UKZN SRC appeals to state over fees

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Copy of ND UKZN STRIKE3 (4) DAILY NEWS Campus security retreats as students pelt them with stones on Friday. Students were demanding registration be extended to allow them time to come up with the fees. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo

Durban - The student representative council (SRC) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has called on government departments to come to the aid of students who were evicted from residents after failing to register because of financial reasons.

In a statement released on Friday, the last day of registration, SRC president Mthobisi Myende called on other provincial departments to, “assist students that are directly linked to the core functions of such departments”.

His call comes after Heath MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo pledged to pay last year’s fees for students at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine at UKZN after they took to the street on Thursday.

“Disappointingly, the MEC for Health excluded nursing students in his intervention, whilst they are facing the same kind of eviction.

“We are also aware that nurses are indeed needed and should be a priority if the NHI’s (national health insurance) emphasis on the promotion of primary health care quality is to be realised,” said Myende.

More than 100 students have been arrested during protests on all five campuses of the university since the beginning of the month when it opened.

The protests over residence and financial aid continue despite a Durban High Court order prohibiting it. Students claimed they were not made aware of the court action and therefore could not oppose it.

Students who were not registered by 5pm on Friday, were evicted.

Myende said students were being sent away to a life of poverty and unemployment.

He called on the university to at least extend the deadline for registration until the end of the month when some parents were likely to have money.

“Our position is informed by a simple logic that there are parents who will be being paid on February 25 and 28.

“There are students whose parents would then be in a position to raise the necessary registration money. It is an injustice of the highest order to cut off registration in the face of this reality,” said Myende.

He said if the university refused to heed their call it would be “deliberately attempting to shed as many students as possible from the system. We view this with contempt and it repulses us as student leadership.”

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