Radebe vague on 2017 fee increases, insists all will be revealed at 'appropriate time'

Jeff Radebe, Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. (Photo: GCIS)
Jeff Radebe, Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. (Photo: GCIS)

Cape Town - There is still consultation on higher education fees and information on whether or not there will be an increase in 2017 will be released at an “appropriate time”, Minister Jeff Radebe said on Monday.

The minister was briefing media on the key decisions taken by cabinet following a three day lekgotla last week.

Radebe said the cabinet discussed issues around higher education, but was vague on whether the 2017 fee increases - or lack thereof - was discussed at all.

He also would not say whether there would be an increase next year, and merely said all would be revealed around the medium term budget policy statement in October, and in 2017.

This follows reports in the City Press that President Jacob Zuma had instructed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to find the money to accommodate the 0% fee increase for students for next year.

He again reiterated government’s position that fees for 2017 would only be announced once the process of consultations with stakeholders in the higher education sector had been completed.

“In terms of the process, the president appointed a commission headed by a judge to look more deeply into this issue and there is a process unfolding at the moment where all stakeholders and interested parties can present their views on this matter of national importance.

“As we head to medium term budget policy statement and next year we will be able to indicate we will be able to indicate what the official position of the government is,” he said.

He insisted that higher education was one of the priorities.

“At the appropriate time we shall know what is going to be happening,” he told media on Monday.

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