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The South African Union of Students (SAUS) plans to shutdown all South Africa’s 26 universities from Monday

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) plans to shutdown all South Africa’s 26 universities from Monday if students registration block isn’t uplifted.

According to TimesLIVE, “the total debt owed to the 26 institutions by students is about R10bn, which includes R1.6bn owed to the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and R1bn to Wits University, according to figures supplied to the Sunday Times.”

The South African Students Congress (SASCO) and the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC)students unions insist that all students owing the 26 institutions be allowed to register, failure to do so would lead to nationwide universities shutdown.

SASCO Secretary-General Buthanani Thobela said all they ever asked of was for all students to register irrespective of their historical debts.

“So there must be a way to engage the universities on the question of opening registrations. We agreed that there must be a collective solution to the historical debt,” said Thobela.

Minister of Higher Education Dr Blade Nzimande’s blamed for failing to resolve the students’ financial issues.

On Thursday, Nzimande promised to prioritise meeting the R7bn shortfall in National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) money for first-year students from the department’s budget, whilst University of South Africa is urged to cut 20,000 first years – though the decision thereof will be challenged in Pretoria High Court to have it set aside.

Nzimande’s spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said engagements with stakeholders were taking place throughout the weekend to reach a conclusion favouring everyone.

“We advocate for continuous engagement between students and management so that they reach common ground in resolving the issue of historical debt,” said Mnisi.

Early iin the morning, University of Johannesburg (UJ) students blocked several roads with burning tyres in Auckland Park in Johannesburg for non-registration of students who owe the institution, their main demand is that all students be allowed register even though they’re in debts.

Police responded to the protest in Auckland Park, trying disperse the students.

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