Beds are burning: UKZN students protest housing conditions with fire

Beds are burning: UKZN students protest housing conditions with fire

- University of Kwa-Zulu Natal students at a university residence in Durban recently set fire to their mattresses in protest of their living conditions

- The students explained that many parts of the residence are out-dated and broken, including the lifts and refrigerators

- The Student Representative Council president of the institution explained that the university seemed to not take notice of complaints unless the students damaged property

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Students studying at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) resorted to setting their mattresses on fire in order to protest the living conditions at one of the institution’s housing residences.

The residence in particular, called San Sabil, houses 200 students, according to GroundUp.

UKZN Student Representative Council (SRC) President Mkhanyisi Myende explained that the conditions at the residence were unacceptable.

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“The beds that the students are using … the bases are made of steel; the mattresses are very old. This makes it very uncomfortable and unbearable for students to sleep.”

Myende went on to outline some of the other pressing problems that the students are experiencing with the housing, including old, small cupboards, unreliable Wi-Fi and broken lifts.

Briefly.co.za found out that, on top of this, students have complained that their food will often rot, due to the residence’s faulty refrigerators.

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Myende made it clear that the SRC does not encourage the destruction of university property, but said he understood the modus operandi of the students, as the university seemed to turn a blind eye unless students acted destructively.

“About two weeks ago, students from a neighbouring residence, Bedford Hall, burnt several beds after seeing that the university was not attending to their complaint. Soon after the damaging of beds, the complaint was attended to,” Myende explained.

The students blocked the road outside of San Sabil residence with burning bins and mattress and were subsequently dispersed by the police.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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