UCT approves proposal for all students with historic debt to be allowed to register

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Council has approved a proposal by the executive for all students with historic debt to be allowed to register for the 2021 academic year.   

Council also resolved that UCT will make every effort to support students in the process of servicing their debt. R30 million has been made available to support criterion-based debt appeals for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.  

UCT Spokesperson, Elijah Moholola says the council has also noted with concern the disturbing events unfolding at universities around the country and the heightened tense atmosphere on some campuses. 

UCT students stand in solidarity with protesting Wits students:

The student body, Sasco, has called for a national shutdown of all institutions of higher learning on Monday. 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 whose 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.

MeanwhileUCT has sought to clarify claims that a student who qualified for admission into the Faculty of Health Sciences wasn’t accepted to study at the institution.  

Moholola says the applicant received an offer from the university but did not accept it.  

The student was one of the Western Cape’s top achievers in the Class of 2020. His results were posted on social media with an accompanying acceptance letter from the university.  

Moholola says the faculty will review its systems after a generic email was sent to all applicants on its waiting list. 

“He was contacted telephonically by a senior professor in the faculty, as part of an effort to recruit talented applicants, on Wednesday, 24 February, a day after releasing of the matric results. During this conversation, he indicated verbally that he would not be taking up the UCT offer as he had accepted an offer to study at another university.”