A faction of the #FeesMustFall movement, embarked on a protest at the Wits University, calling on non-exclusion of students based on their finance status, as 140 students were denied funding by FundSA Lushaka Funding, from the Department of Higher Education. Picture: MOELETSI MABE/THE TIMES
Students protesting on April 1 at Wits University. Picture: MOELETSI MABE/THE TIMES

"OUR stance is clear. We hope that Blade will not waste our time."

That’s the line the student representative council (SRC) of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is taking after being "informed that the Minister of Higher Education and Training‚ Blade Nzimande‚ will be making an announcement (on Monday) around the issue of fees and higher education".

"Should the minister fail to address the urgent call for free education and seek to divide the student movement by putting forward a haphazard fee increment for 2017‚ we will be forced to act‚" the Wits students warned in a statement.

On the fees commission, the SRC said: "We are tired of talk shops and task teams without implementation. We reject them in their entirety.

"Our demands are clear: the realisation of a free‚ decolonised and quality education‚ as well as a moratorium on fee increments up until the implementation of free education."

The SRC noted that it was drawing "closer to the historic one-year anniversary of #FeesMustFall and the October 6 Insourcing movement"‚ but said: "We cannot every year protest for a moratorium; there needs to be a greater structural solution to the crisis that is higher education.

"Merely freezing fees every year is not opening up access. We could not afford the fees in 2015‚ and we still can’t afford them today‚ thus the call for free‚ quality and equal education.

"The question should not be whether SA can afford free education but can we afford NOT to have free and quality education."

UCT

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will remain open on Monday and staff have been requested to attend work‚ but "classes‚ lectures and tests" have been suspended.

Describing the call as a "difficult decision"‚ the university said in a statement to "students and colleagues" that "the security situation will be assessed throughout the course of the day and if it changes‚ you will be advised".

Updates would be provided on its website‚ and Facebook and Twitter platforms.

Classes and lectures were suspended at UCT on Friday afternoon‚ "in order to assess the situation and implement additional security measures on campus"‚ the institution said last week.

Protesters staged roving disruptions‚ demanding the immediate return to campus of those suspended‚ expelled and interdicted over #FeesMustFall protests.

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch University will forge ahead this week with academic activities‚ and "lectures and tests" are set to proceed as scheduled on Monday.

University leadership met students on Saturday to discuss the disruptions to university business towards the end of last week.

The university did‚ however‚ tweet that lectures and tests scheduled for the RW Wilcocks building — the scene of a student occupation on Friday — had been "moved to alternative venues".

Stellenbosch Univ ?@StellenboschUni also tweeted that: "SU has not made decision to suspend lectures for this week; academic activities will continue with minimum disruption.More info later today".

While fees protests are expected Wits and UCT on Monday‚ Stellenbosch’s management said "frank and open discussions" were held on Saturday when vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers met a group of students.

On Friday’s protests — which included altercations between security staff and students‚ and in which at least one student was taken to hospital for treatment — De Villiers said: "No vice-chancellor wants conflict on his or her campus and it is regrettable that there has been friction.

"However‚ we are doing our utmost to resolve the situation. We support free higher education for financially needy‚ academically deserving students."

TMG Digital