#Feesmustfall protests have returned to South Africa. On Thursday in Johannesburg, student leaders left a meeting with the Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimand, News 24 reported. However, it was not immediately clear if they walked out or were kicked out.
The students before the meeting stated they had eight demands to be met:
- end to financial exclusion;
- clearance of all historical debt;
- free registration;
- all NSFAS issues to be addressed;
- a timeline on when free education would be implemented;
- quality student accommodation;
- international students should have the same concessions as South African students, and;
- language barriers should be addressed as they have prevented some students from progressing.
Students in South Africa started protesting a couple months ago when the government announced they were going to hike up higher education fees in the country. Students protesting in such numbers had not been seen since the time of apartheid when students led the opposition to the apartheid regime.
Yet with it’s return, comes a new slogan – #AccessMustRise adding to the escalating protests.
This week has also seen President Jacob Zuma appoint a Commission of Inquiry in order to delve into broader issues that affect funding of higher education in the country.
The Commission aims to focus on six main objectives which includes looking at “the feasibility of making higher education and training fee-free in South Africa”. Those involved will then record their findings, “report on and make recommendations” pertaining to the six main topics.