The South African Student Congress (SASCO) and other student formations have called for a national shutdown of all higher learning institutions. This comes after the South African Union of Students (SAUS) gave Dr Blade Nzimande until the 15th of March to come up with a clear response for students regarding the funding of students and clearance of outstanding fees.
The collapse of NSFAS has left many first-time entry students frustrated and anxious. Students owing fees cannot register without paying a huge percentage of money that majority of students do not have. Other universities have agreed to let students with outstanding fees to register for 2021, but they are still in immense debt, UKZN (University of KwaZulu Natal) alone has more than 1.7 billion rand in student debt .The call for a national shutdown is to re-address these unending issues of financial exclusion.
Tshwane University of Technology has however rejected the call to join the national shutdown by SAUS. “The reason for such bold stance is because the university is yet to complete its 2020 academic year. It will be unfair for the ISRC to call for the University to shut down whilst students want to exit the university as graduates to participate in the mainstream economy” wrote the TUT ISRC on a statement dated 14 March 2021.
The University of Technology is currently conducting summative sit-in tests to complete the 2020 academic year.