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Deputy minister on the clock to respond to student protesters

On Thursday, protesters marched to Parliament where they handed over a letter of demands.

UCT #FeesMustFall protesters march down Spin street in Cape Town on their way to Parliament. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana, has promised to respond on Monday to some of the grievances raised by protesting students.

On Thursday, more than 200 students marched to Parliament again where they handed over a memorandum of grievances, which included calling for an end to outsourcing.

Manana found himself in a tight spot, encircled by dozens of frustrated students.

He tried to ensure the protesters that government was on their side and it respected how they felt about their struggle.

"There's no way that we as government can say where don't identify with the struggle, it's a noble struggle and it's a necessary struggle."

The students are demanding that free tertiary education becomes a reality and the outsourcing of workers on campus should end.

GOVERNMENT MUST COVER SHORTFALL

The University of Cape Town's vice chancellor said government should cover 80 percent of the funding shortfal l resulting from a no fee increase next year.

Max Price today briefed the media about recent developments at the institution, the zero percent increase decision and insourcing workers on campus.

Last week, President Jacob Zuma announced fees will not be increased following widespread protests and violent demonstrations in support of the Fees Must Fall student campaign.

Price said the university landscape has changed dramatically in a week. He said the change is long overdue as he's been calling for a fee subsidy for years.

Price said it is government's responsibility to bridge most of the funding gap resulting from a zero percent fee increase.

"I hope we'll get [up to] 80 percent. If we get 80 percent, we can make a plan."

He added they are looking at ways to help address the looming funding shortfall by lobbying alumni and wealthy parents to help poorer students.

POLICE BRUTALITY

Government has promised to investigate allegations of police brutality that have been made by protesting students.

Dozens of UCT, UWC and CPUT students caused chaos when they descended and barged into the Parliamentary precinct last week.

Several students were injured in the running battles that ensued with police during the #FeesMustFall campaign.

Manana said police brutality claims will also be probed.

"We're going to definitely investigate this matter but I received the memorandum on behalf of government."

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