Nzimande must take responsibility for varsity crisis - opposition

2015-10-26 16:16
Blade Nzimande (File, City Press)

Blade Nzimande (File, City Press)

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Cape Town – Take responsibility for the university funding crisis and offer practical solutions.

That is what opposition political parties expect from Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande when he opens a debate on tertiary sector transformation in Parliament on Tuesday.

The debate will follow more than a week of protests countrywide, with students demanding no university fee increases for 2016 and an end to outsourcing.

DA education spokesperson Professor Belinda Bozzoli said the debate should focus on two main issues.

"Answerability and practicality. The ANC has to show it feels answerable for the state of universities. They must accept responsibility for their role in this."

She said Nzimande needed to offer practical solutions to the funding issue.

"Nzimande failed to act on reports detailing the funding crisis that contributed a great deal to the student protests last week.

"There is no denying that the students' plight was compounded by an arrogant Minister who, throughout his tenure, has been characterised by inaction."

Pieter Mulder, who would be leading the debate for the FF Plus, said the government had to take responsibility for creating the problem of spiralling fees.

He said one of their biggest concerns was the fact that students now felt violence was the only way to get what they wanted from government.

"Because of the delay on addressing the problem from the government's side, students resorted to violence to get their victory. And now they will do it again and again because it worked once. That has to be addressed."

Cope's Deirdre Carter said Nzimande needed to address what the next step would be towards free education, following President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of a 0% increase for next year.

"At the end of the day, we need to make sure that all students who cannot afford tertiary education get free education and this must be standardised."

Read more on:    cope  |  da  |  ff plus  |  blade nzimande  |  pieter mulder  |  cape town  |  university

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