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VIDEO: NMU students react to Fees Commission Report

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 15, 2017
VIDEO: NMU students react to Fees Commission Report

Following the release of the Report of the Commission into the Feasibility of Fee-Free Higher Education and Training in South Africa on Monday by President Jacob Zuma, some students at the Nelson Mandela University shared their views with RNEWS.

Zuma established the Commission in January 2016, chaired by Honourable Justice Jonathan Arthur Heher, assisted by Adv Gregory Ally and Ms Leah Thabisile Khumalo, following the 2015 Fees Must Fall student protests that brought many university campuses to halt.

The students demanded access to free, decolonised and quality education.. 

FeesMustFall violence was again witnessed in 2016 leading many universities to shut down the academic year early.

The Commission Report was released to the public via The Presidency website and media platforms.

Click HERE to read the report.

Click HERE to read the report's executive summary.

President Jacob Zuma received the final report of the Commission into the Feasibility of Fee-Free Higher Education and Training in South Africa on 31 August 2017.

The President established the commission with an expectation to complete its task within eight months after its establishment.  However, after the amendment of its terms of reference, the Commission was granted an extension to complete its work by 30 June 2017.

Among it recommendations, the Commission said that government must increase its expenditure on higher education and training to at least 1 percent of the GDP.

Students had different views about the report, some said that free education was impossible in the first place while others said that the report was just useless.

According to Thandi Dlamini, “Its quite sad and unfortunate because this actually means that people who have the hunger to further their education will not be able to do that if they are struggling so this report was useless for me.

"I know for a fact that the government has funds that they should be using for education but they are not it’s just sad to know that as the youth we are being compromised by that.”

Another student, Andile Austin Mtshemla, added; “Free education is farfetched ideal because a University is a business, we can’t say that banks can’t fund us because at the end of the day NSFAS is also having trouble getting their money back from students, who are already in their system and banks have better revenue and a better system than NSFAS so I support of banks loaning students’ money.”

“I think that for me this report is just a different kind of blends from the control of the government and from the private sector and this is what happens when you are in a poor government because the private sector still has the money.

"The government doesn’t have money so it’s really impossible to get free education,” said Budebuphangwa Ntyikwe.

Nobubele Phuza described; “The establishment of a fees commission for me was a terrible idea because fees commission is only a matter of saying we are getting the ball rolling and for two years we fell into a trap of saying that we are getting the ball rolling and when the fees commission report comes out we are surprised by what’s there.

"It is quite disappointing to me that in a country with 23 years of democracy under the leadership that is against the apartheid system but still take decisions that are still colonial incessance.”