Lectures resume at Durban varsity

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Lectures continued as normal yesterday at the Durban University of Technology, but the problem of unpaid fees is still not resolved.

Students owe the university about R20million in unpaid fees and management has refused a demand by the students to write off the amount for students from poor backgrounds.

Yesterday there were long queues at the financial aid offices with students filing to apply for financial assistance.

Ayanda Xaba, a third year student, said she was worried she might have to leave school until she was able to raise money.

"I applied for financial aid because my parents cannot afford to pay," Xaba said.

At the time of going to press, the Student Representative Council (SRC) was expected to meet with management with a view to help it negotiate with the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to settle the fees issue.

Thimi Shezi, the SRC president, said: "We are going to ask for management's assistance in approaching the NSFAS.

"The amount that was allocated for our university was far less than the number of students who need financial aid."

Students whose fees were to be paid by the NSFAS cannot register unless they sign an agreement to pay back the university in monthly instalments.

Last week the students staged a protest demanding that the unpaid fees be written-off. They also demanded that the university provide security against robberies and muggings on campus.

The protests turned violent, causing the university to close down last Wednesday.

Nomonde Mbadi, a spokesman for the university, yesterday said: "We are pleased that lectures have gone on without a hitch."