In a speech on Thursday, August 16, South African Unions of Students (SAUS) president warned of a "looming national protest" over the non-payment of allowances. Union president Mischeck Mugabe claimed students in Limpopo and Mpumalanga were already on strike and other students in Port Elizabeth were preparing to join the strike. He accused the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) of mismanagement and delinquency in the payment of student allowances, stating that some students have been evicted due to delayed payments. Another student group, the Economic Freedom Fighters Students Command (EFFSC), also threatened to protest over the conviction of #FeesMustFall leader Bonginkosi Khanyile.
South Africa experienced widespread student protests beginning in October 2015 as part of the #FeesMustFall movement. The movement, which lasted over a year and resulted in R800 million (USD 44 million) in damage, began as a protest over higher education tuition increases and later encompassed broader social issues. The #FeesMustFall protests ended with the creation of a national bursary, the NSFAS, to provide student allowances.
Individuals in South Africa should monitor developments and avoid any possible large public gatherings as a precaution.
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