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Stalemate over tuition payment

By unknown | Jan 29, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Security was beefed up at the Durban University of Technology yesterday as students continued their protest in support of demands that students owing the institution R10million in tuition fees be allowed to register.

The angry students protested outside the management offices while student representatives negotiated with management.

The protest began last week and the management promised to consider students' grievances and report back yesterday.

The negotiations failed to yield a solution and students disrupted registration.

"If we cannot register, then no one will. We are prepared to fight if management continues to ignore us," said the angry students.

The students are demanding that the outstanding student debt by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) be rolled over.

According to student representatives, the students who owe fees are beneficiaries of financial aid and whose parents cannot afford to pay.

By midday yesterday, doors to the registration block were locked.

Students vowed that there would be no registration until management came up with a solution.

They shouted slogans and sang outside the management offices. The students representative council has accused management of failing to address their demands since last year. It says registration fees are too high, accommodation facilities poor and that campus security is insufficient.

DUT spokesman Nomonde Mbadi said if the institution were to roll over the 2007 debt, this would increase the debt.

She said the vice-chancellor Professor Roy du Preez had agreed to assist academically successful students to register.

The students rejected the suggestion, saying it did not address their demands.

SRC president Musa Zondi said they would continue the strike and disrupt registration.

"The students who owe fees are from poor families. After the NSFAS failed to pay, they have nowhere to turn to," said Zondi.


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