Durban University of Technology closed due to strike

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Durban - The Durban University of Technology (DUT) has closed all its campuses to staff and students due to a strike.

The decision was made by the university's executive management on Tuesday.

Staff and students at the DUT have been involved in strike action since Monday, when staff downed tools demanding a 14.6 percent wage increase. Management is offering 9 percent.

According to the university, staff salary negotiations began in September last year and deadlocked last week.

Students further refused to attend lectures complaining about the lack of student accommodation.

At the Steve Biko Campus on Tuesday security personnel were also attacked with rocks and bottles. Students and staff also allegedly damaged the windows of various buildings and cars parked in the vicinity.

University's Executive Director of Corporate Affairs Nomonde Mbadi said five security staff had to be hospitalised with serious injuries and seven have sustained cuts and bruises.

Non-striking staff and students also sustained injuries due to the violence or intimidation.

Ms Mbadi said the university condemned the acts of violence and intimidation that have characterised the strike action. "The university endeavours to work with the unions and the SRC to find solutions to the current challenges so that DUT can return to normality."

She said the staff members were required to return to work on Thursday and students were required to return to lectures on Monday.

The only students that will be permitted on campus before Monday are those that are housed on the campus residences, Ms Mbadi said.