During the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) second annual State of the University Address recently, Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Thandwa Mthembu announced that a budget has been allocated for priority projects that will improve access for individuals with disabilities in 2020.
Students at DUT have ranging disabilities, which include those of a physical or sensory nature, as well as those with specific learning disabilities. These individuals often encounter difficulties with transportation and academic friendly venues, amongst other issues.
Business Administrative student, Sibongiseni Mgomezulu from Riverside Campus said that he thinks the biggest challenge students face is issues regarding transportation.
“Sometimes we have to arrange transportation to come to our classes. It would be nice to have a seven seater bus that could provide us with transportation,” said Mgomezulu.
In addition to this, students with disabilities have also called for improved infrastructure. Higher Certificate in Public Administration student, Sibabalwe Boyce said that accommodation and classrooms are not always user-friendly for them.
“She added that DUT should look at making revisions to accommodate students with disabilities because it became difficult at times for students to climb the steps.
Prof Mthembu said that the university would be allocating a budget of R303 million to spend on student housing, deferred maintenance and priority projects like improved access for differently abled students.
“We are determined to renovate all our university-owned residences by June 2020, with that process having started in October 2019 already. I hope our students will bear with us as we make our residences state of the art,” said Prof Mthembu.
Furthermore, Prof Mthembu said that Open House, some of the student services units and nursing education will be renovated at a cost of R34 million.
Pictured: Business Administrative student, Sibongiseni Mgomezulu and Higher Certificate in Public Administration student Sibabalwe Boyce.