Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Three reasons why #FeesMustFall protests will continue

As some universities prepared for registration for the 2016 academic year, students started #FeesMustFall protests again. On Monday, the first day of registration at the University of the Witwatersand, registration was disrupted by #FeesMustFall students as they demanded that registration fees be cancelled. These protests are a continuation from the ones last year which were intermittently stopped for examinations to take place. Protests continued even after President Jacob Zuma announced that there would be no fee increments for 2016, however, many students were not pleased and vowed that they will continue in the new year. Here are three reasons why the #FeesMustFall protests will continue

Fees did not fall, they were frozen
President Zuma’s announcement at Union Buildings was received with mixed reactions, with most students saying that it was not a victory. “Fees have not fallen. They were merely frozen by a President who refused to address us in person. So no, I am not at all happy,” said a University of Pretoria student at the  Union Buildings in October last year. Even if the fees do not increase, some students will still be financially excluded and will not be able to return to the university. The Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) has been inundated with students who have been excluded from the university because of finances. The various #FeesMustFall movements are demanding that all registration fees be cancelled so that students register for free.

End of Outsourcing
Outsourced labour makes up the bulk of the workers at various universities and this issue has been central in the #FeesMustFall protests as outsourced workers stood in solidarity with students. In October last year, a week before #FeesMustFall began, student movements from various universities such as Rhodes, UCT and Wits held a solidarity march calling for the ending of outsourced labour in universities. The fight to end outsourcing is far from over, with university management agreeing to insourcing and task teams having been put into place to determine the most strategic way to implement outsourcing. 

Decolonising academia 
The issue of exorbitant tuition has indeed united South African students, however, before #FeesMustFall there was #RhodesMustFall, #OpenStellenbosch, #TransformWits and #ReformPuk – student-led movements that are dedicated to transforming academia into a more inclusive space. “We don’t want to treat the symptoms, we want to decolonise the university – that is at the heart of the cause,” said EFF Wits leader Vuyani Pambo on KayaFM

As more universities open for registration, it is predicted that protests will continue.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Pontsho Pilane
Pontsho Pilane is an award-winning journalist interested in health, gender, race and how they intersect. She holds three degrees in media studies and journalism from Wits University

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Soweto teacher dismissed for the alleged repeated rape of a...

The learner was 13 when the alleged rapes started, and they continued for two years until she asked to be moved to another school

First-of-its-kind rangeland atlas pushes for protection

Rangelands are ‘nature’s gift to humanity’, but have been overlooked, neglected

More top stories

Soweto teacher dismissed for the alleged repeated rape of a...

The learner was 13 when the alleged rapes started, and they continued for two years until she asked to be moved to another school

MKMVA accuse top six of being factional in collapsed meeting

A defiant MKMVA has vowed it is business as usual, after a meeting with the top six ended with the military veterans being kicked out of the virtual platform

Gumede graft trial likely to begin only in July next...

The state has added racketeering to the charges faced by the former eThekwini mayor and 21 others, but logistics are likely to delay their trial until mid-2022

Nigeria’s tech community was booming. Now it’s in shock

The government’s sudden ban of Twitter could jeopardise one of the country’s most promising industries
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×