DASO rejects university fee increases for poor and 'missing middle'

2017-11-02 20:56
Academics protest on the steps of Wits University in support of students who are against university. (Picture: Leon Sadiki)

Academics protest on the steps of Wits University in support of students who are against university. (Picture: Leon Sadiki)

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Cape Town – The DA Student Organisation (DASO) has rejected recommendations, contained in a leaked fees commission report, for university fee increases for poor and so-called missing middle students.

DA youth leader and MP Yusuf Cassim made the comments after City Press reported on Sunday that it had obtained a leaked copy of the commission report.

City Press revealed that the report stated that universal free tertiary education would not be feasible in the foreseeable future. The report recommended that different funding models be adopted to ensure that all deserving students gained access to higher education, City Press reported further.

The Heher Commission was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in January 2016 after nationwide protests over higher education fees under the hashtag #FeesMustFall.

In August, the commission presented its report to Zuma, but he has resisted calls for its release. 

READ: Fees report 'hopefully' out next week - Cabinet

"We've said from the get-go that this (the commission) is a delaying tactic and it should never have happened in the first place," Cassim said.

"The solution to this problem has always been clear. All it takes is a government that is willing to take action. The ANC is incapable of doing that."

Lwando Nkamisa, DASO member and president of Stellenbosch University's student representative council, said the university released a proposed fee increase of 8%. 

"The SRC took a stance that they reject this proposed fee increment, based on the fact that the major issue at Stellenbosch is access," Nkamisa said.

"The proposal to increase these fees means you are shutting down the poor even further. Hence, we reject this proposed fee increment."

Karabo Khakhau, DASO chair and incoming SRC chair at the University of Cape Town, said limited student access as a result of financial constraints was an issue for the government.

"When there are protests in South Africa about the issues, they should be directed at the government, she added.

"This means that we then don't compromise the academic success and access of thousands of students in universities by shutting down and disrupting their academic processes," Kakhau said.

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Read more on:    daso  |  stellenbosch university  |  cape town  |  university fees

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