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UNISA Durban campus at a standstill as students protest

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The Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of South Africa’s (UNISA) Durban campus has issued a memorandum of demands to university management, following a series of student protests.

Students at UNISA’s Durban campus have brought the institution to a standstill following a series of student protests. The University’s SRC has handed over a memorandum of demands to university management. In the memorandum, issues of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances were raised. The SRC claims that allowances were supposed to be paid into student accounts on 28 February 2019 but have not been paid to date. They were also unhappy about being rejected for NSFAS funding and for being denied university registration. Students also demanded that exams be postponed.

“As a university we have no control over NSFAS operations, all we can do is liaise with them and say, ‘these are the problems, please solve them’,” said UNISA Communications Manager Siyabonga Seme. He also confirmed that no UNISA student has yet received any NSFAS allowance.

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Although students had demanded a postponement to exams, due to start in April, Seme says there is no indication of postponement so far.

“I don’t have the stats, but I know the majority of the students are ready. We have extended our working hours and we even come in on Saturdays to make sure that we get the study materials to the students,” he said.

UNISA KwaZulu-Natal SRC President Lungile Nhlenyama said that the university would remain closed until management reverted to the students with a satisfactory answer.

This is not the first protest to take place at UNISA this year. In January 2019, students protested for the same demands listed in the memorandum.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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