The United Democratic Movement notes with concern the vulnerability of students who resides in private accommodations that are not part of the university’s residences and it supports the initiative of students for embarking on a protest demonstration.
The students opt to lodge or stay at private accommodation because the university is failing to provide with them adequate accommodation in its residences. They do not have a choice but for them to be near the campus, they have to look for accommodation where ever they can find refuge. In most cases, this scenario compromises their safety.
What is more disturbing, these attacks to students by thugs have been going on for decades now, yet, the University has failed to come up with a lasting solution. Other than being attacked, students are being robbed of their belongings while attending lectures at day broad light.
The UDM is of the view that the University must come closer to the owners of these properties which are being used by the students and form partnership with them which will among other things ensure that students are always in a safe environment. The University must take full responsibility of the safety of the students irrespective whether they stay inside or outside campus. One of the options that the university may be required to do, is to assess and check whether these properties are fit for habitation of the students.
The Management of the University of Zululand cannot abdicate from its obligation of taking care of the welfare of the students.
The UDM calls on Vice Chancellor Mrs Xoliswa Mtose to attend to this matter promptly. Parents are sending their children to school for a better future, only to return home heartbroken or dead.
Mr Bongani Msomi
UDM Secretary General