Students cheered on as they head to Union Buildings

Karabo Ngoepe and Adam Wakefield, News24

Pretoria - Students in Pretoria on the way to the Union Buildings for a mass demonstration against rising university fees received the backing of parents and ordinary South Africans as they made their way through the streets of the capital on Friday morning.

Students were running through Grobler Street on their way to Church Street, as their parents and ordinary South Africans watched on with hands raised in the air, chanting, in solidarity with them.

Protesters in Johannesburg were also preparing to head north on buses to participate in the demonstration, expected to number in the thousands, with President Jacob Zuma meeting student leaders and the management teams of various universities at the Union Buildings on Friday.

The demonstration at the Union Building comes as students from across South Africa have been demonstrating against university rising fees.

The demonstrations were sparked last week by Wits University students, who blockaded the entrance to the Johannesburg university's campus after the institution indicated it would raise fees by 10.5% for 2016.

Demonstrations later spread to Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, the University of Pretoria, the University of the Free State, the University of Limpopo, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Tshwane University of Technology, including its campus in Mbombela, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of the Western Cape, Walter Sisulu University, the University of Johannesburg and the University of Fort Hare.