Zuma urges for more dialogue on higher education during imbizo

By Drum Digital
03 October 2016

President Jacob Zuma gives a predictable speech during his Higher Education imbizo

President Jacob Zuma gave a predictable speech during his Higher Education imbizo that is taking place in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

He reiterated Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande’s call for university fee increases to be capped at 8 %, and that poor students and those receiving aid through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will not be affected by any increase.

Zuma said this would count for 75 % of the population of students who are in the higher education system.

Zuma admitted that Government would not be able to address the education funding crisis issue without the assistance of parents, alumni, universities and student participation.

“We have heard the call by protesting students loudly and clearly,” the President said. “We will assist poor students but we need support and more needs to be done.”

He drew some of his speech from Nelson Mandela, saying education is a powerful weapon to change the country and called for more open dialogue to discuss the matter further.

He said South Africa is well known for its ability to address issues through conversation, and the destruction of property does not help solve any problems.

“We value dialogue. As a country, we find solutions when we talk. We want youth to adopt this culture,” he added.

Zuma also said police have been encouraged to deal with unruly students who engage in criminal behaviour during protests. “University infrastructure does not need to be destroyed to send your message to Government,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Higher Education and Training multi-task stakeholder meeting is still taking place. More details will follow.

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