Four students at the Central University of Technology in the Free State have been for arrested public violence.
They are accused of blockading the main entrance of the Bloemfontein campus with burning objects from the early hours of the morning.
They were protesting over unpaid National Student Financial Aid Scheme allowances for meals, accommodation and study material.
Frustrated students want an immediate solution, some say they have nowhere to stay as private accommodations are not recognised.
They also say they are struggling to cope without meals. Students continue to call for academic activities to be paused, while their NSFAS allocations are attended to.
“The students’ data was not sent, that is from 2019, 2020 which now makes their cycle to remain on those back years. Now it’s giving us a problem because NSFAS cannot fund those students without the institution sending that data to NSFAS. Those people must come as NSFAS and accredit us because we have been struggling a lot of times. if they don’t accredit us where will we stay,” a student says.
University management says it continues to engage NSFAS on all outstanding matters. It so says that there is a standing court order that prohibits students from protesting.
The University says it is working around the clock to ensure that all students who qualify for funding receive their allocations.
Spokesperson for Central University of Technology Seithati Semenokane says: “Management has been working tirelessly in order to resolve matters that students have. We have about 22 000 students at CUT and just above 13 000 of them are NSFAS funded. More than 11 000 of them have received their funding and we are working tirelessly to ensure that the rest also receive their funding. We also encourage students to go to the financial aid services if they need assistance.”
A strong police contingent was deployed to the institution.
The police have also arrested one person for burglary and arson after allegedly setting alight a storeroom at the CUT.
Police say the second suspect escaped.