As it happened: Blade Nzimande says no decision yet on 2017 fees

2016-08-15 13:31

Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande told the media at a briefing that no decision has been made yet regarding university fees for 2017.


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Last Updated at 20:31
15 Aug 14:07
That concludes the press briefing, while protests at UJ continue.

15 Aug 14:03

15 Aug 14:00

He says he will meet with SRCs and student political formations.

"There is no need to shut down any universities. We are engaging with everyone extensively. We are all impatient to conclude this. That is why we have set the timeline to of end of August."

15 Aug 13:57

"We have money set aside for scarce skills - a billion rand. We are on the same side as students."

The minsiter says there is the challenge  corruption and wastage in government: "The more we deal with corruption, the better position we are in to deal with fees."

15 Aug 13:52

15 Aug 13:50
Meanwhile, police officers have been deployed at the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand amidst fears of another wave of "Fees Must Fall" protests.

15 Aug 13:48
"Within the next week or two we should have arrived at a common understanding as to what is going to happen in 2017," he says.

15 Aug 13:48

"I would like to urge all student formations to make submissions to the commission,” Nzimande says.

“We think it's not correct to make  demands."

15 Aug 13:46

"We have to take into account the feeling of students but at the same time we must also look at the viability of institutions,” Nzimande says.

“I am concerned about universities starting retrenching (of staff).”

15 Aug 13:45
While Nzimande is speaking, students protest outside the University of Johannesburg.

15 Aug 13:41

He says this matter is not just a university issue and colleges should also be taken into account, which is why this is taking time.

"We also want to broaden this matter to engage business and faith communities."

15 Aug 13:37

"Government continues to be committed to addressing the needs of the poor. We cannot allow poor families to continue with the burden of fees. Let these processes be given a chance and be calm."

He says there has been very productive engagement so far.

15 Aug 13:35
"I have taken no decision regarding few increase or otherwise for next year," he says.

15 Aug 13:34

“I'm quite eager for this matter to be settled as soon as possible,” he says.

He hopes it would still be concluded in August.

15 Aug 13:33
Nzimande says people who claim that he has agreed to a particular figure or to no increase are incorrect.

15 Aug 13:32
Students leaders have threatened to shut down universities across the country should the government implement a fee increase.

15 Aug 13:32

 There are no rules as to how universities raise fees, Blade Nzimande told reporters.

He says he asked the council for higher education to look into this matter but to do it in two phases. Phase one is to look into a 0% fee increase in 2017 and phase two is to work towards a framework on how fees should be regulated, Lizeka Tandwa reports.

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