Sasco warns it will shut KZN campuses for fee protests

2015-10-21 08:47
Riot police and security guards confront students during protests at UKZN’s Westville campus in Durban

Riot police and security guards confront students during protests at UKZN’s Westville campus in Durban (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal SA Congress of Students (Sasco) has warned of a total shutdown of three major tertiary institutions in the province on Wednesday.

Provincial Sasco secretary Phinda Mofokeng said University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) and University of Zululand (Unizulu) would be brought to a standstill today.

Today’s intended protest follows the nationwide fee increment protests that have exploded into a shut-down at university campuses across the country.

The protests, under the banner of Fees Must Fall, started at Wits University and have spread to Rhodes‚ University of Cape Town and Pretoria University.

Although UKZN spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka told The Witness that they have not decided on whether to increase fees for next year, Mofokeng said the university had proposed a fee increment.

Mofokeng said they no longer want the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

“It is no longer serving any purposes. When [Finance Minister Nhanhla] Nene delivers his budget speech and says the education budget has been increased, these universities automatically increased their fees. So NSFAS has become useless,” he said.

Mofokeng, who played a major role in the recent student protests at UKZN, said it was becoming clear now that their protest was justified.

The ANC Youth League in the province has also thrown its weight behind the protesting students.

“We are of the view that the student protests throughout the country over fee hikes are legitimate,” said provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabela.

“The Youth League was fully behind the ‘Fees Must Fall’ campaign and would engage its progressive allies, Sasco and the Congress of South African Students [Cosas], to ensure that fee hikes are rejected,” said Sabela.

Although tertiary institutions such as Durban University of Technology and UKZN have said that they have not decided on their 2016 tuition fee increases, Sabela said they have been told of some KZN higher education institutions’ intention to increase fees.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  student protests

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