Calm returns to varsities in Pretoria

2015-11-02 11:49
Students at the University of Pretoria during the #FeesMustFall protests. (Impi Isesendeni, Twitter)

Students at the University of Pretoria during the #FeesMustFall protests. (Impi Isesendeni, Twitter)

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Pretoria - Life is slowly returning to normal at Pretoria institutions of higher learning as students prepare for their final examinations.

Both the University of Pretoria and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), which have seen student protests forcing the closure of campuses in recent weeks, re-opened today. TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said all campuses were operating normally.

“It’s quiet and calm at all our campuses and students are back in class,” she said.

University of Pretoria spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer said students were back on campus and there were no incidents or scenes of protest action.

“Everything is back to normal. Exams are starting on November 16 and the revised examination schedule is being distributed to the students,” she said. 

Spokesperson for @TuksUPrising Tumelo Rasebopye confirmed academic activities were back to normal.

Universities nationally have been rocked by protests as students fought against fee increases. Their fight culminated in chaotic scenes at the Union Buildings where thousands of students converged to protest against the proposed hikes for 2016.

The day saw students clashing with police and teargas and stun grenades used to disperse the crowd. The fence on the lawns of the Union Buildings was damaged in the process. University management and President Jacob Zuma met on the day and conceded to the demands of the students of a 0% increase in 2016.

Student debt

De Ruyter said TUT management would continue meeting student leaders to discuss matters affecting the students. She said the meetings would be tailored around their examination timetables.

Soshanguve campus student representative council (SRC) president Bernard Sekgobela said their meetings would seek to find a solution to the issue of students' debt.

"We will also be discussing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), bursaries at the university and students being handed over to debt collectors," he said.

Meanwhile, TUT management on October 29 obtained a court interdict preventing disruptive or riotous behaviour infringing on the rights of any staff member, student or visitors.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  education  |  university fees

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