Ricochet News

#FeesMustFall: Government calls for calm as it consults stakeholders

AUGUST 16, 2016
#FeesMustFall: Government calls for calm as it consults stakeholders

While a state of uneasiness prevails in many university campuses across South Africa over a possible fee increase for the 2017 academic year, government on Monday reiterated that an official pronouncement has not been made and called for patience to prevail until then.

On Sunday, the South African Union of Students (SAUS), which claims to be the largest non-partisan federation of Student Represantative Councils (SRCs) from across the country, said that it is "disgusted" by the lack of political will and a deliberate delay in the realisation of free education. 

It said it will now be calling for mass meetings of students to deliberate on a possible countrywide shutdown of universities.

Read more on that HERE.

Other student movements have also already threatened chaos that will be worse than what the country witnessed during the 2015 #FeesMustFall protests - which led government to backtrack and freeze its proposed 2016 fee increases.

However, Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande, who last Friday postponed his announcement on the 2017 fees, on Sunday said government is currently gathering further views and suggestions from all stakeholders, including students and university councils, before proceeding with any announcement on the matter.

“Given the competing views on fee adjustments, it is indeed imperative that we get as broad a consensus as possible regarding 2017 fees.

“The false claims that government has already pronounced itself on the matter are thus not only mischievous but highly prejudicial to the delicate stakeholder engagements that are taking place,” Minister Nzimande said.

He called for patience from all stakeholders in this regard.

Minister Nzimande said he would also continue to consult with his Cabinet colleagues on the matter in an earnest endeavour to find long-term solutions.

The Council for Higher Education has proposed a 6% hike for next year and Treasury has warned that another fee freeze will put enormous pressure on state resources.

Universities have also said that they will not be able to meet their financial obligations if the fees for 2017 is again frozen.

An official decision on fee increases is now expected at the end of August.

-additional reporting SAnews.gov.za