South Africa Students
South Africa Students

The announcement was made by Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande after a meeting in Cape Town with representative delegations of university vice-chancellors, council chairs, students and workers, with the aim of seeking a common framework and approach to the issue of university fee increases for 2016.

South Africa Students
South Africa Students
“The stakeholders agreed to encourage their respective constituencies to engage in constitutional negotiations at universities with a view to achieve a fee increase of not higher than a Consumer Price Index (CPI) related increase of six percent for 2016,” Nzimande told reporters.

“A task team of all stakeholders will be immediately initiated with a view to provide a report on the establishment of a more sustainable fee regime,”he added.

The minister conceded that funding for higher education is suffering as a result of public funds being lost to corruption and mismanagement in the government.

Protests against tuition fee increases escalated on Tuesday at several major universities, spreading beyond campuses with sporadic incidents of violence.

In the University of Cape Town (UCT), protesting students stormed into lecture halls and intimidated students who were not joining the protest, witnesses said.

University authorities have cancelled classes and put the campus on lock down.

Then the students moved out of the campus into the CBD, blocking traffic along the way, with a police escort.
In Stellenbosch University not far from Cape Town, students formed a human chain to bar police from arresting students. Some students stormed the administration building, breaking glass to get in. Riot police were brought in to control the situation.

In Wits University in Johannesburg, students blocked a road near the campus and turned back police vehicles, only allowing ambulances to pass through.

In other universities across the country, similar protests also took place, some of them reportedly violent.

The protests were triggered by all major universities planning to increas tuition fees ranging from 10 to 50 percent for the 2016 school year. Some universities demand that students must first make the “minimum initial payment,” the lump sum students are expected to pay at the start of each year, which they feel is “exhorbitant.”

The universities say they have to do so after the government cut education funding and scholarships. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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