Education department reiterates commitment to university funding promises

2016-12-08 18:08
Blade Nzimande (File, City Press)

Blade Nzimande (File, City Press)

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Johannesburg - The Department of Higher Education and Training said on Wednesday that it will keep true to its commitment to fund the fee increases of students from households with an income below R600 000.

Over the course of the past week the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of the Free State and Stellenbosch University have adopted an 8% fee increase in university fees for the 2017 academic year.

"Government honoured [the] commitment [to not increase fees] in 2016. Why won't we do the same in 2017?” the department's spokesperson Madikwe Mabotha said.

However, Mabotha could not confirm when the department would release details on the funding scheme for students in the R0 - R600 000 bracket.

In September Minster Blade Nzimande said the department would fund the fee increase for all students with a household income below R600 000.

"Government is committed to finding the resources to support children of all poor, working and middle class families – those with a household income of up to R600 000 per annum – with subsidy funding to cover the gap between the 2015 fee and the adjusted 2017 fee at their institution," Nzimande said.

However Wits student representative council president Kefentse Mkhari questioned how the plan would work.

"Who falls in the 0 – R600 000 bracket? Do I only have to pay when I'm not on Nsfas [National Student Financial Aid Scheme]?" Mkhari asked, speaking to News 24 on Tuesday.

"It doesn't really make sense."

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  university fees

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