Students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban University of Technology (DUT), Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) and University of Zululand (UniZulu) are threatening a strike until their demands are met for free education, safer student resident and an increase in their food and book allowances.
Universities said that they are aware of the planned student protests but would evaluate the situation early this week, Students from four universities deny any co-ordinating or joint decisions to take action at the start of the academic year.
“However, we can confirm that according to the university calendar, classes are commencing on Monday and first year students are in hive of excitement and looking forward to the start of the academic year,” said UniZulu spokesperson, Gcina Nhleko-Mdluli to The Mercury.
According to SRC president at UKZN, Sanele Hlongwa, students who received free education last year, were asked to pay at least 50 percent of their fees for previous academic year, as well as being asked to pay a monthly fee of what they can afford and sign a contract agreement that was not properly explained to students, some of whom are now left in debt.
“That is one of the major points of this protest because students are unable to register this year due to that agreement. They obviously signed these documents stating they could pay a certain amount but since it was not properly explained they signed off on an amount they cannot afford,” concluded Hlongwa.