January 20, 2021

More Universities Shut Down Amid National Shutdown protest

  • National Shutdown of Universities looms
  • Students union have set out demands
Picture: SRC addresses students at the University of Fort Hare. Picture: Facebook/South African Union of Students

North West University, Univen, Fort Hare, CUT and others join the National Shutdown

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) made demands to the Department of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande on Monday. The students union vowed to close down all universities unless their demands are met.

“The South African Union of Students (SAUS) calls for a National Shutdown for all universities with effect from Monday 27/01/2020,” read the statement by SAUS released on Monday

“The call for a National Shutdown comes after numerous attempts at engaging and trying to bring sobriety to the Department of Higher Education and Training in light of the difficult and demoralizing realities of student issues on the ground”

As per the SAUS communique, Students have the following demands:

  • Allocation of debt relief fund for clearances of student debts and all students with historical debts must be allowed to register
  • Students must be given their academic records and certificates despite them owing universities
  • Post-graduate students and B-Techs must be allowed to register. We are demanding postgraduate funding.
  • Correct accreditation process for private accommodation
  • Free registration for vulnerable, poor and missing middle students
  • Re-opening of NSFAS applications for new students and walk inns
  • We demand revision of DHET bursary guidelines to include submissions made by SRC Presidents last year especially on off campus students allowances and free sanitary towels for female students
  • Increase of enrollment quotas amidst the high pass matric rate of 83.1%
  • A clear implementation plan for student Mental health, safety and security in campuses
  • We demand the inclusion of UNISA in all allowances
  • DHET must address the shortage of student accommodation, decaying infrastructure for teaching and learning
  • Expedite the NSFAS appeals process and elimination of n+1 and reinstatement of n+2 rule
  • Food security for hungry poor students who are unfunded
  • Improving the central application process and redesign the CACH to avoid excluding students
  • Fees must fall for all universities that increased the fees without consulting with the SRC

The National Shutdown protest is picking momentum with various universities joining.


North West University, Univen, Fort Hare, CUT joined the protest this week.

“We are ready for anything”

“We are ready for anything if the above demands are not attended as a matter of urgency,” the students warned ina statement.

Minister Blade Nzimande made it clear that students who are owing cannot have their debts cleared by the government.

“Unfortunately, public funds for the university system are constrained and there is no possibility that debts of students who are not NSFAS-qualifying can be eradicated by government. A longer-term solution lies in improved funding opportunities for ‘missing middle’ students, and working with the private sector,” he said.

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