Nzimande thanks #FeesMustFall for highlighting 'missing middle'

2016-10-13 17:24
Blade Nzimande. Picture: Nelius Rademan

Blade Nzimande. Picture: Nelius Rademan

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande says he has the #FeesMustFall student movement to thank for highlighting the issue of the "missing middle".

Speaking at the commission of inquiry into fees on Thursday Nzimande said the missing middle should actually be categorised as poor students. 

"Some of the students we categorise as the missing middle they are poor students... maybe thanks to FeesMustFall for actually highlighting this issue and it's urgency."

Nzimande announced last month that university and college increases would be up to the institutions, but would be capped at 8%.

He also announced that students on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme would not bear the brunt of the increase, as it would be subsidised by the government.

They would also subsidise the increases for students who fell into the "missing middle", where households earned up to R600 000.

Following his announcement, protests flared up at tertiary institutions around the country, with students demanding free education 

Answering questions from the commission on Thursday on why the missing middle had been largely ignored by government, Nzimande said it was due to the demands of poor students, and government resources. 

"It had to do with the demand and what government saw as a priority. Government thought that we need to drastically expand access to the poor and also because of inadequate resources." 

He added that another challenge for government was the large number of poor students who qualified for NSFAS. He said government was also facing challenges in funding poor students. 

Nzimande said an unintended consequence for the 0% increase, which resulted in government paying for university fee increases, was that it took money "earmarked for Masters and PhD scholarships to actually produce the lectures that we need". 

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  education  |  university fees

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.