News / South Africa / Education

Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
15 Mar 2021
12:45 pm

TUT students ‘not taking part’ in university fees shutdown

Thapelo Lekabe

TUT SRC interim president Mike Mothiba said on Monday they were first winding up their academic year ending in March.

TUT students outside the Pretoria West campus where classes were suspended due to students protests on 2 March 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles.

Students of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) will only join the national student protests for free education once they are done with the 2020 academic year.

There have been questions why TUT students, known for a degree of militancy, have been quiet in the latest protests by students against financial exclusion.

ALSO READ: UKZN suspends academic programme amid student protests

TUT Student Representative Council (SRC) interim president Mike Mothiba on Monday said they were not quiet but winding up their academic year, which ends in March.

“Trust me we are not quiet. We are very much part of the struggle and we had representatives at the mass student meeting where the list of demands was discussed. Remember the issues that are on the table are for 2021 and we are still finishing the 2020 academic year,” Mothiba said.

According to Mothiba, none of the 15 demands listed by the South African Union of Students (SAUS), including free registration for all students in the 2021 academic year and the scrapping of historical debt, were any less important.

He said they were not prepared to back down on their demands and prospects for their battle was promising.

In a communique  to students on Sunday, the TUT SRC said it stood in solidarity with students across the country as they embark on a national shutdown.

“The institutional SRC of the Tshwane University of Technology, strongly notes and supports the move/call by student formations and SAUS on shutting down all institutions due to the failing and collapsing NSFAS [National Student Financial Aid Scheme] as a funding model rather than a step towards fee-free education,” Mothiba said.

Mothiba said TUT had the most affordable registration fee of R1,500 which allows disadvantaged students to access post-matric education.

“We would like to encourage our students to continue studying for the summative assessments. ll assessments will proceed as planned and activities at all campuses remain normal.”

ALSO READ: UCT students with historical debt will be allowed to register

At the same time, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on Monday suspended its academic programme for the week.

“After thoughtful consideration of the ongoing dialogue between the national government and various bodies representing student formations in South Africa, we have decided to suspend the academic programme for the coming week from Monday 15 March to Friday 19 March 2021, both dates inclusive,” UKZN spokesperson Normah Zondo said in a statement on Monday.

He said remote online registration for 2021 would, however, continue for all returning students and first-year undergraduates.

“University management will inform staff and students of the dates for re-commencement of the semester.”

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