Students fume as Zuma skips ‘fees must fall’ Students fume as Zuma skips ‘fee must fall’

2017-02-14 06:01

STUDENT movements and Fees Must Fall activists are fuming at President Jacob Zuma for his “failure” to address the “elephant in the room”.

They criticised Zuma last week for not speaking about free tertiary education while delivering his State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

In his address, Zuma said the government will look at increasing the R122 000 household income threshold for students needing full National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) loans.

Student unions reminded Zuma that NSFAS was not free education.

“It [NSFAS] is a loan shark. When we graduate, we have debts because of NSFAS,” said EFF Student Command leader and prominent Fees Must Fall activist Chuma Wakeni.

Sasco secretary-general Tembani Makata said she was disappointed by Zuma’s speech.

“There was nothing about education in his speech. It is disappointing that after we have been to a ministerial task team [appointed by Zuma to look into the feasibility of free higher education in SA] we are still talking about NSFAS,” she said.

Makata said Zuma’s speech was a missed opportunity to address the issue. “It is something that needs to be addressed urgently.

“We will meet and discuss how to approach it,” she said.

The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) KZN head Hlanganani Gumbi said Zuma’s announcement was not enough.

He said there were still funding shortages in tertiary institutions and more still needed to be done.

- The Witness

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