Call for Zuma to urgently release Fees Commission report

2017-10-17 18:35
President Jacob Zuma stands outside Parliament at the State of the Nation address in Cape Town. (Nic Bothma, AP, File)

President Jacob Zuma stands outside Parliament at the State of the Nation address in Cape Town. (Nic Bothma, AP, File)

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Johannesburg – The Higher Education Transformation Network on Tuesday urged President Jacob Zuma to urgently release the final report of the Fees Commission.

The network's chairperson, Reginald Legoabe, briefed the media shortly after the Cabinet reshuffle announcement that Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande had been axed and replaced with former Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize.

President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday reshuffled his Cabinet for the second time, in seven months.

READ: Nzimande's removal regrettable – Higher Education Transformation Network

On the 2018 fee increment, Legoabe said: "We believe that it is critical that the Fees Commission report be disseminated and discussed with all role players in higher education."

He said releasing the report would assist in clarifying the policy stance of the government with regards to planned fee increments for 2018.

"This is also avoid possible disruptions within the sector, as some universities have already started the process of announcing fee increments for 2018."

The network condemned the unilateral fee increments by the Stellenbosch University and Central University of Technology.

READ: Stellenbosch University set its sights on 8% fee hike

"We further call on all university vice chancellors and their councils to cease their unilateralism and delay their management planning cycles, and desist from unilaterally raising fees for the academic year of 2018 outside state policy pronouncements."

The network also called for the gazetting of the policy findings by the Fees Commission and Department of Higher Education and Training.

"Should universities persist in proceeding with their unilateral fee increments for 2018 prior to the publishing of the Fees Commission report and the finalisation of an official fees policy for 2018 by the Department of Higher Education and Training, then we will consider all our options, including an urgent application to interdict all parties from implementing the fee increments," said Legoabe.  

*This story has been amended to remove the name of the North West University as stated by the HETN. The university has not made a decision on fees yet. 

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