Protesting students block entrances to Wits for the second day

The institution is looking to implement a 10,5 percent hike which students want reviewed.

FILE: A student holds a placard at the student protest on Wednesday 14 October 2015 after Wits University proposed an increase of 10.5 percent in tuition fees for 2016. Picture: @Zoe_Ngwenyurr via Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Entrances to Wits University have been closed off for a second day due to protests over proposed fee increases.

The institution is looking to implement a 10,5 percent hike and the students are demanding that the fee increases be reviewed.

This morning, a small group of students are demonstrating at the Smit Street entrance saying they will not stand for further university fee increases.

Yesterday, all lectures and tests were suspended due to the protest.

At the same time Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has ordered his department to investigate the cost drivers in the country's universities that determine the hikes.

The department says it's concerned about the trend of fee increments on a yearly basis saying students can no longer keep up.

Nzimande has called the fee hikes an exclusionary measure.

The minister's spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana, says students already have to contend with other extra costs.

"Some of them tell us they import material from overseas and because of the exchange value against the rand, so they need to recover that money."

Earlier this morning, the university advised students and staff not to use its Yale Road entrance because of the protest.

University spokesperson Shirona Patel said, "We did have some students trying to block the Yale Road north entrance earlier. However our campus security has moved them to a designated area where they can protest. We advise stuff and students trying to come to campus to use all the other gates aside from the Yale Road north gate."

At the same time, the university says it has bolstered security and that lectures will resume this morning.

Patel says students will be addressed by deputy vice-chancellor Andrew Crouch.

"The university has been made aware that the students will continue with their protests today and plans to stop people from entering or leaving the campus. However, deputy vice-chancellor Andrew Crouch has sent out a notice and indicated that it will be business as usual. He says additional security personnel has been deployed to all gates."

#WitsFeeMustFall we need numbers students. @WitsUniversity #WitsFeeMustFall please join us at entrances @WitsPYA @WitsSRC @WitsVuvuzela

The students didn't cause violence in the huge mass protest and I want this to continue, don't give them a leg to stand on #WitsFeeMustFall

So Wits has money to hire "Men in black"



@WitsSRC @JubesHcom @WitsASC

There is nothing prestigious about an expensive UNI. There is nothing that makes it better except tht it excludes the poor #WitsFeeMustFall

This world class institution does not know how to count. Does this look like 200 people? #WitsFeeMustFall

#WitsFeeMustFall a degree has a ripple effect. You kill one students dream you have killed a family, community even a country.!!!!

The blocking of the entrances at Wits has started #WitsShutDown #WitsFees #WitsFeeMustFall