July 20, 2024

Classes To Resume Again At Cedara College

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Work on the renovations had stalled after some issues between the department and the contractor.

FILE PHOTO: Containers where students are expected to sleep in while renovations are being dine at the Cedara College. PICTURE: Lerato Mnguni/The Republic Mail

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PIETERMARITZBURG: Over 100 students were chased out on the night of May 23, and the college was closed.

Teaching and learning is expected to resume again on Wednesday at Cedara College of Agriculture, just outside Pietermaritzburg after it was closed for two weeks following a students protest.

This was confirmed by the Department of Agriculture spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Vusi Zuma, following a parent’s meeting that was held over the weekend. The students also got an opportunity to raise their grievances to the Department Head of the Department, Mr Zibusiso Dlamini.

Over 100 students were chased out on the night of May 23, and the college was closed. The order allegedly came from  MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Supa Zuma, who accused the students of misbehaving during a worker’s month commemoration event, which took place at the Cedara sportsfield.

Some of the students spent hours on the streets waiting for their parents to pick them up, while others were taken in by residents who live near the college. The students have since been sitting at home not attending classes.

Mr Zuma said the college will reopen for academic activities tomorrow (Wednesday) and students are expected to return to residence on today (Tuesday). He said the department has also revised its academic calendar to accommodate what has transpired.

“The Department has established a task team to work to address the issues that have been raised. Parents were advised that some issues, such as the completion of the renovation of the residence will take longer as the Department is working with Public Works to finalise the contractor situation.

“The department has established a task team to work on the issues that have been raised. Parents were advised that some issues, such as the completion of the renovation of the residence will take longer as the department is working with Public Works to iron out and finalise the contractor situation. But issues within the control of the department are being addressed.”

“We will provide regular reports to students through the SRC and parents. The task team is working according to the resolutions and timelines set out in the meeting. The HOD will also meet with the SRC members on Wednesday,” he said.

Work on the renovations had stalled after some issues between the department and the contractor. Mr Zuma said the non-academic events, rugby and volleyball will continue as planned.

The students had embarked on the protest over the state of the college due to renovations that have been halted for about three years as well as the living conditions that they are living under.

They claimed that about 80 male students are staying in mobile units and are sharing five bathrooms. Speaking to The Republic Mail, students said they moved to mobile units about three years ago when the college was doing renovations, but the renovations have not yet been completed.

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