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Sunday, July 25, 2021

National Shutdown: Student Protests Against Financial Exclusion Set To Continue

STUDENT protests are set to continue this week as students demands an end to financial exclusion and the scrapping of historic debt.

So far, students from 18 universities are participating in the national shutdown – with more expected to join the protests.

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) held a meeting this week and resolved to take the fight to the president with a march planned to head to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

“In broader efforts to intensify the #NationalShutdown, the meeting resolved to prepare logistics to mobilize students across all institutions of higher learning, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers union (NEHAWU), the Taxi Industry through the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and citizens across the country in preparation of a rolling mass action to various sites of governments including National Treasury, The Department of higher Education, NSFAS, Union Buildings and Parliament,” said SAUS Secretary General, Lwandile Mtsolo, in a statement on Monday.

“The meeting reaffirmed that the #NationalShutdown will continue from Tuesday the 23rdof March 2021 until our demands are met by government, and that institutions that are done writing examinations will soon be joining the #NationalShutdown throughout the course of the week. While the shutdown develops, the meeting mandated SAUS officials to lead a delegation to facilitate stakeholder engagementswith the Minister on the 15 demands and report back timeously.”

Mtsolo said that most institutions have joined and are in support of the national shutdown as an important program of action for the advancement of the interests of students; and that our students are protesting peacefully with no incidents of violence and arson on the side of students.

The meeting of SAUS said the few institutions that did not join earlier last week were writing examinations to finish the 2020 academic year.

Mtsolo said other institutions in KwaZulu-Natal had indicated that they were observing the planting of the Zulu King to be concluded.

Meanwhile, Mtsolo said the SAUS has met with the Public Protector and the South African Human Rights Commission on Friday and successfully presented the case for education as a human right and the right to protest.

“The meeting resolved to collectively set up a mechanism to identify and investigate violation of student rights including the abuse of power by vice chancellors through court interdicts and suspension/expulsion of students,” said Mtsolo.

  • Inside Education
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