University, students resolve fees standoff
The dispute over tuition fees at the Durban University of Technology has finally come to an end.
Spokesman for the university, Nomonde Mbadi, said the management had reached an agreement in terms of the outstanding debt issue to allow students owing fees to register for this year.
Mbadi said the Student Representative Council (SRC) has committed itself to end the protest.
She said registration and academic programmes are expected to commence today.
Yesterday morning students continued with their protests at all four of its Durban campuses but later in the day, after protracted talks, the management and the SRC finally emerged to give the demonstrating students outside the good news.
The talks finally became fruitful, with the management allowing students owing about R10million in last year's tuition fees to register. But, students from poor families whose tuition fees were to be paid by the Financial Aid Scheme were refused registration for this year until they had paid off the tuition fees they owed the university.
The university opened yesterday after it was closed last Monday following an ugly encounter between students and police that left several students badly injured. At the time, the students vowed that they would not be intimidated by the management's decision to close down the institution.
The students were demanding that the university rolled over all outstanding student fees.
The university has apparently been agreeing to student demands for a roll over since 2002.
Spokesman for the SRC, Mthunzi Gumede, said students were overwhelmed that as from today they would be able to register. "It was worth the trouble that the students went through. At least, no student will sit at home because their parents cannot afford to pay the money some are owing."