DA Endorses Fee Hike For SA Universities


The Democratic Alliance party (DA) in parliament endorsed 8 percent fee increase for SA universities.

Speaking for the DA, Belinda Bozzoli  remarked that an 8 percent fee increase is ideal. She pointed out that the government will have to provide R60 billion to heed to the no-fees-increase campaign demands.

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“I think 8 percent is correct, and I think 8 percent needs to be found somewhere. If Nzimande is unable to negotiate with the students on how the 8 percent is going to be paid, then I think there has to be some supplementation given to the universities to make up for some missing amount,” Bozzoli remarked.

The Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande told parliament last week that he would soon, announce the funds universities would receive for the 2017 academic year.

Meanwhile, the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education welcomed Blade’s initiative in addressing the challenge of university fees for 2017.

He was briefing the committee on the advice received from the Council of Higher Education (CHE).

The Minister divulged that CHE found that about 19 SA universities will become dysfunctional in 2018 if the 0% fee increases continued.

Also, about 10 universities will be rendered dysfunctional if the increases are structured in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Speaking, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee Connie September said: “…there is no need to threaten closing institutions of higher learning.

“We call on all stakeholders in the sector to collectively work towards consensus to improve education for all.

Solutions arising from these consultations should allay uncertainty, but also, should not disadvantage the poorest of the poor. The committee will look to supplement the work that the department is doing,” promised September.

With her plea, classes resumed yesterday at the University of KwaZulu-Natal after 8 days suspension of academic activities.

UKZN spokesperson, Lesiba Seshoka told SABC that there were disruptions this morning at Howard and Westville campuses, but were dispersed by the security.

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However, students have maintained that tuition fees shouldn’t be increased.

Testifying before the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training, they asserted that the government must support poor students.

To UKZN students, if the government can continuously bail out State owned outlets, it can as well, afford to give poor students free education.