The University of Witwatersrand (Wits) and its Student Representative Council (SRC) have reached an agreement, paving the way for the resumption of 2016 registrations at the institution.
The university said measures were agreed upon after lengthy negotiations with SRC leaders, especially on fees owed by students.
“All students who owe the university between R1-R1000 will be allowed to register in 2016. The outstanding debt for 2015 will be rolled over to 2016,” the institution said in a statement on Tuesday.
The university said it estimated that this concession would benefit at least 3,607 students this year.
Furthermore, students who could show that they were fully funded for 2016 would be allowed to register. They would have to sign an acknowledgement of debt for fees owed in 2015, the institution said.
Both the university and the SRC would work together to raise funds to clear the debt by at least 1,284 students who owe between R1,001-R5000.
The Gauteng provincial government would also be approached with a request to cover some of the debt.
“The SRC and the university will approach the provincial government to cover the debt of about 1,418 students who owe the university between R5001-R20,000. If these efforts are successful, all these students will be allowed to register for the 2016 academic year.”
“We trust that these arrangements will go a long way towards enabling the majority of our students to register for 2016 without hindrance. A number of other issues have also been agreed to and/or resolved. These will be announced later.”
Registration at Gauteng universities was halted following a series of protests that rocked campuses for the past two weeks. The students demanded free education and the cancellation of debt.
Workers at institutions in Pretoria also joined the protests, demanding permanent employment and an end to the outsourcing of staff.
On Monday, vice chancellors and principals from Wits, the University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), the University of South Africa and the University of Pretoria, urged protesting students to allow registrations and the academic year to begin.
The continued interruptions and violent protests would shutdown the institutions within months, they had warned.
– African News Agency (ANA)