CPUT students protest over lack of facilities at res

Students say they have one microwave, five washing machines and no wi-fi for 1200 of them

CPUT students protest over lack of facilities at res

25 April 2017

Cape Town - Hundreds of CPUT students living at New Market Junction residence in Woodstock were protesting over a lack of proper facilities, and alleged unlawful evictions, on Tuesday.

With smoke puffing out of the courtyard of the residence off Sir Lowry Road, students gathered for a march into the CBD to force the university and the property owners to take their demands seriously.

"We have one microwave oven, five washing machines and no Wi-Fi for 1 200 students," a spokesperson said on condition of anonymity.

The Red Ants, the police and the building's management waited at a distance as they photographed the Cape Peninsula University of Technology students.

"We are tired of sending emails and nothing gets done," said a student.

It cost more than R28 000 a year to live in the residence, with many covered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, said a student.

"The people who live here are mostly poor black people from out of town,'' said the protesting student.

Students said it also cost them R800 a month for parking. They said they were not getting their money's worth. They also claimed that they were prevented from attending classes whenever they started raising issues.

Students are understood to have cut the electricity to prevent being caught protesting on CCTV.

They complained that, when there had been a burglary, the CCTV footage was not used to find the culprits.

One student said that in order to get Wi-Fi, they had to walk outside at night, which was unsafe.

If students were evicted, they would be locked out of their rooms and have to sleep outdoors, with no access to books.

"We do not have the money to get lawyers like the property owners do," said one.

CPUT management said it would respond shortly.