Students are protesting outside the Western Cape Nursing College in Klipfontein Road, Cape Town, attempting to bar management from entering the premises. Groundup reports the students were demanding increased safety on campus – they said some residences had no running water and claimed there was a lack of library assistants to help students after hours. There is also no longer a shuttle service to take students from the Athlone campus to the Bellville campus.
The report says the nursing college is the hub of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s (CPUT) nursing programme.
Student representative council (SRC) member Bubele Vumindaba, a fourth-year nursing student at the college, said they had raised their concerns on many occasions with the management but to no avail. “We do not feel safe. There are so many random people who enter the premises; people who are not students here. How are they entering? Just last year a body was found in one of the rooms, and till today we do not know what happened and what led to the person’s death. Recently we have also had break-ins. We are unable to sleep because we are scared about what might happen,” Vumindaba is quoted in the report as saying. “We handed over a memorandum to management and in turn we were told that we would be addressed on Monday,” she said.
The student memorandum said that on 19 January there was a break-in at one of the residences. It said security footage showed a man wearing a Santa Claus hat entering the building in the early hours and stealing student belongings. Similar incidents occurred on 2 February and on 7 February. A man was caught by a student roaming around the residence, but he escaped after the student gave chase.
CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley is quoted in the report as saying: “Earlier this week vice-chancellor Dr Chris Nhlapo announced the establishment of a task team to look at residences across CPUT campuses. Athlone campus will be included.”
Nhlapo said regular meetings would be held with student representatives. The task team would focus on residence issues.
The Times reports that at least 10 student nurses were arrested while picketing. Public order police used rubber bullets and stun grenades against more than 100 students who gathered outside the college.
The report says the students blocked the main entrance of the college with desks, then started throwing stones at motorists in Klipfontein Road. They also vandalised and overturned staff cars
CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley is quoted in the report as saying that management from CPUT and the nursing college, including dean of student affairs Prem Coopoo, have been meeting since last week with student leaders