Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande says universities in the country can increase fees for 2017, but by no more than 8%.
He says universities should determine the annual increase but it should not exceed 8%.
EWN Reporter Barry Bateman says the announcement was that whatever decision university councils make, government will step in to pick up the shortfall for poor and working class students.
Students who are on the National financial aid scheme, government will come up with resources to pick up the tab and pay for the difference to ensure that these students continue to pay the 2015 rate— Barry Bateman, EWN reporter
Bateman says the Minister made it clear that universities cannot afford the 0% increase as requested by students. Nzimande also asked why government should be paying for students who can afford to pay their own fess?
Stephen Grootes also spoke to EWN's Ziyanda Ngcobo from Wits campus. According to Ngcobo, student leaders at Wits have called for a university shut down effective immediately.
We are headed to a street where students will be shutting down the road. The students have said they want free education and they want it now...— Ziyanda Ngcobo, EWN reporter
Students at Wits are not happy with the Minister's announcement.
Stephen Grootes spoke to Prof Ahmed Bawa, CEO of Universities South Africa who says the Minister's announcement is good place holder until the fees commission comes up with another decision.
The first thing is that it secures the 0% increase for the poor and middle income students. Secondly it secures the finances of the universities and thirdly it provides us with an opportunity to start thinking more progressively about making higher education availble— Prof Ahmed Bawa, CEO of Universities South Africa
Listen to the full conversation below: