Wits students protest against poor conditions in residence

Wits University's Student Representative Council (SRC) says the poor living conditions at some campus residences show vice chancellor Adam Habib's disregard for the well-being of students.

Students from the University of the Witwatersrand's Yale Village residence barricaded the Empire Road Entrance to the main campus on Thursday morning. According to students, the cost for accommodation at the res is over R52 000.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel explained that the protest was over a new residence called Yale Village in Braamfontein.

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According to the SRC, earlier this year students were moved from Wits residences which was closed down and moved to new locations. The protest is peaceful although a tyre has been burnt, causing smoke at the entrance.

Among the issues raised were limited wi-fi‚ insufficient cleaning services for the number of students, and safety. The student says they have been engaging with Wits and that the university has been playing the blame game.

"The academic program continues as usual".

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"We have no WiFi‚ cleaning services‚ transport to campus at night". They claim that when issues were raised with the university‚ they were sent from pillar to post. "They have asked to hand over a memorandum to management", she said in a statement. Vehicles in the university were diverted by police onto Yale Road towards to the Jorissen Street exit.

The students are expected to hand over a memorandum to the Dean of Students.

Police are on standby and private security are also keeping an eye on the situation.

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Students handed over the memorandum of demands to Chief Operating Officer, Fani Sibanyoni and said the university had until the end of the day to respond to their demands. Issues are being addressed by the Dean of Students, and other senior managers at Wits.

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