Give university time to decide on fees - Sasco

2016-09-19 21:16
Students have gathered at University of Pretoria  (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Students have gathered at University of Pretoria (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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WATCH: Hundreds join mass meeting over fees at UCT

2016-09-19 17:27

Hundreds of students met at Jamieson (or, Marikana) Hall on Monday afternoon.WATCH

Pretoria - Sasco at the University of Pretoria on Monday called on other student bodies to give the institution time to decide on its fee hike before shutting down campuses with protests.

“The university just received the report. We must give them time to read it and come back to us with their stance on fees,” SA Students’ Congress chairperson Michael Ngobeni said.

Lectures had to continue and Tuesday’s SRC election should be allowed to take place, he said.

Students at the institution held a mass meeting following Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande’s announcement that universities would be allowed to determine their own fee increases for 2017. They could however, not exceed 8%.

The poor and “missing middle” would not have to pay the increase. These are students from families who earn too much to qualify for National Student Financial Aid Scheme loans, but earn too little to afford tertiary education.

Next move

WRAP: Universities on tenterhooks over fee hikes

Since Nzimande’s announcement, students had tried to shut down institutions of higher learning across the country, including the universities of the Witwatersrand, Cape Town, and the Free State.

Ngobeni said students would decide on their next move once the institution had made a decision.

He however indicated that government should make university education for the poor free.

“The rich continue to benefit every year, but we are saying they must continue to pay because they can afford it,” he said.

Ngobeni welcomed Nzimande’s announcement that government would only help the poor and the “missing middle”.

Nzimande said it was unclear why families who could afford to send their children to private schools should, under the current circumstances, get state subsidies for their children to study at universities. This was not justifiable given South Africa’s inequality.

“We cannot subsidise the child of a cleaner or unemployed person in the same way we subsidise the child of an advocate, doctor, or investment banker,” said Nzimande.

Read more on:    sasco  |  education  |  university fees

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