The Student Representative Council at Wits University says it might have to engage government regarding returning students who are not allowed to register due to historical debt.

A small group of students have been protesting at the University’s main campus in Johannesburg, demanding that all returning students be allowed to register, despite their historical debt and that they also be provided with accommodation.

Wits management says it can only allow those who owe less than R10 000 to register.

The students initially demanded that every student owing less than R100 000 be allowed to register, but Wits SRC member Solomzi Moleketi now says everyone should register, irrespective of how much they owe.

“No upfront fee should be applicable to students with a household income of less than R600 000. All students must be able to register and move into Wits residences if granted space, despite their historical debt. If this is a conversation that university management can’t handle, we might need to have it with government. But at the same time, we were told that university education is free. How can you incur debt on something that is free. Therefore, all university students who have been granted space at university should be able to register and attend classes like everyone else.”

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