South Africa university protests

This item appears on page 16 of the December 2015 issue.

In Cape Town, university students protesting a proposed tuition hike stormed the South African parliamentary complex on Oct. 21. Police responded with stun grenades and arrested 29 protesters for public violence. Protesters also gathered in Johannesburg, but no police action was reported. Due to the protests, 10 national universities temporarily shut their campuses.

The protests, the largest gathering of students in South Africa since the end of apartheid, were organized after the government proposed a tuition increase of up to 12%. Despite lowering the increase to 6%, students still argued that the increase would make schooling too expensive for some, disproportionately affecting black students.

On Oct. 23, President Jacob Zuma froze tuition at pre-increase levels as protesters gathered in front of his office in Pretoria, where police fired rubber bullets at protesters.