South Africa: Tension Mounts As University Registration Gets Underway

analysis

There were long queues, but major chaos was provisionally held at bay as registration began at some universities on Monday. While most have adopted a no walk-in policy, Vaal University of Technology opened its doors to first-time applicants. By BHEKI SIMELANE.

Registration opened at some of the country's universities on Monday ahead of the start of the academic year. There have been fears of chaos in the build-up, following the Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) call for all eligible students to turn up - as walk-in applicants - at the country's institutions of higher learning.

The EFF's call follows president Jacob Zuma's December announcement of free tertiary education, which fell short of providing a funding model. Since the announcement, concerned higher education officials and university bodies have been working to contain potential chaos resulting from the so-called walk-in students. On the first day of registration, their attempts appeared successful to some degree.

University of Johannesburg spokesperson, Herman Esterhuisen, said no incidents had been reported by noon. "Applications for registration at the University started today (Monday), and we strictly entertain only online applications. We have also opened a late enquiry system, but that too is strictly online. We anticipate no trouble as...

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