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SAUS wants university fees to be reduced amid COVID-19 lockdown

The union on Monday said student fees partly account for contact classes, which haven't fully taken place because of the lockdown.

FILE: SAUS said there also needed to be a discussion on how middle students could been assisted as many had lease agreements with private accommodation providers. Picture: Supplied.

DURBAN - The South African Union of Students (SAUS) wants university fees to be reduced in the wake of COVID-19.

The union on Monday said student fees partly accounted for contact classes, which haven't fully taken place because of the lockdown.

It's also calling on Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to ensure that residence debts were cancelled for students who've been prevented from staying on campus.

SAUS said it was unfair for universities to expect students to honour residence fee agreements.

Spokesperson Thabo Shingange said course and accommodation prices must be reviewed.

“The minute we started with online learning, the foundation of learning changed but what is currently happening is that the cost of institutions has remained the same while the approach has changed.”

Shingange said there also needed to be a discussion on how middle class students could been assisted as many had lease agreements with private accommodation providers.

“Many students have entered into lease agreements, into contracts locking for a certain time period and at a particular amount. Now we’re saying, a lot has changed and these contracts are problematic.”

Nzimande is expected to provide an update on Thursday regarding the academic proceedings at tertiary institutions as the country prepares to move to level three lockdown regulations.