MUT To Find Solution For Historical Debt

The SRC of Mangosuthu University of Technology has met with the university's management to discuss issues of financial exclusion and historical debt among others. This comes after protests broke out at the university in which students and the police clashed. 

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Students at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) in Durban recently protested for issues surrounding financial exclusion and the clearing of historical debt. 

This resulted in police using water cannons to disperse the crowd and lead to the arrest of one student who was charged with public violence. 

The Chairperson of the SRC Sinalo Thengwa said that the students were asking MUT to allow students who owe outstanding fees to be able to register for the 2021 academic year. 

“One of the issues that made us embark on a mass demonstration is the issue of financial exclusion. 9000 plus [students] at this point are not financially cleared at MUT because they are owing to the institution,” said Thengwa.

These students have still not been financially cleared to register even though the university's academic calendar is expected to resume on Monday 12 April 2021. 

Another issue raised by the SRC is that some of the residences who are leased by external stakeholders are in very poor condition. 

The KwaZulu-Natal MEC Kwazi Mshengu told SABC News that some of the unregistered students are those who are holders of external and NSFAS bursaries. 

"But they are hampered by what is called historical debt and the university has not registered them because it has reminded them that they are owing," said the MEC. 

He says that resolving this issue shouldn't be difficult, as these students are now in position of bursaries. He says that the university should treat these students differently to those who have been at the university but are performing poorly and are still owing. 

Now a committee which comprises of the SRC and members of the Premier's office has been put in place to determine the best way in which the historical debt can be cleared. 

Mshengu says that if this issue is not resolved by 12 April then they have suggested that the university postpones the start of the academic year by a few days, so that the issue can be resolved and the students are able to commence with academics together. 

In terms of the staff protests at the university where they demanded a salary increase of 8%, they will continue to negotiate with the management of the university. 

 

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