Protesting Wits students score minor victories

2009-09-16 15:33

WITS University students scored three minor victories after three

rounds of negotiations with university management.

However, after three days of class disruptions and general chaos at

the university’s main campus, the Progressive Youth Alliance still hit a

brickwall on the main issue which is the 2010 fee increase.

The university announced that fees would increase at an average of

nine to 15%.

After three rounds of negotiations former Wits SRC treasurer and

chief negotiator, Themba Masondo, reported back to 300 protesting students

gathered in the university’s senate house.

He said agreements had been reached on “certain elements” of their

demands, but they were still on loggerheads on two issues, including the main

one of fees increase.

“Management is still continuing with their arrogant attitude when

it comes to fee increase. They just want their plan to remain intact,” Masondo


Before returning to the last round at the negotiating table with

management, he said they had agreed on:

*students living allowances which will be increased from R1500 to

R2000 per quarter to including allocations to subsume all academic financial

liabilities such as lecture notes, tutorials and printing.

*setting up a committee to investigate the university’s student fee


*an investigation of the university’s service providers and

contractors’ pricing system as well as the restructuring of the currently

ineffective bus system.

Masondo described the setting up of an investigating committee as

progressive, because it will include student representatives.

He also informed students that management refused to budge on their

demand for the resignation of the university’s vice chancellor Professor Loyiso


University spokesperson Shirona Patel could not be reached for

comment on the agreement.

However, earlier she said the university was obliged to call the

police on campus as the students once again disrupted lectures“ order to

protect students and staff who wish to continue with their academic and other

university activities”.

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