The University Management condemns in the strongest sense the violence and criminal acts of the students during protest action of the last few days. This includes the stealing of computer equipment, the burning of vehicles and buildings as well as the fact that students started these activities in the middle of the night which clearly indicates that the intention was not peaceful protest and open rational dialogue.
The damage to property is serious at first glance and the University is assessing the conditions to determine what needs to be done to repair damages sufficiently for teaching and learning activities to resume. The teaching and learning activities at the University will remain suspended until further notice. During this period no students are allowed on the campuses. A teaching and learning recovery plan will be implemented after approval by Senate.
Students identified as being involved in criminal activities as well as students that misled other students and instigated the criminal activities will be held accountable for the damages that the University suffered. The University is currently analysing video and other evidence to identify the perpetrators. Anyone with information about any criminal activity are requested to contact the Whistleblowers anonymously on 031 308 0500 or 083 254 2011, email email@example.com or by clicking on the link on the University website.
Management distances itself from the so-called “reason for the strike” being that meal allowances were still due to students. The University previously communicated that meal and transport allowances will be finalised after registration and residence placement are finalised and will be disbursed soon thereafter. R5 000 was paid to students earlier than any previous year and students were encouraged to plan their cash flow needs accordingly.
The University was also discussing the policy requirements with regards to allowances with NSFAS and DHET. The NSFAS/DHET policy requires that students with a home address closer than 30km from the University receive book/device allowance capped at R5 000 as well as transport and incidental expenses allowance capped at R10 000. Students with home addresses further than 30km from the University will receive book/device allowance capped at R5 000, meals and incidental expenses allowance capped at R14 400 as well as a rental allowance equal to the actual rental paid by students.
Based on the biographical information supplied by students during registration the calculation is that approximately 1 500 students will fall in the category of having a home address within the 30km radius as specified by the NSFAS guidelines. Therefore, students in this category would qualify for transport and incidental expenses allowance capped at R10 000 per annum or R1 000 per month over 10 months.
Full details about the NSFAS allowances for 2019 can be seen in the new NSFAS guidelines on NSFAS website
Further communication with regards to distribution of allowances will also be published by the University.
Issued on behalf of University of Zululand Management