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#FeesMustFall: Minister confirms fee hikes won’t exceed 6 percent

Minister Blade Nzimande has just confirmed an agreement has been reached to cap fee increases.

Fort Hare University students march through the campus, recruiting students as they toyi-toyi against a hike in fees and what they say is a corrupt administration. Picture: Thomas Holders/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has just confirmed an agreement has been reached to cap fee increases, saying fee hikes won't exceed six percent.

Nzimande says, "The stakeholders agreed to encourage their respective constituencies to engage in institutional negotiations at universities, with a view to achieve a fee increase of not higher than a CPI related increase, of 6 percent.

Nzimande met with vice-chancellors from various universities this afternoon to tackle the issue of fee hikes in the wake student protests which have spread from wits to other provinces.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) earlier said a meeting between the minster and vice-chancellors from various universities and other stakeholders resolved that fees should not be increased by more than six percent.

Student protests over the proposed increases began at Wits last week and has quickly spread to several other universities.

WATCH: UCT protesters recruit workers & students.

In response, Nzimande called an urgent meeting to discuss the issue.

The heads of several institutions are currently locked in a closed meeting in Cape Town.

It has emerged that those present have reached consensus on how to tackle the issue of fee hikes going forward.

Yesterday, Nzimande said he does not have the power to determine fees, but it doesn't stop government from exploring means to give the department powers to regulate fees.

WITS' MASS STUDY SESSION

Wits University students will hold a mass study session at the Johannesburg campus this evening as part of their protest against fee increases.

Hundreds of students have arrived at the main campus after marching from the medical school in Parktown where management cancelled today's exams.

They've been demonstrating for several days now over fee increases for 2016.

Incoming SRC President Nompendulo Mkatshwa says they are taking a more subtle approach to their protest action this evening.

"Our key principle when it comes to protesting is peace and we are maintaining that stability. So we'll have a mass study session throughout the night."

Wits students were the first to raise concerns about fee increases, and their demonstrations since last week has prompted other universities across the country to join in.

Students who've arrived from the medical school, have entered the main campus through Empire Road were it appears to be no interference with traffic.

The atmosphere is peaceful, with students saying everyone needs to highlight the struggle for access to education if they are ever to see free education in their lifetime.

#FeesMustFall Students blocked empire road once again but police & SRC leadership help reopen the road. pic.twitter.com/6KB1o8cDGP