Cape Town - In light of the ongoing unrest, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has opted to suspend face-to-face classes, with students given the choice of writing their main examinations next month, or in January.

On Wednesday, in another day of violent protests, petrol bombs were found, canteens were looted and a case of arson was reported at a residence.

University spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo said petrol bombs were found on its main Bellville campus on Wednesday morning. Student leaders had not taken responsibility for the petrol bombs, and no arrests had been made, he said.

A fire was started outside the university’s Kovacs residence near the laundry section. He added that on Monday, the university’s management held a meeting with the students, aimed at discussing and addressing their demands, which the students found to be unsatisfactory, leading to Wednesday's action.

Among some of the students' 40 demands are:


In response, UWC said the list of demands could be classified into four categories.

“There are those demands that have financial implications for the university; the issues that require third party interventions, system issues, and the national issues.”

In the instance of free replacement of student cards, the university said student cards would be free upon first registration and that providing a new card for each student annually would cost the institution R1 470 a year.

It also added that the institution would be unable to write off students' debts without the support from the government, and that an end to registration fees would amount to R24.2 million.

At UCT, protesting students said management had taken up to four weeks to address their concerns.

The university’s libraries were closed on Wednesday and would be closed on Thursday. The Jammie shuttle has been suspended.


Independent Online