First year students left ‘homeless’
Mar 9th, 2018 Okuhle Hlati 461 Views
Cape Town – A group of students attempted to disrupt classes at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology(CPUT) Cape Town Campus Wednesday morning, after complaining about lack of accommodation.
The students claim they have been “homeless” since February and their cries have landed on deaf ears.The past nights have been the most uncomfortable they have ever experienced.
“When I was back home in Eastern Cape I was told I have a place to stay, but when I arrived last month I was told I am on a waiting list.We were not going to have a problem to be on a waiting list and be given a temporary place to stay. The conditions we are living under are bad, we have to use our luggage as a pillows,there a few mattresses so some sleep on chairs while others sleep on the bare floor,” said a first year student Xolani Menqe.
With tears in his eyes Xolani said his family called to check up on him and he had lied to them as his father is currently sick and doesn’t want to stress him.
When Cape Times went to the PASMA offices where the students were sleeping on Tuesday night, some students were guarding their suitcases and small blankets.Others said they haven’t bathed for two days and those who do use sinks at toilets.
CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said every year accommodation was a problem but the institution was making serious efforts to place students in acceptable residences.
“Amid the national crisis of student accommodation, the Residences Department is tirelessly working on finding ways to assist students, where possible.
The supply of student accommodation is significantly outweighed by the demand thereof and we are working on finding some solutions to ease the pressures associated with this crisis.
We have at least 9 000 beds available for the year 2018 in our owned and leased residences. We have managed to accommodate at least 1 800 first year students out of the 9 000 beds available. We however still have a significant number of students on waiting lists due to the crisis we are faced with at present, Kansley said.