Tight budget compelled 8% fee increase - Wits

University of the Witwatersrand says it has been left with no choice but to increase 2017 fees by 8%.

Wits spokesperson, Shirona Patel, says government subsidies have been decreasing for the past two decades.

Patel explains why they had to raise fees despite the outcry from students protesting for free education.

From the 1st of January 2017, we need adopt in-sourcing. That means we need to bring on board some of the employees of our service providers, like cleaning staff. This was part of the Fees Must Fall 2015 demand. That will cost university about R100 million and R120 million.

Shirona Patel, Wits spokesperson

We also have a new ICT project which will cost about R30 million. Obviously so we can create more access for students through online teaching and courses.

Shirona Patel, Wits spokesperson

We are bout R54 million short this year. We have managed to fund-raise, but for next year even if we raise fees at 8%, we will still be R56 million in the red.

Shirona Patel, Wits spokesperson

Listen to Shirona Patel's full interview on Midday Report below...

In September Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande announced that universities can increase fees for 2017, but by no more than 8%.

The minister also said fees for the poor and middle income students will not increase.

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