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UKZN Students Completely Destroy Building



UKZN Students Completely Destroy Building

UKZN Students Completely Destroy Building. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Pietermaritzburg Campus has been thrust into turmoil as frustrated students set a building on fire. Their actions stem from grievances they feel have been disregarded by the university’s administration.

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Transition from Online to In-Person Classes

Since August 10, UKZN had transitioned to online classes, but an email sent out on Sunday announced that normal learning would resume across all campuses. This abrupt change ignited tensions among students, culminating in a dramatic protest.

Flames of Frustration

On Monday night, the William O’Brien examination venue became the focal point of the students’ anger, completely gutted by fire. According to reports from the Citizen, one of the main issues fueling the students’ ire is the new direct payment system for financial aid, which has been in place nationwide since June.

Concerns Over Direct Payment System

The direct payment system, intended to streamline financial aid disbursements, has faced significant backlash from students. Complaints include delays in payments, high banking fees, and the defunding of students. This protest is part of a larger, ongoing dispute over the system, which students have repeatedly called to be scrapped.

Broader Protests and Legal Involvement

Students at Stellenbosch University have escalated the issue by enlisting the Public Protector to investigate the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the four companies responsible for implementing the direct payment system. These protests highlight widespread dissatisfaction with the current financial aid processes.

Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) Demands

The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) in Pietermaritzburg has outlined several demands:

  1. Suspension of Academic Activities: They call for a halt to all academic activities until financial issues affecting students, particularly those impacted by the 60+ credit policy, defunded students, and self-funded postgraduate students, are resolved. They demand temporary monthly allowances for these students from the institution.
  2. Healthcare Services: The EFFSC demands a 24-hour clinic and a stationed ambulance on campus, staffed by a qualified doctor to address student healthcare needs. They also request that the institution be accredited by the Department of Health to provide government-supplied medication.
  3. Rejection of Direct Payment System: They urge the university to reject the direct payment system implemented by Tenet Systems, citing numerous student deregistrations since its implementation.

EFFSC Stance on Direct Payment System

The EFFSC has been vocal in its opposition to the new payment system, stating: “As the EFFSC, we still reject the new direct payment system. We reject the privatization of NSFAS. We demand that the institution take a stand and provide assistance to all their affected students.” They argue that the system has led to student hunger and deregistration, describing it as a “ticking timebomb waiting to explode.”


The events at UKZN highlight the severe disconnect between university administration and student needs. As protests escalate, it is clear that addressing these financial and logistical concerns is crucial to restoring stability and ensuring that students can continue their education without such drastic disruptions.

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