University of Pretoria suspends classes

Karabo Ngoepe

Pretoria - The University of Pretoria has suspended academic activities ahead of a planned student protest at the institution.

The university sent out a statement informing students of the suspension.

"All academic activities and support services of the University of Pretoria are suspended for Wednesday 21 October 2015 to allow for peaceful engagement on key issues affecting the institution.Tests and examinations for the said date have been rescheduled.

"No student will be compromised by these adjustments to the academic programme," the institution said in a statement.

The decision comes as students have vowed to drop text books and take to the streets to protest against fee increments.

Students are not happy with the planned fee increases for 2016. According to the students, the institution plans to increase the registration fees from R5 000 to R7 500 for South African citizens, a 50% increase.

For students from SADC region countries, the registration fee has gone up from R5 000 to R20 000, a 300% increase, while other international students face a whopping 700% hike - R5 000 to R40 000.

The country has seen numerous protests as students express dissatisfaction with the fee increments. Students are also calling on government to provide free education in universities.

Fourth-year LLB student Alude Xuba told News24 that students were opposed to the increase and would continue to fight until their demands are met.

"Ultimately we are fighting for free education in our lifetime. The proposed fees are too high. They are exorbitant and they are unacceptable," he said.