President Jacob Zuma has yielded to general request that finance minister Pravin Gordhan be added to the list of education task team meant to look into issues concerning students fee protests.
Minister Pravin Gordhan was added to the team two weeks after the presidency established the ministerial task team on higher education.
Gordhan, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini were added to “broaden the composition of the education task team”, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.
Earlier before Gordhan’s inclusion into the list, opposition party, the DA lashed out on President Jacob Zuma for excluding the Minister in the list.
Party leader, Maimane said if Zuma was really serious about finding a long-term solution to the crisis that has over universities, he would have wanted his best minds around the table, including his Minister of Finance. This is especially the case when any funding solution will have to go through the budget process, which Minister Gordhan oversees.
Agreeing to this, the ANC’s National Working Committee (NWC) also wrote to the presidency urging him to include Gordhan, alongside Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and Human Settlements Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, in the education task team list.
Gordhan is expected to deal with the Fees Must Fall campaign when he tables his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement on October 26. In the 2016/17 financial year‚ government has allocated R49.2 billion to higher education.
At Radebe’s briefing‚ Government said it has received several proposals that have been put forward by various constituencies and stakeholders regarding fees. A technical process is under way to evaluate them.
Moreover, the DA reiterated the need for universities to re-open adding that those who break the law be held accountable through the criminal justice system.