Wits academic staff protesting outside Yale Road. Photo By: Zinhle Tshabalala

WITS students claim they are being exploited because fees increase annually but academic and support staff are not being paid accordingly.

SRC president Tebogo Thothela said students were supporting the academic staff strike out of principle. He said, it made no sense that for the last three years student fees and the upfront fee had increased, yet that money was not being used to pay Wits employees.

“Where is this money going to?”Thothela asked.

“The university is fattening their reserves”, said Mukovhe Morris Masutha, former SRC president. “Every year the fees increased we were told that the money was going to pay academic staff, but they are not being paid.”

Khanyisa Chauke, 3rd year engineering, said the staff should get what they are protesting for because they deserve to be paid fairly. She said the money in the reserves should be used to pay the staff, because students already pay high fees compared to other institutions and therefore the money should be put to good use.

Thothela said most importantly their support for the strike was to ensure that no one suggests that student fees should increase in order to pay for academic salaries.

“We are here to tell lecturers that we are supporting you but it must never be at the expense of our fellow students”.

He said it was also in the worker’s best interest to keep the fees and upfront fees low because staff members also have children who attend the university.

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