William O’Brian building brought down to its studs. Image:@GeehSport/UKZN

UKZN Students completely destroy building

UKZN PMB Campus is under heavily armed police presence after students burnt down an examination venue.


William O’Brian building brought down to its studs. Image:@GeehSport/UKZN

Disgruntled students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg Campus have set a building alight over their concerns being ‘ignored’ by management.

The institution had been conducting classes online since 10 August, however on Sunday the University sent out an email to students announcing that normal learning will resume across all its campuses.


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On Monday night, the William O’Brien examination venue bore the brunt of students frustrations as it was completely gutted by fire.

According to the Citizen, on of the students main concerns is over the new direct payment system, which has been rolled out across the country since June.

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This is not the first protest over the payments system as student have been calling for the direct payment system to be scrapped. Some of the students concerns include the late payments, high banking fees and defunding of students.

Students at Stellenbosch University have gone to the extent of enlisting the Public Protector to investigate NSFAS and the four companies appointed to implement the direct payment system.

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Some of the demands list by the EFF Student Command (EFFSC) in Pietermaritzburg include:

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  1. The suspension of all academic activities until all the student affected by the 60+ credit policy, students who have been defunded and self funded post graduate students, must receive temporary allowances on a monthly basis from the institution, up until all their financial issues have been resolved.
  2. 25 hour clinic and a stationed ambulance. The EFFSC request that the university appoint a qualified doctor who will cater to the needs of the students. Ams request for thr institution be accredited by the Department of Health so that all medication is provided by government.
  3. The students request that the institution rejects the direct payment system implemented by Tenet System. 

The EFFSC has alleged that since the implementation of the new system, a number of students have deregistered.

“As the EFFSC we still reject the new direct payment system.  We reject the privatisation of NSFAS. We demand that the institution take a stand and provide assistance to all their affected student”, they say.

ALSO READ: NSFAS new rules may jeopardize universities finances

“Tenet is a ticking timebomb waiting to explode. Students are hungry because of this system. Students have deregistered because of this system”