Since early October this year the #FeesMustFall campaign has brought South Africa to a stand-still in what is said to be the biggest uprising since apartheid. The students protested against the ridiculous increase in fees and called for free education across South African universities.
The #FeesMustFall campaign highlighted once more the inequalities that continue to exist beyond 1994. However the students behind the campaign have demonstrated to us the power citizens have in bringing the government and relevant stakeholders accountable.
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University students might receive debt relief and see the end of outsourcing. This follows after the student action protests that took place last week at the university. The university council met over the weekend and the Council chair Ronnie Pillay said they had resolved to end outsourcing.
Management has been instructed to pay service workers a minimum wage of R5 000 from the first of December 2015. The workers get access to medical services at the university clinic in addition to study benefits.
Debt relief will be immediately implemented for all poor National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) students with outstanding balances, as well as some who are academically deserving.
The university council has called on government to develop a sustainable and effective debt relief system for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and said that management should get more funding from external sources.