Free State students protest over internet 'cuts'

08 March 2018 - 14:05 By Petru Saal
University of the Free State. File photo.
University of the Free State. File photo.
Image: via Wikimedia Commons

Students at the University of the Free State held a protest march on Thursday against a “revised tariff plan” that restricted their access to the internet.

The Student Representative Council announced the day before that they would march to demand that the university reconsider its stance about reducing how much data was allocated to students and what they were charged.

Earlier this month‚ the SRC said on their Facebook page: “We have noted the announcement by the University regarding the new internet tariffs. We must uncategorically state that such tariffs were never discussed with the SRC and‚ as a matter of fact‚ we reject them in their totality as they are nothing short of exploitation.”

It appeared that a monthly allocation of more than 5GB had been reduced to 800MB.

“We cannot accept the new tariffs on multiple reasons‚ a fundamental one being that ours as the SRC is ensuring that the university provides unlimited access to internet for our students in line with standard practice with other institutions of higher learning. We will engage the university management as a matter of priority.”

Videos of the students marching have circulated on Twitter.

UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader said that classes had not been affected by the march and the academic program would continue. She said students were engaging with management on the issue.

This is a developing story.