The Wits SRC shut down the Fees and Financial Aid Offices in Solomon Mahlangu House earlier today. 

People waiting in long queues were dispersed after the Wits SRC demanded the Fees Office to close until their demands are met. Photo :Ntando Thukwana

The Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) has shut down the Fees and Financial Aid offices following demands made to the University Council’s on Thursday, January 25.

The student body are demanding that students with outstanding fees should be allowed to register despite having historical debt.

SRC spokesperson, Sandla Mtotywa, said, “This is just a little message to the university, that we can shut down any time we want and they must adhere to our demands … We are in a situation where we do want to start an academic year but if they as the university management want to kill that, then let it be, we’ll shut down if that’s the case.”

The SRC are asking that all students owing R30 000 or less be allowed to register for the 2018 academic year. The university is only allowing students that owe R10 000 to register through a fee waiver.

Commenting on the number of students affected, SRC Treasurer, Sivuyile Mhatu, said, “I have not yet quantified it to an exact number, it’s very difficult to do so because cases come in day by day. Every day I can receive over 100 emails with the same issue [financial exclusion].”

The SRC is also demanding that the students who meet the criteria for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) but did not apply for NSFAS should be allowed to register along with those whose applications have been rejected.

Mtotywa said the SRC is expected to meet with the University Council this afternoon to discuss their demands and are expected to brief students in due time