SAUS accuses Higher Education Department of failing to solve registration challenges

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The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has accused the Department of Higher Education of failing to provide adequate solutions to recent registration problems faced by students.

This as students across the country plan to continue protesting against financial exclusion in the 2021 academic year.

Student Representative Council (SRC) members from 26 universities met in Pretoria on Saturday to discuss the way forward.

The department says first-year and continuing students, who have already qualified for NSFAS funding, are able to register at tertiary institutions.

“The responses that were provided by the deputy minister of higher education in the meeting are not satisfactory and student leaders have rejected those responses as they are not assisting. They explained the process instead of giving solutions. They are unpacking the problem instead of coming up with a tangible idea of how to resolve the problems,” says Misheck Mugabe, SAUS’ President.

Discussion on student protests against financial exclusion with the South African Union of Students (SAUS):

Court judgment on Unisa

Meanwhile, Minister Nzimande says he’s yet to receive the High Court judgment that set aside his instruction to the University of South Africa (Unisa) to cap student numbers.

Nzimande wanted the institution to reduce the intake of first-year students by 20 000.

Judge Mamoloko Kubushi issued her judgment on Thursday, setting aside Nzimande’s instruction to the university.

Nzimande’s Spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi says the minister will only comment after obtaining legal advice on the matter.

“The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande is yet to study the judgment and consult the departmental legal team on Unisa enrolment plans. It is at that point when the minister will be able to respond to the judgment and its implications to post-school education and training sector. For now, the minister requests the public and all stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the enrolment plans agreements that the Department of Higher Education and Training entered with universities and the response provided by the Unisa council on the matter,” says Mnisi.

Minister of Higher Education briefs media on tertiary education funding post-cabinet meeting:

National shutdown

Student body, Sasco, has called for a national shutdown of all institutions of higher learning tomorrow. This is part of the student’s ongoing protest over the financial exclusion of students.   

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) also warned of a national shutdown. They say Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande failed to respond to their memorandum who’s deadline was at 5pm on Friday.  

In the memorandum, they had outlined a list of student’s demands including clearing of historical debt for all students, that registration for all first-year students be allowed to proceed, while the government is still sorting out the funding challenges.   

They also want a 0% increase for the 2021 academic year.  

Sasco President Bamanye Matiwane says it’s all systems go for the national shutdown.

As from tomorrow, we have delegated all our soldiers to the ground. They have a responsibility to close all campuses. The demands are clear no student must pay any registration money, NSFAS must give students their allowances. The government must clear all student debt. We are expecting every campus that is open that it must be closed.