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WC students in talks with universities’ management before deciding on shutdown

This as students in KwaZulu-Natal and the North West this week launched protests focusing on several grievances, including fees and student debt.

The University of the Western Cape. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - University of the Western Cape (UWC) student groups will not yet join a national shutdown and are still negotiating with management.

This as students in KwaZulu-Natal and the North West this week launched protests focusing on several grievances, including fees and student debt.

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) wanted to meet with Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande as it continued the call for a countrywide shutdown of public universities. The union wanted to discuss a list of 15 demands with the minister.

The SAUS wanted historic debt to be scrapped and those in debt to be allowed to register and be given academic records and certificates.

“We are demanding that academic records be given to students in order for them to apply for employment. We are fully aware of the fact that other issues speak to long-term policy issues. However, we have made it clear to the minister that we require an engagement,” said union spokesperson Thabo Shingange.

Lwazi Pakade, a member of the Stellenbosch University Student Representative Council, said they were still discussing historic debt and other issues with management and were not currently protesting.

“We are discussing with management the settling of historic debt for the missing middle, the lack of accommodation around the university, and assisting students to qualify to be in the university,” he said.

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology student body was also still in discussions.

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