MPUMALANGA, February 23 – The Siyabuswa campus of the University of Mpumalanga and the CN Mahlangu campus of the Nkangala Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in the same area were closed on Thursday after students embarked on separate protests over alleged bursary fund problems and other issues.
University of Mpumalanga’s director of communications Themba Manana told the African News Agency (ANA) that the protest at this institution started last week, but did not immediately reveal the reasons for it.
“I’m in a meeting with students and will release a statement later about their demands and the response of the management,” said Manana. His phone rang unanswered when contacted again on Thursday evening.
The two campuses are situated about 500 metres away from each other. When the ANA arrived at the University of Mpumalanga on Thursday, a group of students were stepping out of the campus carrying bags of luggage.
Bachelor of education degree student Sibongile Khoza said they boycotted classes after the university management allegedly refused to give them details about the allocations of their funds from an unnamed bursary programme.
“We want to know how exactly how much we are getting from the bursary programme,” said Khoza.
Another student Nonhlanhla Mthimunye said she was also going back to her home in eMalahleni because the protests made her feel unsafe on campus.
President of the University of Mpumalanga’s Students Representative Council (SRC), Mxolisi Nxaphalala, said the protest would continue until the bursary matter was resolved.
During the same time, a number of police officers were removing rocks from a street near CN Mahlangu campus. The campus’ gates were closed and a group of six students stood on the street and held what appeared to be a study session. They declined to comment on the protest.
Siyabuswa police spokeswoman Captain Zandile Gqawa said the barricade affected the flow of traffic.
“The police managed to open the street and no arrests have been made,” she said.
The Nkangala TVET College could not be reached for comment.
– African News Agency (ANA)