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University Students Allegedly Evicted From Residences

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University of the Western Cape students allege to have been evicted from the university’s residences. Now, the University’s spokesperson has given the University’s side of the story.

The University of Western Cape (UWC) has shut down its student residences as part of its Covid-19 measures, preparing the 2022 academic year prior to students, UWC employees, and contractors accessing the facilities next year.

UWC posted a statement which said:

The health and safety of staff and students is of paramount importance to the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Therefore, an approach of integrated Covid-19 planning and implementation has been taken. In line with this, the decision of the UWC Covid Regulation Task Team was that all UWC residences would be closed from the 17th of December 2021.

Students have however said that they were ‘blindsided by the decision’. On these allegations, the university maintains that communication was regular, even at a micro-level.

50 out of 2500 students complied with the directive, said UWC’s spokesperson, Gasant Abarder.

The task team circulated a notice on 2 December 2021 informing the students and campus community of the need for residences to be vacated. There are a few exceptional cases where access will be provided for use of laboratories only.

The UWC spokesperson said the health and safety of students are of paramount importance.

SA Students’ Congress (Sasco) provincial chairperson, Mangaliso Nompula, said the university allowed students who have pressing circumstances to stay on its residences on the usual/traditional vacation periods in June and December.

“What happened this year was that vacation communication was not given to students for some odd reason,” Nompula said.

Abarder insisted that there were no evictions and a process was followed for residences to be vacated as part of the preparations for policy implementation in January.

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