DUT hopes for positive new year

THE student leadership at the Durban University of Technology is hopeful that next year will begin without any disruptions.

This follows the conclusion of negotiations with the university management on most of the key issues that often cause problems every year.

Students go on strike at the beginning of each year at institutions of higher learning over fee increments or a lack of service delivery and resources.

Student representative council president Mfanafuthi Ngwabe said they were positive that they would begin the year without any disruptions in the new year.

He said they had learnt from previous experiences that leaving issues unresolved until the new year was what has often led to disruptions.

Ngwabe said they had already reached agreement with the university management that the fees would increase by 7 percent next year, while the registration fee would go up by R50, bringing the registration fee for semester courses to R1650. The annual registration fee will go up by R100, bringing it to R2700.

"The only outstanding issue is that of student accommodation, which management has proposed it should increase by 20percent, "Ngwabe said.

"The matter will be on the table when we meet management on Friday (today) and hopefully it will be resolved." Ngwabe said.

Unlike DUT, students at the troubled Mangosuthu University of Technology said the year could start with chaos and clashes with management over the proposed fee increment of 8,5 percent next year.

The South African Democratic Students Movement is disputing the proposed fee increment, saying it is unfair on financially struggling parents.

The students say management has proposed the fee hike despite the recent economic meltdown that affected mostly struggling parents.

Sadesmo general secretary Xolani Ngwezi said they were working tirelessly to oppose the hike and the unilateral decisions by the institution.