DURBAN: Some roads in the South Beach area of the Durban CBD were closed earlier on Tuesday after university students from a student residence protested over a range of issues including the state of their accommodation.
When The Mercury arrived at the scene, students living in the student residence on Mahatma Gandhi Road could be seen throwing bottles on the road and there was also a burnt mattress next to the residence’s entrance.
It is understood that students from the Mangosuthu University of Technology and University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) live at the residence, but it could not be established whether both student groups were aggrieved.
However students standing outside the residence who said they were from UKZN wanted the university to fix their issues, but refused to give more details.
A Student Representative Council member from UKZN who was at the scene, Gift Phewa, said the students were not happy with the maintenance of the residence.
“Everything is online because of the pandemic. Students complained about the WiFinot working properly and the university kept saying it would be fixed after 2 weeks, but till this day it has not been fixed,” he said.
“The doors in this residence are not functional, which is not safe for students. Security is also a problem in this building,” he said.
He also mentioned that the university has allowed visits at other residences, but visits were still not allowed at this residence .
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a group of 80 students embarked on a protest action in the Point area on Tuesday morning.
“The students blockaded the entrance of Seapoint Towers in Point with burning tyres. The situation is quiet; police are at the scene to monitor and stabilise the situation,” she said.
UKZN confirmed that it was aware of the protest and said that the residence was leased. It said it would engage with the students and the landlords to find solutions to the complaints.