DUT students in protest over fees

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The Students' Representative Council at the Durban University of Technology has threatened to disrupt the registration of new students because fees have been increased.

Students are fuming because the university's management has increased tuition, administration and accommodation fees.

Students will meet next week to decide on what action to take.

A student representative said the university's management "went behind our backs" and increased registration fees from R1700 to R2000. Tuition fees were increased by 7percent and accommodation by 8percent.

The SRC's president, Thami Shezi, said that students would not register until the dispute had been resolved.

"The amount of money we pay does not compliment the resources that we get. So where does the money go?

"We are tired of rumours that certain people are pocketing the money."

He advised students not to register until a forensic investigation had been completed.

Shezi said more than 5000 students from disadvantaged backgrounds, whose tuition fees were to be paid by the National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS), had their results withheld because the NSFAS ran out of money and could not pay the fees.

Shezi said: "Guardians and parents who applied for financial aid because they could not afford to pay the fees are now expected to pay half the fees before the results are released."

He called on parents of students whose results were withheld to attend the students' meeting on Monday at the Steve Biko campus.

Shezi said: "Parents must not be intimidated by attorneys' letters.

"They must support us in the struggle for free and accessible education."