Nelson Mandela University students say they demand the free education they were “promised” or else.
The South African Students Congress (Sasco) is threatening to protest for free education if their demands for free education are not met by Nelson Mandela University.
Sasco demands action, and they say the institution needs to speed up the process of implementing free education or face “tactics of struggle”, referring to class boycotts and shutdowns.
Axed president Jacob Zuma in December 2017 announced the education for the poor and working class would be free from 2018.
The congress believes government, institutions and the private sector need to speed things up in finding creative ways of implementing this so students already in the system are able to receive their various allowances to buy material needed to participate in academic activities “from an equal footing”.
Sasco says there is a serious lack of effective shuttle services, and adds the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) has failed students living on and off campus.
“We cannot accept that our campuses have become spaces where women are being raped and harassed. Students are being robbed and unauthorised personnel are walking around our campuses with arms.”
They claim the protection services department at the university has collapsed and the department has been undergoing restructuring “at an operational and strategic level”.
The university has responded in saying they are aware of the calls for a shutdown by the student organisation on social media.
The institution says senior management is trying to set up meetings with the student representatives to discuss concerns.