; Wits remains closed, protests erupt at UCT, Rhodes and Stellenbosch – The Citizen

Wits remains closed, protests erupt at UCT, Rhodes and Stellenbosch

FILE PICTURE: Students block the entrances to Wits University, 15 October 2015, as they protest against management’s plan to increase fees by 10.5% next year and the upfront registration fee by 6%. Picture: Michel Bega

FILE PICTURE: Students block the entrances to Wits University, 15 October 2015, as they protest against management’s plan to increase fees by 10.5% next year and the upfront registration fee by 6%. Picture: Michel Bega

Lectures at Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand University remained suspended on Monday as students awaited response on 2016 tuition fee increase from the council.

Last week students protested for three days from Wednesday. The students began protesting by shutting down the Braamfontein campus. They demanded that Vice Chancellor Adam Habib respond to their demand of no fee increase. The students argued that the proposed 10.5 percent was not affordable.

Friday saw Habib and members of the executive council surrounded by protesters until Saturday morning at Senate House. The students would not back down and demanded that top management hold a meeting a meeting and accede to their demand.

Eventually, an agreement was signed on Saturday between the students and the council, led by its chairperson Dr Randall Carolissen. The parties agreed to suspend the 10.5 percent proposed tuition fee increase for 2016 and that the negotiations on fees start anew.

They agreed that there would be no disciplinary action against students and workers who participated in the protests. The council, which held a meeting on Sunday, was expected to report back to students on its way forward at midday on Monday.

Meanwhile, students at Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town, both in the Western Cape, began protesting Monday against proposed fees hikes for next year. Students at Rhodes University were also protesting over the same matter.

Students at Rhodes had reportedly placed burning tyres at the institution’s entrances.

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