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Thu Sep 29 17:14:51 CAT 2016

'Trust us'‚ fees commission head tells students

Bongani Nkosi | 21 September, 2016 13:31
Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande briefs members of the media on his recommendations for the 2017 fees adjustments for universities and TVET colleges. File photo
Image by: GCIS

Judge Jonathan Heher‚ chairperson of the fees commission‚ has urged students to trust the process he is embarked on with his team.

At a press briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday‚ Heher criticised the lack of constructive participation by students in the commission's work.

"I have to emphasise that we would welcome the further participation of the students in a constructive manner‚" he said.

The commission's sittings have been disrupted in Cape Town and East London. Some student bodies have boycotted it arguing that it is a waste of time and demanding that the government implement free‚ quality education at universities immediately.

"I hope the students will come to realise that for a long-term answer‚ they have to put some trust in us‚" Heher said.

"We're attempting‚ in their best interest‚ to achieve a solution which would satisfy them. And indeed‚ perhaps may go even further than they could ever hope.

"But one has to be realistic. Despite the fact that the minister of finance has apparently made some remarks which suggest that the money could be found‚ and I don't know in what context those remarks were made..."

President Jacob Zuma announced the commission late last year‚ following the #FeesMustFall protests.

The protests have returned‚ following an announcement by higher education and training Blade Nzimande that fees would increase by a maximum of 8% for rich students‚ at the discretion of individual universities.

The commission is investigating the feasibility of introducing free education at varsities‚ as demanded by students.

- TMG Digital/Sowetan

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