Wits suspends fee hike

Cape Town - Wits University has suspended its decision to hike fees by 10.5% after an all-nighter to end a student protest.

''The University will suspend the decision on all fee increments made for 2016. There will be no fee increments until negotiations reach an agreement,'' a university statement said.

Spokesperson Shirona Patel said they met until 06:00 on Saturday and would return to the campus on Sunday for further discussions.

The university will still be closed on Monday for council to announce the decision to students at noon in a special assembly.

''This includes the suspension of all University activities including lectures, examinations, assessments, practicals, etc and will affect all students and staff on all campuses including the Medical School and affiliated hospitals,'' the university said, as final exams approach.

The agreement was signed by chairperson of the Wits Council, Dr Randall Carolissen and Shaeera Kalla, outgoing SRC President.

According to the agreement, 

- Negotiations on fee increases will start anew;

- If negotiations break down again, the university will not revert to its initial decision;

- A new framework for negotiations will be jointly agreed upon in which any final decision of council on this matter will be presented to a university assembly;

- There will be no disciplinary action taken against students or workers who participated in the protest, and no worker will face dismissal as a result of their participation in the protest.

- The university's executive committee of council will advance the position of the students for a no fee increase at council.

This week saw some students locking down the campus and lectures cancelled until they were assured that fees would not go up.

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