News Brief

#FeesMustFall2016: South Africa’s Tuition Fees to Rise in 2017, Students Prepare for Protest Action

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says it will be up to South Africa’s universities to determine their own fee increases for the 2017 academic year.

In October 2015, a proposed 10.5 percent hike in tuition fees set off a wave of student-led demonstrations throughout South Africa. The nationwide #FeesMustFall movement resulted in a zero percent fee increase. Just over 11 months since the initial onset of the student protests, South Africa’s universities are on fire for a second year in a row.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced Monday at a press conference in Pretoria that it will be up to South Africa’s universities to determine their own fee increases for the 2017 academic year–with a suggested cap of 8 percent–and that the government will assist qualifying students (those from families earning less than 600,000 rand / $42,600 a year) to fund the gap between the 2015 fee and their institution’s adjusted 2017 fee.

Student groups at various institutions throughout the country responded with threats to shut down their campuses. Students have already begun protesting at the universities of Witwatersrand, Pretoria and Cape Town, where classes were suspended Monday ahead of Nzimande’s announcement.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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