Pretoria, South Africa – In just over a week, a handful of students managed to mobilise the country into a nationwide movement which became known as #FeesMustFall. The movement protests the 10-15 percent school fee increases for the 2016 academic year and the threat it presents of financial exclusion. The organisers plan to continue the struggle through the #FreeEducationForAll twitter campaign.
Thousands of students from most provinces in South Africa took to the streets, organising sit-ins and marching in the rain and scorching sun.
They see the fee increase as a noose that condemns them to a lifetime of debt. Many students find themselves in a precarious position of not being poor enough to qualify for National Student Financial Aid schemes, and not being wealthy enough to afford the rise in university fees.
On Wednesday, October 21, students from all around the Western Cape gathered outside the South African Parliament in anticipation of Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande’s speech after his meeting with multiple university councils.