Student leader says talks with Zuma were productive

2015-10-23 18:09
(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Twitter reacts with pride to 0% fee increase announcement

2015-10-23 16:16

we take you through the best moments on Twitter as President Zuma announces the 0% increase in university fees at the Union Buildings. WATCH

Durban - University of KwaZulu-Natal Student Representative Council president Dithobe Mosana, who was part of the meeting with President Jacob Zuma on Friday, said he was pleased with negotiations.

"We went into the meeting at about 11:30. We appreciate that the president took the time to listen to what we had to say."

Mosana said the meeting included vice chancellors, chairs of councils and SRC leaders.

"During the meeting we all agreed that there should be a 0% increase and that the government would assist... with funding. It was also agreed that the universities would cut costs where they can."

Mosana said Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande would gazette research exploring free education.

"The #Feesmustfall movement is not only about the fee increment, it is about free education. For us this is a milestone towards free education.

"When we met the president we had short- and long-term goals and one of them was the 0% fee increase to address the immediate situation.

"Zuma said there should be more forums like the one we had today to deal with issues that will fast track free education. We are happy because students were stressed because [the increase]... meant that [they] and their parents would continue to swim in debt."

He said the campaign showed the power of unity.

"It doesn't matter what race or what political party you belong to, if you are united you can achieve anything - but this was the beginning."

Commenting on the violence that broke out outside Union Buildings he said: "There are those who tried to score political points and claim a political victory. Why did they have to be violent when we were inside negotiating on their behalf?

"Those were not students; students are disciplined and have been disciplined throughout the campaign. We were also clear in that we needed the president to attend urgently to our issues and he did that, there was no need to get violent."

Mosana said Zuma changed his mind about addressing students as a result of the violence.

"The president said he was going to address the media and then go down to address the students but, because of the violence, it was not safe for him to do so."

Read more on:    ukzn  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  university fees

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