New talks to be launched over Wits fee increase

A proposed 10.5 percent fee increase has been suspended, signalling a victory for protesting students.

A Wits student watches as SRC representatives address hundreds of students during a sit-in on campus over proposed tuition fee increases. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - An agreement has been signed between Wits University, management and students, where all parties have committed to launching new negotiations over a fee increase for the 2016 academic year.

A proposed 10.5 percent hike has been suspended, signalling a victory for students - who have been protesting for a consecutive three days.

Lectures were also suspended, and will resume on Tuesday.

Following an intense and protracted engagement between protesting students and members of the Executive Committee of Council, all parties have agreed that the negotiations pertaining to fee increments will resume anew.

The university's Shiron Patel says the institution has promised students that it will not revert to its initial decision if the new negotiations break down.

"The university won't go back to the 10.5 percent. They also agreed that a new framework for negotiations will be agreed upon."

She says a council meeting will be held on Sunday, and students will be briefed next week.

"A full council meeting has been called for tomorrow, and they will deliberate specifically on the issue of student fees for 2016."

Wits University will officially be closed on Monday, to allow council to report to a university assembly.

Lectures will resume on Tuesday.

WATCH: Wits students block campus access points.