occupying the main building (Embizweni main building). At the moment things are still peaceful, we are waiting for the VC,” said Nodada.
Nodada said the SRC has been accommodating students who are in need.
“We have found that some students were sleeping at police stations, outside buildings, in the SRC offices while some of them are sleeping in the toilet and the labs,” said Nodada
“70% of these students are from the poorest province in the country and cannot afford the off campus accommodation,” Nodada said.
Nodada added that the SRC through donations and partnerships is trying to accommodate and feed the displaced students at the Ekhaya residence “but there is not enough space for all of them”.
2nd day of lectures,still haven’t gone to any classes because of the #NMMUResCrisis
— Sakhi’ngomso ❤ (@kamncedisi) February 9, 2016
— NMMU SRC (@NMMUSRC) February 7, 2016