UKZN's Howard campus suspends orientation programme after day of protest

SRC chairperson Mphathi Majola claimed the university refused to allow all students with historic debt to register.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Supplied.

DURBAN - The University of KwaZulu-Natal has suspended its orientation programme at its Howard College campus following a day of protests.

SRC chairperson Mphathi Majola claimed the university refused to allow all students with historic debt to register.

He said this was unlawful because Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande declared that all National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)-qualifying students be allowed to register without paying any upfront fees.

Majola said among their demands to the university, was free registration for poor postgraduate students.

“The struggle is also about ensuring that the previous NSFAS beneficiaries would be post-graduate students and those students are actually cleared for registration without even paying the registration fee because the argument is that if you were poor then, you are also poor now.”

The university's Ashton Bodrick said that no NSFAS-qualifying student has been prevented from registering for the 2020 academic year.

“We are allowing undergraduates to register; they are all a different category of students and our SRC are failing to understand what we want out of the process.”

Bodrick said university management was reviewing the demands made by the SRC and would respond soon.

The orientation programme is expected to resume on Tuesday.