Wits SRC to act if Nzimande fails to address call for free education

The SRC has also called on students to gather at the university’s Solomon Mhlangu House this morning.

FILE: Wits SRC General Secretary Fasiha Hassan. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - As Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande prepares to announce whether or not university fees will be hiked next year, the SRC at Wits University says it will be forced to act should Nzimande fail to address the urgent call for free education.

The student body has also called on students to gather at the university's Solomon Mhlangu House this morning to listen to the announcement.

Wits SRC General Secretary Fasiha Hassan says they have spent the last few months engaging with the minister and their stance hasn't changed.

"We as the student body we'll then listen to what the minister has to say and really pave a way forward from there in order for us to really continuously struggle for free education. We've made our stance very clear that the focus remains for free education."

Meanwhile, at the University of Cape Town (UCT) management says it will do everything possible to ensure classes resume tomorrow.

Operations have been suspended as a precautionary measure for today.

Protests erupted there last week, stemming from disciplinary action being taken against three students.

UCT vice chancellor Max Price says: "The process has problems when one misses a day of lectures or tests, and if it's several days then you get into a situation where you may have to postpone the exams, and that runs into exams being held into the following year, people can't graduate in time, they can't get their jobs when they're graduating."

Meanwhile, Wits University SRC says it rejects the work of the Fees Commission looking into the feasibility of free tertiary education.

Hassan says: "They don't really deal with the issue of access. We couldn't afford the fees in 2015, we still can't afford them now. So we're waiting to hear what's going to be the solution."