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Nzimande: SA can't afford any more damage to universities

The higher education minister says the time has come for students to return to lecture halls.

A tyre burns as the UCT FeesMustFall protestors march to university residences. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande says the time has come for students to return to lecture halls and prevent an increase in already skyrocketing costs following damage to property.

Nzimande held a briefing in Kempton Park yesterday, together with vice chancellors and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) on the management of protests and student funding.

It follows disruptions to registration at three Gauteng institutions and a tense meeting with students.

At the briefing, Nzimande revealed that government would have to shuffle the budget as it prepares to fork out R150 million due to damage to property.

The minister said the country cannot afford more damage to institutional assets, adding that the cost of the security to protect the functioning of the education system is exorbitant.

"We appeal to our groups of protesters who make this expenditure unnecessary so that it can be better spent on building our education system."

LISTEN: A consensus reached regarding higher education funding

Nzimande also called on protesting students to acknowledge the important victories made by government in committing R6.9 million to cover the no fee increment and an additional R4.4 billion to NSFAS.

He says plans are coming together to supply a funding model for the so called 'missing middle', those who don't qualify for NSFAS but also can't afford university fees.

WATCH: #Feesmustfall reloaded

UP ENDS OUTSOURCING

The University of Pretoria will reopen its gates for registration today after an agreement was reached to end outsourcing.

Workers and some students had been protesting for almost two weeks, calling for an end to outsourcing of workers at the institution and demanding a basic salary of R10,000 a month.

After a commission into outsourcing was established and meetings were held between protestors and management, the agreement was reached yesterday.

University spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer says the workers' salaries will be adjusted but the amount is not clear yet.

"An agreement was signed at the University of Pretoria. The insourcing of services was agreed upon and this is linked to the expiry of existing contracts with service providers."

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