University students in South Africa are protesting the rising cost of education.

Mar 12, 2023 - 22:33
Mar 13, 2023 - 14:01
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University students in South Africa are protesting the rising cost of education.

Every year, the cost of attending a South African institution becomes unsustainable for students.

University students in South Africa will spend an average of $3000 USD in 2023, according to data from financial services company Old Mutual.

Students at the University of the Witwatersrand have shut down the campus in protest of the exclusion of students who cannot afford to enroll for the new academic year and pay off debt.

According to one of the student leaders, they are demanding that the institution not leave academically deserving students stranded.

According to Lungile Magagula, Interim Chairperson of the Wits University Student Forum, financial exclusion is not a legitimate reason to prevent students from beginning the new academic year.

"The issue here is that students are unable to register due to budgetary constraints. Most students who are unable to register are academically qualified but are unable to do so due to budgetary constraints. And that is one of our main requests," Magagula stated.

Students at Wits University were seen sleeping in public areas last week due to delays in obtaining financial aid for housing.

Onkokame Seepamore, a final-year BA Law student, shows concern that financial aid for housing remains a challenge year after year.

"At the current time, I don't have funding and I am appealing for financial aid. It was fine in previous years, but this year was difficult because I didn't have any money. I had trouble finding a place to stay and registration." Seepamore stated.

Fees Must Fall protests erupted on universities across South Africa seven years ago. Students demanded free and high-quality higher education. Lungile believes that now is the moment to put pressure on the government to provide free education.

"It is time for us to contemplate free education. These are the consequences of not having free schooling. It is time for the government and universities to collaborate in order to contemplate free education," Magagula asserts.

Wits University students and officials are still negotiating at this time.

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