A verdict of no deregistration was delivered amid crowds of cheering students at the University of the Free State (UFS) on Friday.

Deregistration of students with outstanding tuition fees was scheduled to take place on April 1, but because of the demonstrations at the UFS Qwa-Qwa campus, as well as negotiations between management and the SRC, the date for deregistration has been extended in order to give the SRC more time to collect funds.

According to the SRC president SK Luwaca, a combined total of 5,481 students between the three UFS campuses were facing deregistration in March. Since then the SRC with the assistance of other stakeholders has managed to decrease the number to less than 3,000. Luwaca mentioned that in order to prevent deregistration from happening, a total of R47 million was initially needed. Donations from Absa among others, has brought this figure down to R21 million.

As students enquired as to whether or not a shutdown of the campus will proceed, Luwaca stated that a shutdown of campus activity would be the final resort.

“If management and the SRC cannot come to an agreement on what to do about students who still have not been able to meet financial obligations, then only will we proceed with a shut down. It is our very last resort,” emphasised Luwaca.

Luwaca urged students to utilise this extension and make arrangements with the UFS finance department in the interim to pay the outstanding funds over a longer period. Another student engagement is scheduled for Thursday 6 April.

Written by Tammy Fray