Police Fire Stun Grenades as South African Student Protesters Storm Parliament
By Sibusiso Tshabalala / qz.com
Oct 22, 2015

South African students took their fight against tuition fee increases to the country’s parliament today (Oct. 21), one week after the #Feesmustfall protests began at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and spread to 15 other universities across the country.

On a day of protest that called for a #NationalShutDown on social media, students forced their way through the gates of parliament before being driven back by police firing tear gas and stun grenades.

Students held a sit-in on the parliamentary grounds, demanding that the country’s higher education minister, Blade Nzimande, come out to address them, chanting “Fees must fall” and “We want Blade.”

The #FeesMustFall protests have spread to 15 universities across 7 provinces in South Africa(Quartz/Sibusiso Tshabalala)

“We want the minister of finance and higher education here. They must come out and tell us what their plans are to resolve the funding crisis in universities. How are they discussing this budget without listening to us?” Simnikiwe Ndlovu, a student from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, told Quartz.

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, presenting the annual medium term budget policy statement—an important event on parliament’s annual calendar that sets spending priorities—made reference (pdf, pg. 10) to the weeklong protests and the challenges of funding higher education in South Africa.
 
“Honourable Members, we have been reminded this past week of the challenges of financing the expansion of further education and university opportunities. It needs to be said that disruption of learning is not constructive. But Minister Nzimande has rightly indicated the need to strengthen student financing further, and to find solutions where current arrangements are inadequate,” said Nene.
 
South Africa spends more on basic education than on any other budget item. But students say the current budget is not enough to solve the funding challenges at South African universities.
 
“Increasing government financial aid for poor students will not be enough. A big part of the problem is that government has decreased its subsidies towards students—placing universities in a tough place to increase funds. So they need to go back to the drawing board and revamp the funding model,” said David Maroba, a 3rd year finance student at the University of Cape Town.
Sutdents have likened the #FeesMustFall protests to the historic anti-Apartheid youth protests in 1976(Quartz/Sibusiso Tshabalala)

Yesterday, the minister of higher education and representatives of students and university vice-chancellors met to come up with a compromise: a 6% fee increase, compared with an initial proposal of a 10-12% increase, which sparked the demonstrations. But student leaders across the country and the leftwing opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party have rejected any increase in fees.

The nationwide protests are the biggest student demonstrations since apartheid ended in 1994, the BBC reported.

0.0 ·
0
Featured Pay Per View Films
Generation Revolution (2017)
72 min
A Quest For Meaning (2017) Free till January 31st!
88 min
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min
Trending Today
Samantha Bee Weighs in on Aziz Ansari and the #MeToo Backlash and It's Very On Point
8 min28,487 views today ·
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine8,709 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min4,844 views today ·
A Quest For Meaning (2017) Free till January 31st!
88 min3,818 views today ·
Averting the Apocalypse: Lessons From Costa Rica
Jason Hickel2,486 views today ·
Newbury Protests - 20 Years On
12 min1,734 views today ·
The Failings of the American Left with Charles Derber
24 min1,564 views today ·
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli1,410 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley1,040 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

It's hard to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going.
If you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today.

Support us on Patreon

Coming soon! We're days away from launching a Patreon campaign! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year, and become 100% member supported!

Join us on Facebook
Police Fire Stun Grenades as South African Student Protesters Storm Parliament