Tertiary institutions across SA brace for planned national shutdown today

The threats come after days of protests at various universities across the country last week.

Wits University students protesting on 9 March 2021, over registration issues according to the student representative council. Picture: @Wits_SRC/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Tertiary education institutions across the country are bracing for a national shutdown planned from Monday threatening to delay the 2021 academic year.

The threats come after days of protests at various universities across the country last week.

At the centre of the dispute is for historic debt to be taken away.

Mthokozisi Ntumba, a father of four, was killed and many students were arrested during protests near Wits University last week.

READ: Protesting Wits students vow to bring Joburg to a standstill

The threat of a nationwide shutdown comes after the South African Union of Students (SAUS) presented a memorandum of demands to the higher education department last week.

On Saturday, there were attempts to resolve the dispute, however, that did not materialise and the Wits student representative council stormed out of the meeting between the SAUS and Deputy Minister of Higher Education Buti Manamela.

Wits SRC spokesperson Mpendulo Mfeka explained: “We can’t be meeting with ministers and deputy ministers because they know our issues and that is to announce free education and anything either than that is a deference of the real issue.”

On Sunday, SAUS announced that students from all 26 universities were in support of a call for a national shutdown expected to begin on Monday.

The SAUS has vowed to continue protesting until their demands are met.

WATCH: There was overreach by the police - Ramaphosa on Wits student protest

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