Higher Education Dept pleads for patience on fees

2016-09-08 17:01
University fee protest. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24, file)

University fee protest. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24, file)

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Cape Town - Students must be patient and allow the fees commission to conclude its work, Deputy Higher Education and Training Minister Mduduzi Manana said on Thursday.

The acute under-funding of higher education had “somewhat created an uproar” among students, he said in Parliament.

“The brutal truth is that the state paid for the fee increase not instituted for the 2016 year, at the expense of other government programmes.

“The fees commission will only conclude its work next year. I wish to appeal to all our stakeholders and our students to allow the commission to do its work without disruptions."

Manana said the commission, established in January, had concluded discussions with academics and would now hold talks with other groups, including Treasury.

“We are thus justified to call upon the private sector to contribute. We need collaborative efforts.

“We are navigating through this precarious path. We therefore ask our people to exercise maximum patience as we find solutions to the current challenges.”

Vandalism

The significant growth of the black middle class was a success of the current government, he said.

Manana condemned the destruction of two buildings at the University of KwaZulu-Natal during student protests on Monday and Tuesday.

“We have to isolate and expose vandals,” he said.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Floyd Shivambu asked the House on a point of order if his party could deliver a second speech, as the African National Congress “does not have anything to say about higher education”.

House chairperson Cedric Frolick dismissed his plea.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande was not present in the House on Thursday.

Read more on:    education  |  university fees  |  politics  |  parliament 2016

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