‘A milestone towards free education’

2015-10-27 06:00

UNIVERSITY of KwaZulu-Natal Student Representative Council (SRC) president Dithobe Mosana, who was part of the meeting with President Jacob Zuma on Friday, said he was pleased with negotiations.

Mosana said the meeting included vice chancellors, chairs of councils and SRC leaders.

“During the meeting we all agreed that there should be a zero percent increase and that the government would assist … with funding. It was also agreed that the universities would cut costs where they can.”

Mosana said Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande would gazette research exploring free education.

“The #Feesmustfall movement is not only about the fee increment, it is about free education. For us this is a milestone towards free education.

“When we met the president we had short- and long-term goals and one of them was the zero percent fee increase to address the immediate situation. We are happy because students were stressed because [the increase] … meant that [they] and their parents would continue to swim in debt.”

He added the campaign showed the power of unity. “It doesn’t matter what race or what political party you belong to, if you are united you can achieve anything — but this was the beginning.”

Commenting on the violence that broke out outside Union Buildings, he said: “There are those who tried to score political points and claim a political victory. Why did they have to be violent when we were inside negotiating on their behalf? Those were not students; students are disciplined and have been disciplined throughout the campaign.”

— News24

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