In what looked like 2015 feesmustfall horrid protests, students at the Pietermaritzburg Campus of University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) today groan outwardly against 2017 fee increase when they marched in protest; disrupting classes and the entire academic environment.
Troubled by the chaos and rumbling noise caused by the students, the University authority decided to put every academic activity at its Pietermaritzburg campus on hold.
Speaking on behalf of the university, spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka, disclosed lectures won’t hold on Monday and Tuesday but that students would be resuming classes on Wednesday.
“The academic programme for today and tomorrow for Pietermaritzburg campus [has been suspended] to give the students that are protesting an opportunity to engage management so that we come to understand what their real issues are.”
Student representatives went on a rampage following recommendations by the council for higher education – the council’s report advised universities to agree on a uniform fee increase as a zero percent fee increase in 2017 will be unsustainable.
Last week, a media briefing on possible fee increases for the 2017 academic year was postponed by the department of Higher Education.
The briefing, scheduled to hold at the St George’s Hotel in Irene was indefinitely postponed as National Treasury weighed in on the issue at the Fees Commission.
Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande; having received the report of the Council on Higher Education on fees in 2017, however, promised to make recommendations by the end of the month on the viability of free tertiary education in the country.
The minister has been applying a whole bag of tricks to ensure students are not angered over higher education fees; after students under the #FeesMustFall protests shut down higher education institutions in their demand for free higher education for all in 2015.
The #FeesMustFall and #RhodesMustFall campaigns voiced out student’s primary issues which include: economic inequality; the slow pace of transformation and high fees.