The Wits EFFSC continues its protest against financial exclusions at Wits University.

The Wits Economic Freedom Fighters Student Council (EFFSC) delivered an updated memorandum of demands to Wits University during a march at the campus on Monday, March 1.

The march was held in support of over 8 000 Wits University students facing financial exclusion this year. The memorandum demands that all students be allowed to register immediately irrespective of historical debt owed to the institution.  In addition, the EFFSC is asking the university to allow students who have been accepted into Wits residences to move in. The memorandum also demands that the Wits executive put pressure on national government to provide a higher education debt bailout for student debt.

A printed copy of the memorandum was presented to Dean of students, Jerome September by the Wits EFFSC after being read aloud by Raees Noorhbhai, chair of the student forum in the Wits school of physics council. 

“[The Wits EFFSC] is collaborating with clubs and societies in this institution, and we are going to march to submit this memorandum to the dean of students. We are going to give him time to go and check with the executive. This is an urgent motion, hence we are doing a march,” said EFFSC cell coordinator of the Wits school of education, Mpho Rankapole. 

After signing the memorandum, September addressed the EFFSC and members of the student councils, saying that the Wits executive has been in conversation with the SRC to find sustainable solutions going forward. 

“None of us are saying that these demands are not legitimate, they are real concerns and real hardships. But our limitation is that we do not have endless resources as an institution and that makes it very difficult for the university alone, to want to resolve this. That’s really the heart of the issue, it’s the resources…and where do we get [the resources] from to resolve the issue,” said September to Wits Vuvuzela

The first teaching block of the university commences on March 8, 2021. Although specific dates were not given, September said that registration for postgraduates has been extended to next week, while undergraduate students would be able to register for the next two weeks. September agreed to respond to the memorandum’s demands, by 1pm on Tuesday, March 2. 

*CORRECTION (March 3, 2021): This article initially referred to Raees Noorhbhai,  as a member of the Wits Palestinian Solidarity Committee (PSC), when in fact, he was acting as the chair of the student forum in the Wits school of physics council at this march. The error has been corrected in the text.

FEATURED PHOTO: Dean of students, Jerome September (middle), signs the updated memorandum delivered to him by the Wits EFFSC, standing alongside (from left) Palestinian Solidarity Committee member Raees Noorbhai, EFFSC member Kamohelo Chauke, and EFFSC secretary, Phumzile Mathibela.