Police use water cannons to disperse protesting students in Braamfontein

The situation remains tense, with police chasing protesting students through the streets of Braamfontein.

Students protest in Braamfontein over historic debt on 15 March 2021. Picture: Mia Lindeque/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Protesting students have barricaded several streets in Braamfontein in running battles with police, who have used water cannons to disperse them.

They are protesting as part of the national shutdown over student finances.

Students continue to gather in small groups in the Joburg CBD, while police in casspirs use water cannons to try and disperse the crowd.

The students are barricading the roads with rocks and rubble, chanting struggle songs.

They said that they would not stop with their demonstration until all their demands were met by university management and government.

Several shops have closed their doors for the day fearing for their safety.

Meanwhile, the South African Union of Students (SAUS) said that at least 10 universities had been shut down across the country as part of Monday's national protest.

Wits University management said that their lectures were continuing online while students at the University of Johannesburg were gathering at the campus, with police and metro police vehicles stationed outside the gates.

SAUS' Thabo Shingange said that there were many universities who were already taking part in the national shutdown and would be intensifying their calls.

"We are undeterred in our commitment to bring the higher education sector to a standstill and merely because we want to put to the sector that higher education is in a crisis. The Higher Education Department, the minister, need to rise to the occasion."

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.