Clashes have erupted again between disgruntled students and security at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) in Durban.
MUT student leader Phiwayinkosi Ngobese says students are supporting workers who are on strike demanding an eight percent salary increase.
Staff at the institution downed tools on Monday this week.
They used burning tyres to blockade the institution’s main entrance. University management says this is in contravention of picketing rules.
Ngobese says they were hoping that trade union NEHAWU’s handover of a memorandum to management on behalf of staff, would be peaceful, but this was not to be.
“There are clashes between students and police today but what the problem is there are those opportunistic parties who hijacked the struggle of workers for their own strike. It’s supposed to be a peaceful one. NEHAWU submitted the memorandum but the university must look into the matter, however, the workers just said enough is enough. They won’t keep working until their demands are met.”
University management was not available for comment.
Portfolio Committee calls for constructive engagement at DUT
The Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education has called for constructive engagement between all parties at the Durban University of Technology.
It says such engagement to ensure that the problem which led to the closure of the institution yesterday, is resolved. Management says the closure is aimed at preventing people from converging on the campuses. A large group of people, who wanted to register as first-year students, allegedly invaded the sports field at the Steve Biko campus yesterday. All online activities including registration will continue.
The students demanded to be registered after messages circulating on a fake social media account invited students to register at campus. The students had allegedly refused to leave the campus until they are registered
In a statement, committee chairperson Philly Mapulane says university management and students should seek solutions to their challenges.
Mapulane has also appealed to all leaders to avoid the use of force and violence at the university.