Higher education commission of enquiry welcomed

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pretoria – The decision by President Jacob Zuma to establish a commission of inquiry to look at issues that have been raised by students of higher learning institutions has been welcomed by Cabinet

“President Zuma will be announcing the commission together with its terms of reference in due course,” Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe said.

He was briefing the media on Thursday in Cape Town on the outcome of the Cabinet meeting.

Recently, President Jacob Zuma met with student leaders, vice-chancellors and chairpersons of university councils to gain a first-hand account from students about issues that are of concern to them and which affect their capacity to learn. 

The meeting followed protests by students at universities who were against a fee increment for the 2016 academic year.

After the meeting, President Zuma announced that there would be no fee increments at universities next year.

“Cabinet welcomes the announcement by President Zuma of a zero percent increase at tertiary institutions for the 2016 academic year. This decision brings much needed monetary relief, especially to the poor, working class and lower middle class families with university students,” Minister Radebe said.

Responding to questions on how government will fund the shortfall created by the zero percent increase, the Minister said government will find the funds to accommodate the zero fee hike next year.

He said the decision had been made by the President and government would find the funds.

Water and Security

Cabinet also welcomed the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Water and Security that is being chaired by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The committee will discuss and propose further interventions on the communities mostly affected by the drought.

The Department of Water and Sanitation is assisting communities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State that are affected by the recent drought.

“Areas that are supplied by the country’s larger regional water supply dams and schemes remain water secure as these systems are currently in a positive water balance with a national average dam storage at 66 percent full,” Minister Radebe said. – SAnews.gov.za

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