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‘Unisa should clarify its stance on free higher education’

The EFF’s student body brought Unisa’s Sunnyside campus in Pretoria to a standstill on Friday because the institution has refused to open the late application processes.

FILE: The EFF's Student Command gives a briefing on 4 January 2018. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) student command says the University of South Africa (Unisa) needs to clarify its position on free higher education.

The EFF’s student body brought Unisa’s Sunnyside campus in Pretoria to a standstill on Friday because the institution has refused to open the late application processes.

Registration at the campus has been postponed to Saturday following the picket.

The EFF’s Peter Keetse says: “We saw universities of South Africa saying they are allowing walk-ins at all universities. Now Unisa is remaining adamant, saying they won’t allow walk-ins. Hence you saw the ultimate rupture of protests at that campus.”

The red berets have declared 2018 a year of education, calling on all academically deserving students to report to the university of their choice to enrol.

At the same time, the South African Further Education and Training Association has accused management at TVET colleges of poor planning and are demanding that government provide clarity on President Jacob Zuma's pronouncement on free education.

Six prospective students were injured at the Capricorn TVET college in Polokwane during a stampede on Thursday.
The registration process has been postponed to Monday and moved to the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The student association says some colleges are demanding upfront payments despite Zuma’s new education policy.

Spokesperson Joel Mamabolo says the confusion has left many students frustrated.

“All of us fall under one branch in the DHET (Department of Higher Education and Training), and the DHET is not proactive on the matter. Up to date Nsfas is not yet clear on how to address this matter or the implementation of the R350,000 threshold.”

Additional reporting by Thando Kubheka.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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