#Fees2017 protests hit UJ’s Kingsway, Soweto campuses

Students have vowed to bring both campuses to a standstill as part of nationwide protests.

FILE: University of Johannesburg students demonstrating outside Kingsway campus on 22 October 2015. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Fees Must Fall protests spread to the University of Johannesburg's Kingsway and Soweto campuses this afternoon.

Students have vowed to bring both campuses to a standstill as part of the nationwide protests against looming fee increases for 2017.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced last week that universities will be allowed to hike the cost of tuition by up to eight percent.

Government will subsidise poor and so-called missing middle students.

Meanwhile, Universities South Africa says its negotiating with the Public Protector's office to assist in getting all stakeholders involved in the student protests to reach a compromise.

The organisation says although they understand the sentiments of students calling for free tertiary education, if there are no fee increments next year, many universities would be financially unstable and would eventually have to close their doors.

It says it's hoping universities that have shut down since Fees Must Fall protests spread across the country last week, will resume academic programmes as soon as possible.

The organisation's Chief Executive Officer, Professor Ahmed Bawa, said, "We work very closely with our members, which is all the public universities, to try and understand how to support the universities and also to see whether there are ways we can facilitate the movement on the big issues facing us."