WATCH | Police fire stun grenades at protesting Unisa students in Durban
Police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets as student protests erupted at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in Durban on Monday.
Students from different organisations blocked Stalwart Simelane Street, alleging that the university had received money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) but had not been allocating it.
“We have solid proof that the NSFAS funding office has a big problem in terms of monitoring funds. Unisa is now capturing funds for students but they are not giving students their offers or answering their applications, they are just taking the money,” alleged Emmanuel Shangase, chair of the South African Students' Congress (Sasco) at Unisa Durban.
Shangase said the crowd of about 100 students was responding to a call to shut down universities due to funding issues.
“There has been a call made nationally demanding that each and every Unisa campus be closed with immediate effect, and that is what we are responding to today,” he said.
The university told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE it was addressing the issues.
“The demands are not different from the demands students have been making since the beginning of the year. They are more or less the same as the demands students countrywide have been making," said communications manager Siyabonga Seme.
"Over the alleged non-payment or non-registration of NSFAS beneficiaries due to some kind of payment technicalities, I can assure you university management is already attending to those matters.
"The university is aware of students who are NSFAS beneficiaries who have difficulties or challenges with registration, and the university management is indeed attending to those cases.”