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UKZN suspends all classes over NSFAS

UKZN Central SRC President Sanele Hlongwa says they tried to facilitate a meeting with NSFAS through the university’s Vice-Chancellor but that effort proved to be futile.

FILE: The University of KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Supplied.

DURBAN – The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has suspended all its classes until further notice as students heed the call for a provincial shutdown on campuses.

On Monday morning, all five of UKZN’s campuses had entry points to their premises blocked off with rocks and other rubble as part of fresh demonstrations at the institution, on what was meant to be the first day of the new academic year.

The SRC there is demanding that the university allow students who qualify for National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) be allowed to register because the funding scheme has not paid out monies to needy students yet.

UKZN Central SRC President Sanele Hlongwa says they tried to facilitate a meeting with NSFAS through the university’s Vice-Chancellor but that effort proved to be futile.

“We’ve realised that NSFAS is arrogant towards students and then we took the decision to close the entire institution so that the university will make means to engage NSFAS to come and meet us.”

Hlongwa says they want the funding office to assist needy students with registration and living costs and the institution can then claim the money back from NSFAS.

“The funding office should verify whether those students meet requirements of NSFAS and those people should be cleared for registration. After that, the university should be able to sustain those people through meals allowances and also the book allowances.”

In a short statement, the university says it has received a memorandum of grievances from the SRC and the suspension of the academic program will give them an opportunity for all involved parties to reach an understanding.

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