Disarray over accommodation at NMMU
Students at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape are complaining that the university did not make enough provision for accommodation for the January examination process‚ resulting in administrative chaos.
Students are also unhappy with having to write their exams at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
“We were told to come on the 6th of January and promised accommodation will be provided for us. When I arrived I was told to sort myself out with accommodation‚ it was a mess. And as a result‚ some students slept outside the off-campus housing office and some had to squat in rooms.
“I had to pay the accommodation fee for January‚ even though I had not budgeted to spend my money on this‚ it was for my groceries‚” a house committee member of the Xanadu residence who did not want to be named said.
According to Zane Nkosiyoxolo Mncam‚ NMMU EFF Chairperson‚ the university is doing its best to resolve the issue.
“There is a confusion and chaos in the campus as a result of a mix up with accommodation. We are currently dealing with the issue. Another factor is that there are campus political factions that give their members preference in terms of playing for accommodation.
“Students were given an option to write in either December or January re-examinations sessions. The university provided free accommodation to the December group and the January group had to pay a certain accommodation fee. This resulted in the dissatisfaction among students.” Azola Mboniswa‚ NMMU DASO Chairperson said.
There are a lot of issues students are battling with‚ including using the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium as an examination venue. A student who asked to remain anonymous told TMG Digital: “We are not happy with the setting because we don’t have access to the shuttle services from where we stay. The stadium is uncomfortable as well as having to write in January. At first I was fired up over Fees Must Fall‚ right now I am giving in.
“From the beginning of Fees Must Fall‚ an agreement was made between the University‚ SRC‚ and the NMBMM (Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality). To find an alternative examination venue‚ the municipality made the stadium available for the proceedings. There is a shuttle service provided for both the morning and afternoon exam sessions‚” said Mboniswa.
“NMMU (PE and George) residences were scheduled to open for students returning for the January exams on Friday‚ January 6‚ but students were allowed to start moving in from January 4‚ provided they could prove that they are indeed writing exams in the January exam period. We are not aware of students being stranded.
“The stadium is merely being used as a venue for exams‚ as was the case last year‚” said Zandile Mbabela‚ NMMU’s media manager.