Johannesburg — University of Johannesburg students were yesterday demanding that registration be done on site, and not online.
Student leader Lindokuhle Xulu told parents and students, who had been waiting to register in the scorching heat, to mobilise against online registration.
He said it was not fair that students from townships with no internet access were being forced to register online.
“We’ve a situation here, the university has taken a policy that’s against us, saying that we’re not allowed on campus. Inside campus there are more than 20,000 computers to assist you to register. We’ve called for officials of the university to come down and attend to our issues,” he said.
Xulu said he did not understand how the university could tell a child from rural Lusikisiki to register online.
“The only resource we must use to register is inside. We must be allowed inside,” he said.
Some students claimed they could not enter campus, as their student cards had been blocked. A security contingent was visible at the security gates.
Over 100 students sat outside the campus gates waiting to hear if they would be allowed to register on campus.
Xulu said the university management would address them soon.
At the nearby Wits University, registration was suspended for the day following a protest by the institution’s student representative council.
Wits Student Representative Council president Nompendulo Mkatshwa spearheaded student protests at the university’s Hall 29, where onsite registration was meant to take place.
She told parents and students that the SRC would not permit any students to register until their demands were met by university management.
“Our intent isn’t to render these institutions ungovernable . . . our intent is to ensure that every academically qualified student registers in the year 2016. An injury to one is an injury to all.”
Mkatshwa said there was a concern among students around an extension of the 0 percent fee increase.
“Right now we’ve no certainty that we’ll have a 0% increment in the year 2017 . . . we don’t know when this tag team is going to start implementing structures towards free education,” she said.
Mkatshwa said they were giving university management 24 hours to respond to their demands.
An assisting dean then addressed parents and said registrations was suspended for the day, and urged students to register online.
This protest follows last year’s countrywide student demonstrations against fee increments for 2016.
President Jacob Zuma then said there would be no increase in fees for the year.
Meanwhile, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students were writing exams disrupted by last year’s #FeesMustFall protests at a military base in Cape Town yesterday.
CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said the Wingfield naval base in Goodwood was chosen because it could accommodate around 2,000 students in a sitting.
It has been used successfully before as an exam venue.
Students were also writing at remote venues in Durban, Johannesburg and the Eastern Cape and examination staff had travelled to Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe for students there.
“We understand that they don’t necessarily have the funds to come and write,” said Kansley.
Last year, students and riot police clashed several times during a nationwide demand for no fee increases.
By November, planned fee increases were scrapped, but the protests continued and exams were disrupted. — AFP.