Students on strike over fees

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Students at six further education and training colleges under the Mthashana district in northern KwaZulu-Natal are on strike over an increase in their fees.

However, the provincial department of education has denied any knowledge of the strike.

Student leaders at these colleges embarked on strike action on January 12, when they were informed for the first time that the registration fees were up from R650 to R1500.

They are also incensed that the education department did not have enough funds for bursaries and that they would now only receive 30percent bursaries.

Students representative council member Zandile Simelane of the KwaGqikazi campus in Nongoma said they have been sitting outside the lecture rooms since the beginning of the year.

She said they will continue doing so until the department gives them full bursaries.

"We were told by the college officials that we were now expected to pay a minimum of R1085 a month for 12 months towards tuition fees."

However, provincial education department spokesman Mbali Thusi said the allegations that there was a strike at Mthashana FET campuses are not true, saying teaching and learning was normal at all campuses.

"There were financial problems that came up during registration week at one of the campuses, but those problems have since been resolved.

"Not a single campus is on strike," she said.