Lack of NSFAS Allowances Pushes WSU Students to Protest

Students at the Walter Sisulu University have taken to the streets to protest over NSFAS allowances as well as admission and registration matters. The University has suspended all academic activities due to these protests.

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Students are threatening to take current protest action up a notch should their demands not be met and have given WSU until Friday to provide an answer to their demands.

Within the memorandum of demands handed over to management, students are requesting that all NSFAS beneficiaries must be clear with immediate effect and that all students must receive their NSFAS allowances with immediate effect.

The SRC is also demanding that all students must receive R5200, which is the learning material allowance, as students can't survive academically without being equipped with their learning materials.

Academic activities at three Walter Sisulu University campuses (WSU) remain suspended as students have been protesting to have their demands heard when it comes to NSFAS allowances, student accommodation, University admission and registration.

The Secretary of WSU's Student Representative Council said:

We must rally behind a peaceful shutdown of the campus. 

Students are said to have been engaging with management since the beginning of the year but that these engagements have been failing and have not been leading to any solutions to the issues presented.

"We have been experiencing polite arrogance from manangement whereby we have agreed today, they will sit in a meeting tomorrow and revert on everything we have agreed on,"  he said.

These meetings, according to students, are wasting University resources and they no longer want to sit in the meetings. They have decided to instead hand over a memorandum of demands to the University.

The SRC has said that they also want a contact graduation because "management is exploiting Covid-19 for the benefit of savings".

Going to a graduation ceremony, it is the right of the student. Actually, it is the pride of the student after having been studying so hard ... we want our parents to feel proud of us. It is a moment for us to feel proud of the education we have acquired.

Another problem brought up is that of poor students who were unable to apply for NSFAS funding due to a lack of resources. 

Students therefore want provisions to be made for these students. 

The University has been closed since Monday.

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