The college students’ protest in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, continued on Thursday morning, March 23, 2023, as a large group of students marched from a college on Tommy Boydell Avenue to the offices of Majuba TVET college on Allen Street.
The protest is a continuation of the action that began on Tuesday night, March 21, 2023, and continued throughout Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
The students are protesting issues concerning their exams and assessments, as well as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which they claim was cut.
As the students continue to voice their anger, they are protesting outside college campuses and marching down Drakensberg Avenue, up Hardwick Street, and to Allen Street.
Moreover, the protest is being monitored by the police and security companies, and traffic has been hampered to a certain degree by the marching students.
Looking back on the week, the protest initially turned violent on Tuesday night, with a group of students breaking bottles, burning debris, and allegedly breaking stop signs in Barry Hertzog Park.
They even went as far as burning tyres along with debris.
However, the situation was de-escalated by the quick response of various stakeholders, including Newcastle SAPS, Traffic officers, Community Crime Prevention Association (CCPA), Newcastle CPF, Magenta Security, Votella Security, and BSG Security.
Despite the efforts made by the said entities, it has been reported that 45 protesters have been arrested since the protest began. The students have been charged with an illegal public gathering and damage to infrastructure.
Newcastle SAPS spokesperson Lizzy Arumugam confirmed the arrests and stated that the matter is being monitored.
Stakeholders have continued to work together since Tuesday night to ensure that the protest remains peaceful. Magenta Security’s Jan van Rensburg expressed his appreciation for the teamwork shown by all, which prevented any major damage.
“We will continue to monitor the situation, and while the march remains peaceful at the moment, the stakeholders will take the necessary steps if the situation does escalate,” assured van Rensburg.
Additionally, Arumugam confirmed the matter was being monitored by SAPS.
As the protestors continue, what are your thoughts on the above-mentioned? Share your views in the comment section below.