South Africa: University of Venda Student Protests Triggered By New NSFAS Payment System Enter a Third Day

Student protests at the University of Venda in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, continued for a third day on Tuesday, with incidents of violence disrupting operations inside and outside the campus.

Student protesters at the University of Venda in Limpopo lobbed a makeshift petrol bomb at a police nyala in Thohoyandou on Tuesday, 12 September – the third day of disruptions on campus triggered by complaints about the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and other gripes.

Students have been protesting since Sunday evening. Demands include that the scheme should pay their food and transport allowances on time and that the campus library operates on a 24-hour basis.

The protests coincide with rising anger on other campuses about the administration of funds from NSFAS, in particular the new payment system that beneficiaries say includes exorbitant fees.

Daily Maverick was outside the university campus when students burnt tyres, and threw stones and petrol bombs at the police on Tuesday.

They outnumbered public order police officers in two armoured police nyalas. The police nyala hit by a petrol bomb was extinguished by officers.

During the protests on Monday, some of the students seen on cellphone footage damaging road signs were wearing EFF and ANC colours. They covered their faces so they could not be identified.

This week’s disruptions follow protests in May over similar issues which led to a campus shutdown.



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