The situation at universities in KwaZulu-Natal is calm at the moment. This, after violent protests at various campuses on Monday.
The academic programme will remain suspended at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the University of Zululand until further notice.
On Monday, DUT students brought activities on campuses to a standstill and marched to the Durban City Hall to hand over a memorandum of demands to the eThekwini Municipality.
Students have raised issues that include outstanding debt and accommodation.
SAUS won’t call off universities’ shutdown
The South African Student Union (SAUS) says it will not call off the total shut down at universities across the country until outstanding demands are met.
The union reacted to Higher Education minister Naledi Pandor’s response to student strikes at universities.
It’s welcomed most of Pandor’s commitments to resolve the ongoing impasse, but says the fight is not over.
Over 15 institutions of higher learning have been shut down over a slew of unfulfilled demands.
Students barred from registering due to outstanding debts, the biggest contention.
Many say they’re still facing financial exclusion.
Higher Education intervened after a meeting with SRC presidents.
“No NSFAS qualifying student who was registered in 2018, and who has been admitted to a university and meets the academic criteria for continuation should be prevented from registering in 2019 due to outstanding fees,” explains Minister Pandor.
The South African Student Union says it welcomes the minister’s commitment, but students must fight until they are taken seriously.
SAUS president, Misheck Mugabe says, “For now we are saying institutions that are still on protest, issues must be resolved. The minister intervened and said that students that are owing must be allowed to register, but we have universities that are not implementing that.”
SAUS also condemns the destruction of property. It wants the management of Universities to be held accountable for not adhering to agreements.
“Minister you must hold these universities accountable, so that they listen to what we are saying. If you are not able then we can’t trust you. We are saying the minister must deal with the Vice-Chancellor of MUT and dissolve the council and put an administrator; and do the same in Mpumalanga,” Mugabe urges.
And criticism of campus security, after various students were allegedly attacked during protests.