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R2.3bn set aside for university fee freeze

In order to achieve these goals, government will have to prioritise them in its budget allocations.

FILE: UCT #feesMustFall protesters at the Bremner building. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Presidency has confirmed R2,3 billion will be set aside next year in order to implement a zero percent fee increase at universities.

Today, President Jacob Zuma revealed that he has received feedback from a task team he set up in October to address funding shortages in tertiary institutions.

In October, students across the country participated in the " Fees Must Fall" protests demanding the scrapping of fee increases for next year, as well as free education.

The presidential task team says a shortfall at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has resulted in the accumulation of over R4 billion of university debt held by students.

The team has called for more than R2 billion, separate to the money that will be used to fund the fees increase shortfall, to be made available to cover existing student debt.

A further R2 billion should be made available to cover those who were at risk of being underfunded for the 2016 academic year.

In order to achieve these goals, government will have to prioritise them in its budget allocations.

Universities will also contribute financially.