CPUT students demand an end to class disruptions

Call for library hours to be extended

Photo of two people with microphones

Anele Gladile and Cora Njoli Motale address students at CPUT on Tuesday. Photo: Sune Payne

By Sune Payne

26 September 2017

Protesters at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on Tuesday called for classes to be restarted and private security to be removed from campus.

The protesters also demanded that there should be no financial exclusion for 2018.

A group of about 50 members of SASCO marched on campus. On Friday SASCO had handed a memorandum over to university management calling for all classes on all campuses to be reopened and for an end to the burning of university facilities, for library hours to be extended and for shuttles “to meet students’ expectations.”

Nomzamo Madalane, one of the organisers, said SASCO wanted to stop the flare-up of protest action. Another student, Alezade Brink, said she was supposed to write an exam last week.

Cora Njoli Motale, Executive Dean for Student Affairs, acknowledged receipt of the memorandum.

She said financial exclusions for 2018 would be discussed at a meeting of the university council. She also said management was looking into extending library and shuttle service hours.

Students had been told in an email that those with debt would not be registered until an acceptable payment arrangement had been made.

Chairperson of SASCO Anele Gladile called for the removal of private security on CPUT campuses, calling them “toy soldiers” who made students feel unsafe on campus.

University spokesperson Lauren Kansley said the university had never officially closed, in spite of “some disruptions causing breaks to class and assessments. The academic year continues and every effort will be made to ensure students who lost class/assessment time will have the benefit of alternative arrangements.”

Later in the day a meeting of about 200 students from PASMA and the EFF Student Command, cleaners and security guards took place. Student leaders protested against financial exclusion.

They also said cleaners must be paid for the period of the protests. Lauren Kansley, spokesperson for CPUT, said the university had adopted a strict “no work, no pay policy”. Workers who had not missed work had received full salaries, she said.