Cosatu supports no university fee increases calls for 2017

Cosatu agrees with students who say the country has enough resources to subsidise a no fee increment.

Students from different varsities demonstrated at the Wits university campus against the suspension of students, who have been excluded for not paying their fees. Picture:Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it fully supports students' calls for a zero percent tuition fee increase for the 2017 academic year.

Yesterday, the union reported back on its central executive committee meeting held last weekend.

Issues including election results and the feasibility of free tertiary education were discussed.

Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshali-Ntshali says it agrees with students who say the country has enough resources and wealth to subsidise a no fee increment.

"A no fee agreement in the 2017 academic year until the presidential commission of inquiry into higher education tables its final report as expected. In the absence of such report, Cosatu believes that there should be no discussion about any fee increment by the universities."


At the same time, Cosatu said no one is above the law, but it has warned the Hawks to handle the matter surrounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan responsibly.

It says while Minister Gordhan is exercising his right not to present himself to the authorities, he must also be willing to face any possible consequences.

Ntshalintshali says the way the matter has been dealt with has been in poor taste.

"Our warning to the Hawks is that they should not behave like the Scorpions and end up being discredited or being perceived to be entering internal or political battles."

He says the matter has knocked the markets.

"Any accusation of a finance minister has an impact on these issues."

Ntshalintshali said the Hawks must ensure that they do their job honestly.

It emerged yesterday that former South African Revenue Service commissioner Oupa Magashula was also summoned by the Hawks, along with two other former officials Johann van Loggerenberg and Ivan Pillay.

Minister Gordhan announced earlier this week that he would not comply with the demands by the Hawks.