UKZN SRC: We were clear we do not want any fee increase

2016-09-19 13:04
Students during an earlier protest at a UKZN campus. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Students during an earlier protest at a UKZN campus. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban – The University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College student representative council (SRC) says the fee increase proposed by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Monday was exactly what they have been protesting against. 

"From the beginning of our protests we were clear that we do not want any increment increase. The issues of fees increment it is our main issue," SRC deputy president Sunshine Myende said.

Myende however added that the student council would still have to determine how the increase, capped at 8%, would affect UKZN students.

She said that while there were currently no planned protests, the council meeting would "determine various factors around the increase".

"Our council meeting is [scheduled for] today. Council must speak on fee increments. Everything will be determined by the council meeting.

"We want free education. And we want it... to be this year or never."

Myende was critical of government saying the fee increase announcement should have been made earlier in the year.

Student initiatives

According to Myende, at the beginning of the year, students resolved to undertake various initiatives to raise funds for those who could not afford fees.

"We have been asking people to donate and we have been selling various items."

Nzimande announced on Monday that universities in the country can increase fees for 2017, but they must not exceed 8%.

He said to ensure that such inflation-linked fee adjustments of the 2015 fee baseline are affordable to financially needy students, government has committed to finding the resources to support all students. 

He said they would assist households with an income of up to R600 000 per annum with subsidy funding to cover the gap between the 2015 fee and adjusted 2017 fee at the relevant institutions. 

"This will be done for fee increments up to 8%," he said.

This will in effect mean that all NSFAS qualifying students, as well as the so-called "missing middle"- that is, students whose families earn above the NSFAS threshold but who are unable to support their children to access higher education - will experience no fee increase in 2017.

Government will pay for the fee adjustment.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  university fees

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