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UCT students up in arms over financial exclusions

University of Cape Town (UCT) students protest over financial exclusion. Picture Leon Lestrade. African News Agency (ANA)

University of Cape Town (UCT) students protest over financial exclusion. Picture Leon Lestrade. African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 13, 2021

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Cape Town - The financial exclusion of some of University of Cape Town students led to a protest on campus on Friday.

The protest was sparked by a similar one against financial exclusion at Wits University earlier this week.

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UCT Student Representative Council president Declan Dyer said some students have been financially excluded from the institution.

He said, as part of their protest, they decided to occupy the Kramer building because it houses the fees office and the financial aid office.

He said they would protest at the building until their demands have been submitted to the management.

“As of February 25, there were about 2 500 students that have been excluded. The last formal communication with us was on February 25,” he said.

Dyer said from the engagements they have had so far the management is refusing to attend, but it is ongoing.

He said the management is of the view that SRC is the leadership and must convey to the students.

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Dyer added that they will not stop until they are attended to.

Meanwhile, students from Northlink College also took to the streets, marching from their Parow campus to Bellville campus to handover a memorandum.

The college’s general-secretary Andlie Manqindi said they gathered to hand over a memorandum and their demands are very clear.

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He said they wanted to discuss the issue of delays in NSFAS administration, the issue of racism within the college and the lack of communication between management and the students.

Some students from the college who are funded by SETA to study Motor Bodywork alleged that they were not paid their stipend during lockdown and could not complete their studies. However, SETA and the college have promised that they will be paid.

Minister of the Department of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande said this week that Cabinet met and discussed the matter of funding shortfall at NSFAS.

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“The particular issue under discussion was the shortfall in funding for NSFAS for 2021 which has delayed NSFAS in being able to communicate funding decisions to students and institutions for first-time entering students in public universities,” he said.

He said they agreed that funding should be re-prioritised from the budget of the department.

Weekend Argus

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