Tuks SRC takes to the streets to beg for help for students

2017-03-09 12:03
University of Pretoria SRC deputy chair Thabo Shingange begged for money to help fellow students. (Lizeka Tandwa/News24)

University of Pretoria SRC deputy chair Thabo Shingange begged for money to help fellow students. (Lizeka Tandwa/News24)

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Pretoria – The student movement has turned a new page at the University of Pretoria, with its Student Representative Council (SRC) taking to the streets on Thursday to beg for funds to help those with historic debt.

Student leaders from all races dressed in their student blazers and stood in the middle of Lynnwood Street to raise money for their peers.

Interim SRC deputy chairperson Thabo Shingange said they had decided to change the narrative of the Fees Must Fall movement.

"The idea of today forms part and parcel with a broader fundraising drive, the UP SRC fund. The aim of this particular fund is to raise awareness of the funding crisis in institutions of higher learning.

"Student Representative Councils across the country are given budgets which are not [enough]... to assist the amount of students coming forward."

Shingange said they found that, in the South African context, they needed to beg on the street for the country to understand the severity of the student funding crisis.

Here for the 'missing middle'

"We realised that a lot of students are being vilified for going the protest route. We decided today to change the approach. We are taking to the streets not to shut down campus and disrupt traffic. We are here to beg for the missing middle."

Shingange and several other students held out cups, asking commuters for as little as R10 to help.

Some commuters chatted with the students while waiting in traffic, while others gave money. Some motorists left, promising to return with something.

Students on their way to university also made small contributions.

"We have about 120 students who have not registered in our database, who owe approximately R4.5m and cannot register until they pay their historic debt."

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Shingange said the SRC was in talks with private companies, in the hope of raising the desired R10m.

'Spirit of ubuntu'

"This forms part and parcel of a broader fundraising drive," he added.

Interim SRC member Cara-Lee Compton said the fund drive had also brought back the "spirit of ubuntu" at the institution.

She told News24 that students were also donating money in boxes which had been placed around the campus.

"I hope it spreads a positive word of what we are trying to do for students. It shouldn't be a university problem or a Department of Higher Education problem. It should be the whole community coming together to help with what we can. We are trying to initiate the spirit of ubuntu.

"We have ubuntu boxes around the school where students can give whatever they can. It’s a movement where everyone can help," she said.

The SRC fund was established last year during the student protests.

Students started begging on the streets at 07:00 and left after 09:00 to attend classes.

Read more on:    up  |  pretoria  |  university fees

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