[UPDATE: Following today’s protests, Wits has suspended face-to-face registration for today and tomorrow and will resume on Wednesday. In the meantime, it’s advising parents and students to register online (see how on the Wits website). The deadline for online registration is this Friday 15th January.

UJ has had a no-walk in registration policy since 2013 after a stampede at their Kingsway campus in 2012 resulted in the death of a parent who had come to register their child. The university has also advised parents and students to make use of its online process.]

It looks like South Africa is yet to see the end of #FeesMustFall protests, as students at two major universities have started demonstrating at their respective campuses this morning.

Students behind the Wits University Fees Must Fall movement, who were at the forefront of the original October 2015 protests, released a statement last night announcing that protests would resume on Monday, the day registration opens at various tertiary institutions around the country.

The Wits students are joined by the University of Johannesburg Fees Must Fall movement; both groups say they want all students to be exempt from paying registration fees this year.

Last year, government announced that learners from poor households and those under the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) would not have to pay registration fees, while all other students still have to, regardless of the fact that there would be no tuition increase this year.

The FeesMustFall students are calling for registration fees to be scrapped for all students and are currently disrupting registration processes at both campuses.

“In accordance with the ongoing struggle for free quality education; Wits Fees Must Fall (WitsFMF) recognises that registration fee and/or upfront fee payment contributes to the increasing number of students who are denied access to education due to their economically disadvantaged backgrounds,” Wits Fees Must Fall’s Edwin Mpho Makitla wrote on the Joburg universities movement’s website.

A petition has also been launched on Change.org to rally support for the cause from other students across the country.

“This petition serves to create awareness on issues of high registration fees and financial exclusions that face students annually which ultimately prohibits them from continuing their academic careers. As FMF we are saying we as students can no longer be subjected to exclusions from our universities and therefore say NO REGISTRATION FEE… NO FINANCIAL EXCLUSIONS,” the petition reads.

Leaders from both Wits and UJ are yet to respond to the protests and the students’ demands, although security officials have been deployed on both campuses.


[Image – Twitter]