NEWS

Fees Must Fall 3.0 -- Students Getting Impatient With Zuma About The Release Of Fees Commission Report

Fees increases on hold in anticipation of the report. What's the big hold-up, Mr President?

24/10/2017 16:25 SAST | Updated 24/10/2017 16:25 SAST
Jaco Marais/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
University of Cape Town students gather during the #FeesMustFall protest on October 03, 2016 in Cape Town.

Students throughout the country are demanding that President Jacob Zuma release the much-anticipated Fees Commission report that is meant to give a directive on the possibility of free, quality education.

Zuma promised to study the recommendations and make them public, but a month has already passed since he received the report.

The commission was established following violent protests at higher learning institutions throughout the country in 2015.

Justice Jonathan Arthur Heher was appointed as the chairperson of the commission, which held hearings all over the country to find out what students were demanding.

University of Cape Town student representative council (SRC) secretary-general Sinawo Thambo told HuffPostSA that one of their key demands was to find out what the findings of the report was so that students know where they stand.

"We want the Fees Commission report to be released," Thambo said.

The #FeesMustFall movement comes into the spotlight for the third consecutive year. In the past few weeks, student protests have been taking place at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of Free State (UFS).

In a statement issued on Tuesday, UCT vice-chancellor Dr Max Price also encouraged the president to release the much-anticipated report.

Price expressed grave concern, saying UCT has "delayed decisions on fees pending the release of the report".

"The failure to release the report also prevents stakeholders, including students and university councils, from responding to the proposals on the sustainable funding of higher education in South Africa and, in particular, on ensuring access for all who can benefit from it," he said.

At UFS, protest action was sparked by the institution's 8 percent proposed fee hike. Thirty-six students were arrested for violent activity last week Friday, but they have since been released.

Student leader Asive Dlanjwa said they were meeting with management on a regular basis; however, it was hard for them to reach common ground.

"We are not finding each other as far as the increment is concerned," he said.

He said the other issue that was aggravating students was that they were still waiting on Zuma to release the Fees Commission report.

UFS has provided counselling for students who have been traumatised by the protests and students have been asked to send emails if they felt they could not go ahead with exams.

University spokesperson Lacea Loader said calm had been restored at both the Bloemfontein and Qwa-Qwa campuses.

"Exams are going ahead as planned," she said.