Work break for students

2016-09-09 08:42
A UKZN student tries to convince police to let them continue with an intended march against alleged police brutality on Thursday.

A UKZN student tries to convince police to let them continue with an intended march against alleged police brutality on Thursday. (Sabelo Nsele)

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While her fellow students continued with their protests for a zero percent fee increment in 2017, Zanele Mthethwa packed her bags and left for her home village in Empangeni.

It is not because the University of KZN Pietermaritzburg campus student does not support the call made by her fellow students, she said.

With the university closing early for the September recess after student protests broke out, Mthethwa said she was provided with a chance to look for a holiday job in her home town.

“As much as I would love to stick it out here with other students, I need to be home where I can get a job,” she said.

Mthethwa said she was studying through the National Students Financial Aid Scheme, but needed money to buy cosmetics and other items.

“Every chance I get, I make the most of it. Sometimes I feel like a sell-out when I have to leave other students fighting, but I have no choice.”

Mthethwa said her father, who works in Gauteng, does not earn enough to support her siblings and pay her university fees.

On Thursday, it was not only Mthethwa who was leaving her university residence and heading home.

A student from Ixopo, who asked not to be named, said he was going to help in his family’s spaza shop.

“The spaza shop does not make that much, so my parents and my siblings have to take turns in working at the shop.

“I have to play my part as well because the bulk of the profit goes towards my tertiary education,” said the student.

He said the fees were expensive to pay as they stood, and any increment would mean many students would not be able to return next year.

“Right now we are getting reminders about the money we are owing the university, and it is difficult to pay it.

“Should there be an increase, I will just stick to the family business or go and look for a job, because I will not be able to afford it,” said the student.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande is expected to make an announcement on the varsity fees increment later this month.

Read more on:    pietermaritzbrug  |  ukzn students

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