By Thys Khiba
Johannesburg – The Economic Freedom Fighters has sent their message of solidarity and strength to all student and staff members who have been affected by a blaze on the Table Mountain that has also affected the University of Cape Town library.
This is after firefighters were battling to contain a blaze on Table Mountain which has spread to the University of Cape Town, burning the historic campus library and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students.
“We send our solidarity and strength to all student and staff members who have been affected by the fires, and encourage the institution to ensure that all stakeholders are catered for in terms of housing, food and all necessary amenities,” said EEF Spokesperson Vuyani Pambo.
EFF says that they have noted particularly the tragic burning of the Jagger Library. “…a critical site of archival knowledge, history and literature which has been turned into ashes.”
Pambo says that this particular experience should be a sign to other institutions of higher learning to digitise archives and essential text.
Furthermore, the EFF has called for the City of Cape Town and National Government to speedily rebuild the infrastructure and make that the academic program at UCT is not adversely affected by this natural disaster.
“The leadership of the Student Representative Council must ensure that no one has their academics hampered by this crisis and relevant concessions must be granted as students try and reorganise their lives and remain safe,” said Pambo.
“No classes, tutorials, laboratory work or tests will take place on Monday, 19 April or Tuesday, 20 April. We will assess the situation and provide further updates before midday on Tuesday,” said UCT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng.
The University of Cape Town has also confirmed that for safety reasons, their campus will be locked down and no one, except for emergency services will be allowed to enter. Professor Phakeng has also confirmed that food and temporary accommodation have been arranged for all the students who had to be evacuated earlier yesterday.
“The necessary arrangements have also been made to accommodate our Muslim students. Food will be prepared at Old Mutual’s offices in Pinelands, Cape Town.” It is also confirmed by the Vice-Chancellor that food will be distributed to the locations where they are accommodating their students.