No money, more problems

Students are warned! If your fees are not paid by September 15, you will not be allowed to continue your Wits education.

Witsies with outstanding fees will be barred from the university until they settle their accounts. The fees department has sent emails, smses and letters informing students about the repercussions of unpaid fees.

Students who don’t meet the mid-month deadline will be denied access to the university, examination results will be withheld and legal action will be taken against students. The students will also be refused permission to re-register at Wits and will be refused “a certificate of good conduct without which you will be denied admission to any South African university.”

[pullquote]Witsies with outstanding fees will be barred from the university until they settle their accounts[/pullquote] Nthabiseng Molefe, 2nd year LLB student, said she received the warning letter on Monday. Her fees are paid in part by the National Students Financial Aid Scheme of South Africa (NSFAS) and her parents. She said she had signed her loan agreement with NSFAS more than a month ago, but the money did not reflected on her account.

“I went to the fees office and told them it is NSFAS’s fault but they said they can’t help me, I must make a plan,” she said.

Deputy vice chancellor, Prof Tawana Kupe, said blocking student cards was a “traditional technique” used by the university. He said blocked students were not expelled but were warned that they needed to attend to their fees. Wits SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa said dozens of students had contacted him about these letters.  He called the letters “intimidation” by the university against self-funding students behind on their fees.

Mgudlwa said the SRC would fight back and were prepared to “take to the streets like in 2009”, referring to large student protests against fees that year.