However, UP issued an official statement on 14 February offering a contrasting view of events. It stated how the university and the Temporary Student Committee engaged with the students who had claimed to be without accommodation and offered accommodation to all the students, which they refused. The statement further explains that the university “since discovered that out of the group of ten students, four were already placed in residences, three of them were not students and one had outstanding financial issues”. The university states that it was able to find accommodation for the other two students. Some of UP’s key criteria for residence admission is academic eligibility, academic achievement, financial need and year of study with preference given to first years. “The university is committed to and will do everything in its control to ensure that, within the limits of space available in our official residences, eligible students are assisted to find accommodation,” the statement concludes.
According to TSC Chairperson Henrico Barnard, the TSC has been dealing with cases of accommodations since the beginning of the year. Barnard says that the #UPResCrisis is a case of the EFF using the university as a political playground. He further added that such actions cause legitimate cases of students needing accommodation to loose credibility. Barnard further added that the TSC, in collaboration with UP, have above and beyond placing students in residences, acquired an additional 420 beds for students needing accommodation. This accommodation has been made available to students who have been provisionally accepted for NSFAS funding, regardless of whether they have received such funding as of yet. UP and the TSC has since entered into agreements with Hatfield Studios, as well as several other private accommodation residences, to provide student accommodation. UP has undertaken to pay the accommodation fees for February and March for all students living at these residences, until such a time NSFAS was able to fund these students. Barnard also added that the TSC saw a need to revisit the current UP residence placement policy and that it is currently under revision. Barnard explained that to date, there has not been a single student who qualified for residences placement which has not been placed.
Barnard explained that an additional 50 beds were also made available for director’s placements. These beds are available to those students who are financially or academically excluded.