Durban - While there have been hiccups in the registration processes at some institutions of higher learning in Durban, others are on track, with things running smoothly despite the high demand for spaces due to free education.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal is one of these with its registration on track and is expected to wrap up on March 2.

Spokesperson Norma Zondo said they were on target with their enrolment forecast of more than 45000 first year and returning students.

“First-time entry students who have been offered a place at UKZN qualify for NSFAS funding if they have applied and their family income is below R350000 per annum,” she said. “Funding includes allowances for books, meals, accommodation and travel.”

Meanwhile, the demand for spaces because of free education has had an impact on the intake at Mangosuthu University of Technology. Spokesperson Bheki Hlophe said that in coping with the increase, some departments had increased their intake after having met enrolment targets.

“Some of these departments include human resources and marketing. The demand for spaces has increased but MUT can only take 11500 students,” he said.

Hlophe added that while it was not new, the university’s offering some classes in the evening as well, such as engineering, had helped in addressing the numbers problem.

Durban University of Technology, with the help of its SRC body, has given an assurance that it will help students to register over the next few days as lectures are expected to resume on Tuesday.

This is after salary negotiations with striking workers reached a deadlock this week, following four days of mediation by the CCMA in the month-long strike.

Unions are demanding an 8% salary increase as well as a R350 increase in housing allowance. Management is offering a 6.5% increase in salary and 6.5% in housing allowance. This amounts to a R66 increase.

University spokesperson Alan Khan said that despite challenges presented by striking workers, the institution had registered more than 18000 students this academic year.