Union Calls For NSFAS To Allocate & Disburse Funds
The South African Union of Students have expressed their displeasure with the death which allegedly is a result of plice bullets. They have also issued a list of demands to the Higher Education Minister which included NSFAS funding, free education and registration.
The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has now issued a list of demands to Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, which includes NSFAS disbursing allowances to students and free registration.
SAUS has condemned the death of a 35 year old man during the Wits protest blaming it on "SAPS brutality" while also issuing demands to the Minister.
In a statement released by SAUS, it read:
The South African Union of Students condemns the brutality and violence by the South African Police Services (SAPS) earlier today in Braamfontein who, through the use of LIVE ammunition against UNARMED students, have claimed the life of a bystander who was passing by.
It has however not been confirmed that the deceased was shot by a live round bullet or not and whether his death was due to the police, although all that we know at the moment suggests so.
Wits students were protesting to demand that the University allows financially excluded students who can't afford to pay their students debt and the registration fee, to register.
The Union's list of demands include:
- Clearance of historic debts
- Justice for the deceased and an end to police brutality which targets students
- Post-grade funding provision and for advanced diploma qualifications to be included in the funding framework
- Allocation of NSFAS funds for first time entering students and they should be allowed to register
- Laptops must be delivered
- All allowances provided in March
- Increase in student enrolment quotas to allow admission for matriculates
- Free registration for 2021
- Students must be provided with their academic records and certificates, even those who owe the universities
- Zero percent fee increase for 2021
- Free quality education for the poor and the missing middle
- 100% of all students to campus under lockdown level 1
- Extension of the registration period to 30th April 2021
- NSFAS appeals to be opened and finalized within the next two weeks
Should the Minister not respond to these demands, SAUS plans to have a national shutdown of all higher education institutions from 15 March.
SAUS has said that the police is "anti-black and anti-poor ... systemically racist" and that they are not trained to deal with protests. They continued by saying that they are "inhumanely and unreasonably aggressive to the extent that they find pleasure in violating the rights of ordinary South Africans, including the right to life."
They have also said that Vice-Chancellors earn high salaries, which according to StatsSA goes up to R5 million while a student debt crisis persists.
As a Student Union, we can NO LONGER watch while students are turned into criminals for fighting for free education- something that was promised by the state. Free education should not be a death sentence.
Minister Nzimande is set to provide an update on NSFAS funding for first time entering students today at 11am.
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