- The University of KwaZulu-Natal has called on stakeholders to help settle R72 million in student debt
- 1 435 students are facing the prospect of not returning to complete their studies over the outstanding amount
- The situation has seen millions lost due to damage done during protests over the situation
The University of KwaZulu-Natal has pleaded with stakeholders to help settle R72 million in outstanding student debt.
This would help 1 435 students continue to study after they were barred from registering for this year's studies.
In a statement issued on the matter, the university's council implored stakeholders to step in:
“All stakeholders have been implored to work together to raise the funds required to immediately help these students with payments required prior to registration, and also the funds required to settle their historic debt during the course of the academic year."
The council explained that the university couldn't provide free enrolment to ' every unfunded student whose annual income is below R350 000, when even government policy on fully subsidised higher education does not provide such funding'.
The “financial and cash flow implications of the concessions that are already in place and resolved that any additional financial clearance concessions would be self-defeating for all concerned” have been taken into consideration by the council.
With student representatives answering the call to action, a portion of this year's budget has been allocated to helping:
“The council also noted and welcomed the student leadership’s commitment towards raising funds for the affected students and their pledge to contribute a portion of the 2020 SRC budget towards this."
Briefly.co.za reported that the university has been plagued by protests that have included incidents of arson.
Students were required to settle 15% of their historical debt before the university would allow them to register for the new academic year.
In a statement issued on the university's position in the controversial unrest, vice-chancellor Nana Poku revealed that R31 million in damage had been done during the protests.
Former president Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane has since offered an undisclosed amount in an attempt to help remedy the situation.
Duduzane Zuma urged students to stop the violence during his announcement:
“To my good brothers at UKZN, let’s stop burning our buildings. We’re smarter than that. I understand your frustrations, I understand your anger. Let’s channel our frustrations, let’s hone in on our anger and let’s make a difference. We will sit down, I will come to you and we will do what needs to be done."
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