NWU Vaal withdraws from nationwide student protests

The situation at the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Vaal campus is expected to return to normal this morning, following countrywide student protests on Monday.

NWU spokesperson, Louis Jacobs, reveals the same cannot be said for the institution’s Mahikeng campus which was also affected by the countrywide protests which were led by the South African Union of Students (SAUS).

Jacobs says registration will continue at both the institution’s Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle campuses, while staff at the Mahikeng campus have been informed not to report for duty as a safety precaution. OFM News spoke to the President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the Mahikeng campus, Theo Seepamore, from the peaceful march which has already gotten underway.

Seepamore says the reason they are collectively continuing with the shutdown is because Minister Blade Nzimande is yet to respond to their list of 16 demands which are outlined in SAUS’ statement. These include: “all students with historical debts being allowed to register at all universities” and free registration for “poor and vulnerable students”.

Nzimande is reported to have already said historical debt for students who don’t qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) cannot be erased.

Seepamore says another pertinent issue is the revision of the policy that governs the accreditation of student accommodation. He says as it stands, there isn’t enough off-campus accommodation for students.

For now, the situation is reportedly calm and no violent incidents have been reported.