The University of Cape Town on Tuesday morning confirmed reports that “four cars were set alight at .
Mary Papayya and Mhlaba Memela
If the Durban University of Technology (DUT) accedes to student demands to write off all outstanding student debt, this will "cripple" the institution.
The students' key demand is that the university rolls over all outstanding fees from last year. The university has been agreeing to students' demands for a roll over since 2002.
The total student debt at DUT is now R175million. For the 2007 academic year, the student debt is R72million.
A university memo responding to the Students' Representative Council's (SRC) demands dated Monday confirms that the outstanding student debt for students receiving funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme currently stands at R10million. The original debt was R15,5million.
"Should DUT agree to rolling over 2007's outstanding debt, this will increase the current outstanding debt tremendously. This will cripple the university," vice-chancellor and principal Roy du Pre said.
Du Pre said the roll-over agreement was only in place for 2006 fees and the agreement was never intended to be ongoing.
The university also committed itself to assist successful students to re-register by paying back their outstanding fees through an instalment process before June 30.
It agreed to waiver late registration fees and to press ahead with the students' demand for a student village and for there to be computers at the student residences before October.
It also agreed to ensure that there are proper catering services operating at the campuses before lectures commence.
SRC president Mandla Shange said they had received the management's response to the students' memo and have since responded.
"We want to meet with management because we are still not happy. We want to be part of the process that will be interviewing students on why they had not paid their fees," Shange said.
Registration at the DUT continued smoothly yesterday after the university obtained a court interdict restraining students from further disruptions and from damaging the university.