South Africa: Student Union Rejects Higher Education Fee Increase Proposal – South African News Briefs – January 12, 2023

 

Student Union Rejects Higher Education Fee Increase Proposal

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has rejected Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande’s proposal for a 4.5% fee increase in tuition and residence fees from 2025 to 2027, reports EWN. The union argues that such an increase would negatively impact students, reducing access to universities for those reliant on funding schemes like the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). With an expected 10% budget cut for NSFAS this year, the union contends that increasing fees would create financial difficulties for beneficiaries, potentially leading to a reduction in the number of students funded by the scheme. The call for Nzimande’s dismissal intensifies amid corruption allegations by the civil organization OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse).

48 Firms Aid Johannesburg in Keeping Traffic Lights On Amid Power Cuts

The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has exceeded its initial goal in the Traffic Signal Backup Power Initiative (TSBPI), launched six months ago to maintain traffic signal functionality during load-shedding, reports TimesLIVE. Initially targeting 35 intersections within a year, the initiative now provides uninterrupted power to over 100 intersections, with more than 40 businesses participating by sharing their backup power. Collaborating with corporate giants like Vodacom, major banks, Momentum, Santam, Growthpoint, Sasol, and Netcare, JRA aims to combat the effects of load-shedding. The partnerships involve companies supplying power ranging from 550 to 1,500 watts/hour, aiding traffic movement in areas such as Sandton, Rosebank, and Midrand. The initiative, responding to Eskom’s projected power instability until 2035, aims to eventually take all traffic lights off the grid to enhance their intelligence and functionality.

British Airways Pilot Allegedly Kidnapped, Robbed in Johannesburg

A British Airways pilot in Johannesburg was reportedly kidnapped, robbed, and forced to withdraw “thousands and thousands” of pounds from his bank account, reports News24. He recounted being approached by a woman who lured him to a car, where four men took him hostage and drove him around the city. They allegedly stripped him naked, filmed him admitting to a false affair, and emptied his bank accounts at ATMs. While the British press reported “torture,” details remain unconfirmed. Police confirmed the kidnapping and robbery, emphasizing vigilance against similar scams involving women who lure victims to be robbed by accomplices. British Airways is supporting the investigation.

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