Management at the University of Venda in Thohoyandou wants students to leave the campus following a strike that started last week.  Students are complaining about several issues, including non-payment of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances and double payment of allowances to some students.

Students at the University of Venda say some students who are eligible are not getting allowances from NSFAS, while others are getting double payments.  They are also demanding that students who owe the university money, still get their course transcripts.

The university hired a private security company to maintain order on the campus after the students went on strike. The company has been tasked with removing the striking students.

SRC president Gift Chauke says they will not vacate the campus as they have resolved to suspend the strike for 48 hours.

“The demands were the issue of allowances. There’s an issue of academic records, also December allowances because the year has been extended. We have given them a few hours to come and solve their issues. So we suspended the strike so that they can come and deliver the issues. We have given them 48 hours to come back here. We only need implementation, we are not going to vacate the campus the reason being we have students that are from far.”

Students are concerned that management has ordered them to vacate campus instead of resolving their problems. Musa Machete says the management has already turned off the water on campus.

“They are giving students 24 hours to vacate the campus which does not make sense because online learning has never helped students at the University of Venda. Online learning has been a crisis because some of the students are staying far where there’s no network. Even though they have data but the network is not connecting. Now they say we must still vacate in 24 hours. What about the students who stay in KwaZulu-Natal, where are they going to get money for transportation in that 24 hours and I don’t see the use for students to vacate the campus.”

University spokesperson Dr Takalani Dzaga says management ordered that students leave the campus because they were violent. Dzaga says they have responded to the students’ memorandum.

“Among the issue that was contained in the memorandum was the issue of payment of NSFAS allowances and to date a number of students are continuing to receive their allowances and there also instances that you will find that some students are receiving double payment and these are issues that are easily resolved by our financial aid section.”

The SRC says more than 1000 students have not yet received their NSFAS allowances.