Update from Saturday 24 October
Last updated: 16h20, 24 October 2015

24 October 2015 | Story by Newsroom
Photo by Jaco Marais/Media24.
Photo by Jaco Marais/Media24.

Summary of recent activities

  • UCT confirms there will be a 0% increase in fees for academic tuition and housing for all students from the African continent at UCT in 2016.

  • Students joined UCT academic staff, as at least 2000 people marched from Jammie Plaza to Bremner to hand over a list of demands issued jointly by the Academics Union and the Black Academic Caucus. Their main concern was police treatment of students on Monday night after the Cape High Court issued an interdict against students disrupting university activities. Various staff members who were present as riot police arrested and dispersed students protesting outside Bremner related their experiences of Monday night. Read the full story about the march.

  • The gathering of staff and students was followed by a workers' mass meeting, on the issue of outsourcing.

  • Thousands of students marched from Burgers Park to the Union Buildings, around the same time vice-chancellors from institutions around the country met with the president and other ministers in Pretoria. Following this meeting, President Jacob Zuma announced a 0% increase in higher education fees in the 2016 academic year.

  • #FeesMustFall solidarity movements converged in London and New York.

Recent statements

  • Read VC Dr Max Price's statement from 22 October outlining how a process to lift the interdict issued on Monday 19 October has been set in motion; and how UCT management has undertaken to work with SAPS and the prosecutor to have the charges against 23 students from Tuesday 20 October withdrawn.

  • UCT's Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) and Centre for Criminology released a joint statement speaking out against the excessive force used by SAPS Public Order Policing members against unarmed protesting students at Parliament and in other parts of South Africa this week.

  • UCT's Poverty and Inequality Initiative (PII) expresses its support for students in their quest for more affordable university education. The PII also commits to undertake further research on the situation of poorer students at UCT and on South Africa's campuses in order to find ways to better support disadvantaged students at the tertiary level.

  • UCT's Faculty of Law expressed great concern for the safety of protesting students and called on SAPS to act in accordance with the law.

  • CHED issued a statement of solidarity with students.

  • Read the statement from UCT's Graduate School of Business, supporting the rights of students and staff to protest freely and peacefully around the critical issue of inclusive access to education, and the immediate and complete lifting of the interdict to enable peaceful engagement.

  • A large group of South African students studying abroad, and alumni of South African universities currently studying or living overseas, have mobilised around the #FeesMustFall campaign and protests occurring in South Africa. Here is their statement of solidarity, strongly condemning the disproportionate use of force by police against students, and criminalisation of student protest action.

  • The Faculty of Health Sciences released a statement of support in favour of equitable access to higher education.

  • UCT's Post-Doctoral Association stands in solidarity with the students and hopes to see a transformation in the higher education system.

Forecast of activities to come

  • The university will be closed on Saturday 24 October and Sunday 25 October.

  • Following meeting the president and ministers on Friday 23 October, Max Price will take a number of proposals to a special sitting of UCT Council on Saturday 24 October, aimed at ensuring that students in need do not face a fee increase in 2016; and that UCT's comprehensive financial aid package for students in need remains in place.

Exam update

The set of exams due to have been written in the period 27 October to 13 November 2015 has been postponed. This entire set of exams (27 October-13 November) will be moved to a new date, as yet undetermined. Once a new date is set, students will be given notice in order to be able to prepare properly. Exam updates here.

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