At Mangosuthu University of Technology, students have said that they have not received any of the data or laptops that were promised to them. This would mean that while other Universities have started their second semester online, MUT students haven't even been able to continue with their first semester and are then way behind with their work.
A student at MUT said, "Since the announcement of Dr B Nzimande about the procurement of Data and Laptops, we haven't received any of these materials since then and we are forced to study online" and believes that what MUT students are experiencing is the "peak of corruption".
Deans at the University has said, “Printing of material is a challenge and that is being attended to. The idea is to ensure that those students without the gadgets are able to receive learning material as well". However, students do not feel that the institution is supporting them at the same time that we are well into the lockdown.
Students have asked the South African Union of Students (SAUS) to step in and make changes. They have responded and said that the concerns are receiving urgent attention and have written a letter to Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimade, that gives him 7 working days to dissolve MUT’s Council.
"All they do is promise us nothing but lies. Even on campus there are few numbers of visible staff members, everything is a mess in our institution", complained a student.
The residences are said to not have a good WiFi connection but students say they are told to do tasks, submit assignments and do online learning but without that and no data provided by MUT, students are not able to do so.
Another MUT student said, "still to date, there is not even 1 student that has received any laptop or dara from the institution, on top of that we were given a link to participate in a questionnaire where we found ourselves having to forcefully agree to paying for the laptops the school is to provide even if you are NSFAS funded even after the Minister of Higher Education clearly stated that NSFAS funded students will be catered for"".
In discussing this issue, SAUS has said that this is not only a problem at MUT but also at other disadvantaged institutions while online learning is continuing without concern or regard for those being left behind.
Classes have resumed at the University as 33% of the student body is allowed back. The last set of this group of students, according to Minister Nzimande, were set to return by 17 July. However, the question of how students at home are supported is then posed.