ICYMI: Here’s what happened this week at SA universities

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Wits University students protest registration fro students with historical debt and accommodation issues, 05022019

This week saw the return of protests and conversations around #FeesMustFall, NSFAS, various other student issues and police brutality. 

Since the beginning of March students have been protesting on a range of issues. Wits students have been protesting a number of issues including access to technology to aid remote learning and financial exclusion.

Protesting students called on the university to allow academically deserving students to register for the year even if they have an unpaid balance on their student account.

On March 9, police used rubber bullets to disperse protesting students. Several students were also reportedly arrested.

On Wednesday March 10, protesters regathered on the streets of Braamfontein, and once more police attempted to disperse the protests. This time, stun grenades were also used. 

Mthokozisi Ntumba was shot and killed amidst ongoing student protest action outside the Braamfontein campus of the University of Witwatersrand while two student journalists covering the protests were injured.

The UCT student leadership also released their  set of demands. These demands are that all students should be allowed to register and all student debt must be cleared. They also want the UCT council to pressure the government to fund all students. The SRC has called on Blade Nzimande to resign from his post. Students shut down UCT on Friday. 

On Thursday, the court ruled in favour of the EFF student leadership setting aside the decision by the department of higher education to order UNISA to reduce the number of first-year entry students.

While at UFS, third and fourth students are still waiting for NSFAS funding confirmation and have been unable to register. 

This is how other universities are dealing with the issues related to funding and registration.

Cabinet approved a re-prioritisation of funding to the department of higher education. Funding will now be released to NSFAS for first-year students. This was after Blade Nzimande announced on Monday that due to a NSFAS shortfall there might not be funds available to first-years

Rhodes SRC has also sent a list of demands to their management. They’ve give the university till Monday to respond or else they will also participate in the National Shutdown

The South Africa Union of Students have given Blade Nzimande until 17:00 on Friday to respond to their demands or face a national shutdown. #FeesMustFall2021

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