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If I have debt, I must service it – Unisa in response to rioting students

29 January 2020 10:16 AM
Tags:
NSFAS
Unisa
National Student Financial Aid Scheme
Pietermaritzburg
University of South Africa
Refilwe Moloto
Lusani Netshitomboni
Student riots and striking staff – it’s been a violent start to Unisa’s year. Refilwe Moloto interviews Dr Lusani Netshitomboni.

Scores of students at Unisa’s campus in Pietermaritzburg blockaded a road with burning tyres and garbage on Monday.

Image credit: Kaveel Singh, News24 (Twitter screengrab, scroll down to watch the video)

They are upset that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) refuses to fund students who perform poorly.

Students are also demanding the cancellation of historical debt and the shutting down of the institution until their demands are met.

They also want Unisa to allow indebted students to register and the university to issue academic records and certificates to those with outstanding fees.

They have promised to keep protesting.

Police shot teargas and rubber bullets into the crowd of students.

In related news, lecturers and admin staff at Unisa are on strike, demanding a 9% increase.

The university is offering 6%.

The latest available inflation rate (December 2019) is 4%.

Student leaders at Unisa have criticised the strike as selfish.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Dr Lusani Netshitomboni, acting director of communications at Unisa.

If you are a student and you owe the university an amount… you will be allowed to register. That is a non-issue. It has been resolved… The strike [by lecturers and admin staff] has an impact on registration. Of course, that has aggrieved the students… We encourage students to register online… Our systems are fully functional.

Dr Lusani Netshitomboni, acting director of communications - Unisa

If I have a debt, I have to service it… You sign an acknowledgement of debt form, then we allow you to register…

Dr Lusani Netshitomboni, acting director of communications - Unisa

For more detail, listen to the interview in the audio below.

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29 January 2020 10:16 AM
Tags:
NSFAS
Unisa
National Student Financial Aid Scheme
Pietermaritzburg
University of South Africa
Refilwe Moloto
Lusani Netshitomboni

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