SAUS calls for extension of universities’ registration deadlines

Student protests flared up across the country this week with calls for a national shutdown at public universities.

A police water cannon stands in front of the Great Hall on Wits University's main campus during student protests over tertiary education fees on 11 October 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has called for the registration deadline at universities to be scrapped if poor students with historical debt are deprived of their right to education.

Student protests flared up across the country this week with calls for a national shutdown at public universities. At the heart of the protests were issues of accommodation and historical debt.

The SAUS said while the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) students had been catered for, the right to learn for the so-called missing middle students was compromised, especially during the registration period.

The union’s spokesperson Thabo Shingange said: “Several students are losing their placements at institutions as it is happening at the University of Johannesburg merely because they have failed to pay registration fees by a particular date. If students are going to lose their placements, they should stop the registration process until the correct infrastructure is in place that no poor students and students from vulnerable backgrounds are disenfranchised in the process.”

Several campuses around the country were hit by protests, including the universities of the North West and KwaZulu-Natal.

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