Nzimande says fees can go up but not beyond 8%

Pretoria - Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande says universities in the country can increase fees for 2017 but they must not exceed 8%.

"We have looked at the challenges at hand from all sides and have concluded that the best approach would be to allow universities individually to determine the level of increase that their institutions will require," Nzimande told reporters in Pretoria on Monday.

"With the caution that this has to also take into account affordability of students, and therefore has to be transparent, reasonable and related to inflation-linked adjustments, our recommendation is that the fee adjustments should not go above 8%."

Nzimande said he consulted with various stakeholders regarding what would be the best way to handle the situation. 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.

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