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DUT Student Unrest Update Media Statement

DUT Student Unrest Update Media Statement

DUT STUDENT UNREST UPDATE MEDIA STATEMENT

Media Statement by Nomonde Mbadi: Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications

The Management of the Durban University of Technology closed the university from today, Monday 4 February 2008 until Friday 8 February due to the imminent danger to lives and damage to property. The situation got very volatile and violent. Striking students damaged windows and cars and in the Midlands campus burnt tyres.

During this closure, management will attempt to find solutions to the current problems and trusting that the South African Police Services will be able to assist in ensuring that should the situation arise again it is contained.

The current student debt at DUT as at 2007 stands at R175 million. In January 2008, fees outstanding for 2007 alone is R72million. This situation is unsustainable and the university cannot continue to roll over student debt as they do not honour the acknowledgment of debt forms that they sign.

The Protection Services of DUT is conducting an investigation into today’s protest and will make recommendations to our Legal Services Department to take action against any disruptive students.

The means test is a national requirement by NSFAS. In the previous years DUT was not using the means test but in the last few years has applied it.

The concessions made by management are the following:

The VC has, however, agreed and is committed to assisting academically successful students to re-register in the following ways:

Amount owing: Amount payable:
Below R1000 Full amount of outstanding balance at registration
From R1001 to R5 000 A minimum of R1000 plus 40% of outstanding balance at registration
From R5001 to R10 000 A minimum of R2600 plus 30% of the outstanding balance at registration
From R10 001 and above A minimum of R4820 plus 20% of the outstanding balance at registration
These students will be required to submit an acknowledgment of debt form, signed by a surety, in respect of the remaining balance, which must be settled before 30 June 2008. This recommendation must serve before Council.

End.

Issued by Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer