Universities should be reopened - opposition parties

2016-10-02 21:16
Protesting students. (News24)

Protesting students. (News24)

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Johannesburg – University representatives and opposition parties have called for higher education institutions to be reopened as soon as possible after a meeting on Saturday night. 

"It is vital that universities be reopened as soon as humanly possible, and... this is the wish of the vast majority of students," the parties said in a statement.  

The Democratic Alliance (DA)‚ United Democratic Movement (UDM), Congress of the People (Cope), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) joined Professor Adam Habib (Chairperson) and Dr Ahmed Bawa (CEO) of Universities South Africa (USAF) and the association of South African University Vice-Chancellors and Rectors in their call.

"If the academic year is not completed it will negatively impact admissions for next year and new graduates entering the workplace," the parties said.

They also said President Jacob Zuma's slow reaction to the fee increment crisis and the Fee Commission’s delays were "disappointing".

"Protests, often violent, have led to police and security presence on campuses, significant destruction of learning infrastructure, arson and vandalism. This has left a total of 16 universities closed, a further six are tenuously remaining open and only four universities are fully open."

At the time of publishing, a mass meeting was underway at the University of Witwatersrand to establish whether the academic programme would resume on Monday.

Results from a university poll held among the student and staff at the institution indicated that 77% of those polled voted to reopen the university. Among staff who participated, preliminary results put this figure at 91% in favour.

Read more on:    education  |  university fees

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