Department rubbishes comments over university fee deficits


The Department of Higher Education has reportedly hit out at the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) comments that it would use funds from the Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDI) development grant and SETA’s, to cover the shortfall in outstanding university fees.

On Thursday, DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education Belinda Bozzoli said that party had obtained documents showing amounts of R361-million and R1.2-billion respectively, would be used to cover the deficit following the announcement of a zero percent increase for 2016.

She added that the latter amount would result in the scrapping of 20 apprenticeship centres at TVET colleges across the country, 3 966 apprenticeship over the next three years, and 500 TVET college lecturing positions.

“Minister [Blade] Nzimande tried to play the hero when misleading Parliament and the people of South Africa. He knew all along that the poor would be paying the bill for Zuma’s promise of a 0% increase in fees in 2016,” Bozzoli said.

In a rebuttal, Nzimande’s spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana told News24 the exact details were still being finalised, and that Bozzoli’s comments amounted to nothing but “a storm in a teacup”.