Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:22AM
Students from the University of Witwatersrand overturn a vehicle off the campus after blocking traffic, during protests in Johannesburg, October 19, 2015. (Photo by AP)
Students from the University of Witwatersrand overturn a vehicle off the campus after blocking traffic, during protests in Johannesburg, October 19, 2015. (Photo by AP)
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The recent student protests in South Africa resembled similar protests in 1976, when students opposed the Apartheid regime when they took a stand against having to learn Afrikaans, the language of the oppressor.

Just like then, these recent protests were not just about one issue. They are addressing a cycle of poverty that just keeps on turning with no visible change. And it looks like the younger generation, raised on the promises of a New South Africa, has had enough. President Zuma was forced to make the “no increase in fees” announcement whilst the gathered students were surrounded by security forces, who sent them running under a hail of rubber bullets.

Was the announcement of “no fee increases” a real victory? For some, it was not, as the struggle to gain a quality education continues. Student fees have doubled since 2008 and many students face years of debt to repay the costs of their education. Of the 40,000 that enrolled last year, only about 15% will graduate due to lack of funds and also a lack of sufficient educational knowledge to complete their courses.