SA Union of Students calls for national shutdown

    Thousands of students converge at the University of Cape Town, on October 22, 2015, in Cape Town, for a meeting about ongoing protests against fee hikes by students from various tertiary education institutions around the city. This protest joins similar protests at other universities around South Africa. University activism has been increasing this year as students vent their anger over the limited racial transformation in education since racist white-minority rule ended with Nelson Mandela's election in 1994. Many students says higher fees -- which could rise by 10 percent a year -- will further prevent poorer black youths gaining university education. AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

    JOHANNESBURG – The South African Union of Students has called for a national shutdown of all universities just days before they are set to reopen.

    This after failed discussions between the union and the Department of Higher Education and Training regarding admission for poor students with debts.

    Union NEC member Bongani Mahlangu says after having negotiated and coming to an agreement, the department went behind their back and changed everything.

    “The negotiations we’ve been having with the department since last year…have collapsed.

    “We have negotiated and agreed on things with the department and then when the department goes and make the final decision on their own, they change everything.”

    He says until their demands are met, all institutions will continue this shutdown.