#FeesMustFall: 43 powerful photos from South Africa’s student protests

University students at at least three of South Africa’s major universities are currently engaged in mass protests around academic fees, with social media spreading their grievances to a much wider audience.

The protests, which kicked off at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) late last week, have spread to Rhodes University, and the University of Cape Town. While each student body has unique demands, much of the unrest is around academic fee increases.

The current round of student action is just the latest in a series of demonstrations which have rocked university campuses across the country in 2015.

The use of the phrase “Must Fall” at the protests dates back to the Rhodes Must Fall movement, which was responsible for the removal of a statue of Cecil John Rhodes at UCT in the first half of 2015.

While some students are demanding that university fees be waived entirely, others are asking for a halt on fee increases and a change to university policies on the minimum payments that need to be made prior to the annual registration process.

The protests have produced a number of compelling images, some of which we’ve featured below:


At Rhodes University, students blockaded campus from the early hours of Monday morning, protesting the institution’s Minimum Initial Payment — a fee which students are required to pay at the beginning of the year in order to register. The fee represents a large percentage of each student’s annual fees.


As well as fee structures, UCT students are protesting the university’s use of outsourced staff at the institution.


The latest round of protests kicked off at Wits, with the main concern being a proposed 10.5% fee increase for students.

Feature image: Boo Boo Kitty via Twitter.



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