2016 Year in Review

EWN Ziyanda Ngcobo compares #FeesMustFall 2015 and 2016 dynamics

It all started with a group of University of the Witwatersrand students blocking cars from entering and leaving the university main campus on 14 October last year.

Students started protesting in response to an announcement by the university that fees would be raised by 47.5%. Their other main demand was for the university to in-source workers working for outsourced services.

The protest then rapidly spread to other universities across the country.

EWN reporter Ziyanda Ngcobo has been covering the Fees Must Fall student protests since day one.

She recounts some of the key moments and differences between the 2015 and 2016 protests.

This year there was so much tension amongst students' hostility towards the media. And amongst the leadership themselves. They seem quite divided on issues.

Ziyanda Ngcobo, EWN reporter

Even with the announcement that there was going to be a shut down, not everyone supported the remedial announcement that there was going to be a shut down.

Ziyanda Ngcobo, EWN reporter

Towards the end of 2015, after President Jacob's announcement that fees will not increase in 2016, there were divisions among students on whether the protests should continue.

In 2016 the movement shifted towards being a leaderless movement.

It doesn't seem like most SRCs were in control this year.

Ziyanda Ngcobo, EWN reporter

You will remember that in 2015, it was SRC leader Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, and predecessor Shaeera Kalla who were leading the movement. In 2016 because there was a great emphasis on being a leaderless movement we saw different kinds of people.

Ziyanda Ngcobo, EWN reporter

Not having a leader or designated person did play a dynamic on the way activities were played out.

Ziyanda Ngcobo, EWN reporter

Listen to the audio below to hear more on Fees Must Fall...

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As Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered medium term budget speech in Parly today, Fees Must Fall protesters gathered outside.

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