EFF students not interested in national varsity shutdown over fees

Fees must fall protest.
Fees must fall protest.
Iavan Pijoos

Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) has asked its members not to get involved in any attempts to shut down campuses over possible tuition fee hikes.

Universities and students are waiting on Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande to announce adjustments for fees. He was initially meant to make the announcement last week but cancelled at the 11th hour to consult further on the issue.

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has already made calls for a national shutdown of universities in protest against a possible hike.

Two universities in KwaZulu Natal - Mangosuthu University of Technology and a campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal - were closed on Monday due to protests.

In Gauteng a handful of students, joined by high school learners, demonstrated outside of the University of Johannesburg's Doornfontein Campus and were quickly dispersed by police.

Favourable results

EFFSC president Mpho Morolane said members were more focused on the student representative council elections which are currently underway at some universities in the country.

"We have other things to do; we have SRC elections to worry about. We are definitely not going to engage in temporary strikes."

Morolane also questioned the call made by the SAUS, claiming it's only demanding action because it has realised the Higher Education Commission would not produce results in favour of its demands.

"Those people who are summoned to Luthuli House on how to demonstrate over free education are only seeing now that this commission of theirs won't yield positive results. We said from the beginning ours is a struggle for free education," he said.

The EFFSC said it will await Nzimande's announcement before making a decision on the next step in the battle for free education.

"We don't want to pre-empt anything he says, maybe he will announce his resignation and we will celebrate," said Morolane.

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