#FeesMustFall leaders say they will accept nothing less than a commitment from government for free education for all.
This as President Jacob Zuma yesterday delivered the keynote address at the Higher Education Stakeholder Summit in Kempton Park.
The Summit was so that submissions could be made to the forum for higher education set up by the president to address the troubles at varsities, as some students demand no fee increases for 2017, and ultimately free tertiary education for all.
Zuma pleaded with the Department of Higher Education and students to find long-lasting solutions to the fee issues.
Protesting students halted proceedings when they were angered by Zuma’s hasty departure to attend an ANC meeting at Luthuli House.
Led by South African Union of Students (SAUS) secretary-general, Sthembiso Ndlovu, the students interrupted proceedings.
“We want the president to come back. And if the president doesn’t come back, our SRCs are saying they don’t see the necessity of bishops being here who do not have the money to fund free education,” Ndlovu said.
Minister for Higher Education Blade Nzimande condemned the disruptive students, saying they were only grandstanding for the media.
Government has committed to paying the fee increases for next year on behalf of all poor, working class and “missing middle” families – those with a household income of up to R600 000 per annum.
The move would require the government to fork out an additional R2.5 billion to cover the resultant shortfall of income at universities.