Target: Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal
Goal: Provide students permanent housing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and put an end to protests
More than 500 students in Durban, South Africa were forced to leave their university-provided housing for accommodations that students claim are “unsafe” and dangerous. Students were forced onto the streets when a hotel needed the students’ rooms, and began to protest at the University this month for better accommodation. The University of KwaZulu-Natal has not fulfilled agreements with students and has deceived the press that the issue is under control. Due to the University’s unsatisfactory response, protests have now erupted into violence. The University must immediately find a permanent housing solution for students and stop the spread of violence.
After students were forced out of their university housing – when the landlord allegedly failed to pay the service bill and students were left without light and water – the university put them up at various hotels around the city. Students reported drinking, drugs and prostitution taking place. Some were housed in the Down Town Lodge, the owner of which is currently accused of running a brothel from the premises. The students demand permanent accommodation and have been largely ignored by university officials.
Protests recently brought classes to a standstill as riot police were brought in to control protesting students and restore calm. This came after lectures were disrupted and a student was hit on the head with a brick. Four protesting students were arrested after clashes with police and security guards at the University. The African National Congress has urged the university to immediately look into the issue to find a solution and make sure that this never happens again. The University still has yet to propose a solution.
Dear Chancellor Zweli Mkhize and Vice Chancellor Malegapuru William Makgoba,
The student protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal have recently gotten out of control and the issue must be addressed immediately before more violence occurs. It is unacceptable for an institution of higher learning to put its students at risk by not providing them with secure accommodations. In this case, students were exposed to drugs and prostitution and eventually left without anywhere to stay.
The students are justified in their grievances however violent protests must be avoided at all costs. The University must stop giving false promises and find a solution to provide the students with permanent housing before violence erupts further.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Yandi via Wikimedia Commons