A group of students protesting about unpaid fees and examination pressure caused some disruptions in the Central Business District (CBD) of Newcastle on 22 March 2023. The protestors marched to a local college on Allen Street, resulting in traffic flow interruptions.
The protestors voiced their concerns about the tight timeframe for assessments and exams. “It is all done within a short span of time, putting pressure on us, and we don’t have time to prepare properly,” they said.
Furthermore, the protest began on the evening of 21 March 2023, in Barry Hertzog Park, and continued to a local college on FW Beyers Avenue. Law enforcement, private security, and Newcastle Community Police Forum members managed to disperse the protestors quite quickly, but the group returned, causing further disturbances. Reports suggest that they set fire to debris and hurled rocks.
The student body continued with their actions throughout the night, protesting outside another local college on Tommy Boydell Avenue on 22 March 2023, and trying to block the road with refuse bags.
While the situation is being monitored, it has caused unease in the area, with concerns expressed by local residents about the impact on their daily lives.
The protest has sparked debate, with some supporting the protestors’ right to demonstrate, while others believe that the disruptions are unnecessary and not law-conscious.
Authorities are keeping a close watch on the situation to ensure public safety, and it remains to be seen how the protest action will be resolved. The public is advised to take caution and avoid the affected areas until the situation is resolved.
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