National News

Universities face fee crisis


On 26 August News24 published an article titled “16 SA universities in ‘financial distress’ named”. The article named 16 out of 26 public universities in the country that are facing financial distress for 2017/18. The universities were named by Dr Blade Nzimande, while answering a parliamentary question posed by Belinda Bozzoli, a shadow minister for DA.

Dr Nzimande explained that the combined deficit of all 16 universities is estimated at R3.97 billion should a 0% increase in fees be implemented. The universities are ranked in order of deficit size beginning with the largest:

Read more: Universities face fee crisis

Failed impeachment bid saves Zuma again


President Jacob Zuma survived another attempt on his political life as the DA led motion to impeach him on 5 April failed.

Out of the 376 votes cast in the National Assembly, 233 of them were not in favour of the motion of impeachment – keeping the president in power – while 143 votes were cast in favour of the motion.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane anticipated the strength of the ruling party in protecting the president, saying, “Today is an historic day. It will be recorded that ANC members chose to defend a crooked, broken president instead of the Constitution and the rule of law. Today will signal once and for all that the ANC has lost its way, and there is no way back.” Fellow opposition leaders backed the motion, with IFP MP Narend Singh telling MP’s, “Saying ‘no’ to this motion will be morally unconscionable. Do the right thing. If you choose not to, then cry the beloved country.” EFF leader Julius Malema implored ANC MP’s to vote in favour of the motion, saying, “Stop thinking through your stomachs, use your brain to think.”

Read more: Failed impeachment bid saves Zuma again

#FeesMustFall: success for students


On 26 October students met at the Amphitheatre and decided to occupy the Client Service Centre (CSC). It was announced in the CSC that UPrising had updated the original memorandum, handed to Vice- Chancellor Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, on Wednesday 21 October, and that they had added more demands to it.

After several hours, Prof. De la Rey announced that she would sign off in agreement with the updated memorandum, which led to cheers from students.

This comes in light of the peaceful protests last week that took place on Hatfield campus. UP students joined a mass student march on Friday 23 October to the Union Buildings, which was part of a protest related to the #FeesMustFall campaign which contested the increase of university fees across the country. The march was attended by over 15 000 people from various universities, including the Tshwane University of Technology, the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Johannesburg and UP.

Read more: #FeesMustFall: success for students

Anti-Racism Week at a glance


Anti-Racism Week, launched by the Anti- Racism Network of South Africa (ARNSA), took place from 14-21 March. Many institutions across the country acted in response to this.

UP began to tackle racism through its “Re A Bua programme”, which included an anti-racism pledge that students and staff were encouraged to sign. The campaign aims “to build a solid foundation on which to increase inclusivity and social cohesion within the institution”, according to the Department of Human Capital and Transformation.

Read more: Anti-Racism Week at a glance

Lillian Ngoyi Square to become a tribute to women


A new monument to women will be erected at Lillian Ngoyi Square in the capital city of South Africa, which will serve as a symbol of hope to women. The monument, which is in remembrance of the group of women who marched to the Union Building on 9 August 1956 in protest of the oppressive pass laws of the day, will stand proudly next to the State Theatre along Lillian Ngoyi Street (formerly known as Van der Walt Street).

The site is home to a number of painful memories, as it used to be named Strijdom Square after he apartheid era prime minister JG Strijdom. According to the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure, the monument will include a multipurpose centre that will cater for informal and formal training of women, market access for local crafts, and will provide information to younger generations about women’s struggle for emancipation. The overall aim is for it to serve as a training centre where women can be trained in both political and social issues. This is to make the square an iconic location where women from all generations can come together to share and explore ideas to empower themselves. It is also to preserve the heritage and values that could be passed down from one generation to the next.

Read more: Lillian Ngoyi Square to become a tribute to women

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