By: Kaya 959 News
The academic year for many universities and colleges started in March.
But, sadly, many students cannot register due to not having enough in the way of finances to register or having unsettled debts at the institution. This has led to several universities’ students protesting, including Wits, University of Johannesburg, and the University of Free State.
More institutions of higher learning are expected to join in on the ongoing demonstrations over fees in the country.
The South African Union of Students says their protest action will continue on Tuesday, 16 March.
The union says there has been no effort from the Department of Higher Education to engage them on their demands.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will continue to find solutions to fund education.
Higher education minister Blade Nzimande claimed he is also in touch with issues affecting students.
The students are demanding financial clearance and the clearance of historical debt for all students. They also want the immediate provision of post-graduate funding and for advanced diploma qualifications to be part of the funding framework.
The shooting of protesting students in Braamfontein
Police have refuted claims that they opened fire on a group of protesting students in Braamfontein on Monday, 15 March.
This follows videos widely shared on social media – showing a female student who was shot in the leg.
The police say none of their members fired shots – but they used a smoke grenade and water cannons.
The students who have been demonstrating, demanding the scrapping of historical debt, have slammed the conduct of the police.
Last week a bystander was shot and killed, allegedly by police, during protests in the same area.
READ: A man has been shot and killed by police during a protest by Wits students
The police’s Vishnu Naidoo says they want to interview the student that was injured yesterday.
The South African Students Congress says the government has committed to responding to students’ demands tomorrow.
SASCO president Bamanye Matiwane says they had two meetings with President Cyril Ramaphosa and government officials to discuss the student funding crisis.
Matiwane says while they are waiting for feedback, students will continue fighting by holding protests.
He says so far, the sticking points are the scrapping of historical debt and free registration for all students in 2021.