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Classes were suspended at the Tshwane University of Technology on Wednesday because students were protesting, the institution said.
“The SA Students Congress (Sasco) called for protests against the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS),” spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said.
“The demand for money was bigger than the availability for funding.”
She said there were disruptions at the Pretoria campus on Wednesday morning as students were burning tyres outside the school gate.
Management decided to close the gates and send the staff home, she said.
“Students who still need to register can make use of the TUT online registration system,” De Ruyter said.
Students Representative Council secretary general Sigfried Tivana said students decided to go on strike because they were frustrated.
“Massive exclusion of poor African working class students by the university left students with no option but to embark on a mass rolling action,” Tivana said.
The students were demanding access to NSFAS for all deserving and qualifying students.
They also demanded an end to racism in Afrikaner-dominated faculties, re-admission of all academically excluded students, provision for adequate residential accommodation and salary cuts for all senior managers and directors.
“We have vowed to stop all operations on the university campuses and any attempt to oppose this shall be met with the brutality of the fighting forces of student masses,” Tivana said.
He said students would continue to protest until their demands were met by the university.
Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania spokesman Nare Mathekga said the organisation supported the students' protest.
“We further call for the resignation of the pseudo-communist minister of higher education and the entire Cabinet for their inability to provide access to higher education to poor African working class students,” Mathekga said. - Sapa