JOHANNESBURG – Humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers has packed thousands of meals to feed protesting students expected to march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday.
The organisation said it received requests from individuals including ulumni university representatives and students to assist by providing drinks and food at the march.
“This request has been received from students to sustain them when they are addressed by President Zuma at the Union Buildings. We will provide a minimum of 32 tons of essential supplies on condition that we are allowed to bring our vehicles onto the Union Buildings grounds for distribution,” the organisation said.
The Gift of the Givers helps feed hungry students at campuses, the number of which “was enormous”.
“The number of students that collapse from hunger at university has not been documented but this is an enormous problem. In the last three years, jointly with the University of Johannesburg - who initiated and financed a feeding programme for their students - we feed 3500 hungry students twice a day at four campuses,” the organisation said in a statement.
“We make a call to all role players to find a compassionate and pragmatic solution in the interests of our youth who are the future of our country and continent."
Students across campuses continue to protest against proposed tuition fee hikes for 2016.
The protests, which originally started at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand last week when management announced a fee increment of 10.5 percent, have since spread to other tertiary institutions around the country where classes and examinations have been suspended.
Student protesters burst into the parliamentary grounds in Cape Town on Wednesday during South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s medium-term budget speech before they were driven out by police who resorted to firing stun grenades to disperse the protesters.
Witwatersrand and Johannesburg university students marched to Luthuli House, the African National Congress (ANC) head quarters on Thursday and headed a memorandum to the party’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
African News Agency