#Fees2017: Fort Hare University announces 0% fee increase

There have been protests around the country after students rejected the 8% cap on fee increment.

Entrance to the University of Fort Hare. Picture: @SAgovnews via Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape has announced a zero percent fee increase for 2017.

The vice-chancellor made the announcement after students gave the university 48 hours to announce its position.

The Eastern Cape institution says nearly all its students fall in the categories that have been exempted from a tuition fee hike.

The Higher Education Minister yesterday announced that students supported by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and those from households earning less than R600,000 a year will not be affected by any fee hikes next year.

The university's Lizo Phito, "The basic interpretation of the statement from the Minister, when it comes to the university of Fort Hare, is that the fees will remain as they were on 2015 and the department of Higher Education will subsidies universities to compensate for the zero fee increase."

The announcement comes as students at the University of the Witwatersrand clashed with security personnel outside the Great Hall this afternoon.

Yesterday, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said the 2017 fee increment would be capped at 8 percent, but that it was up to universities whether they would implement fee hikes.

At the same time, the University of the Free State, operations have been shut down at all its campuses, and classes have been suspended for the rest of the week.

The university says it took the decision, after consulting with Student Representative Council (SRC) members yesterday.

Officials say some academic activities were disrupted yesterday, but insists it is calm today.

The university's Lachea Loader says, "After careful assessment of the situation on the Bloemfontein, QwaQwa and South campuses of the UFS and engagement with the SRC the senior leadership of the university has decided to close all its campuses until Friday, 23 September."

At the University of KwaZulu-Natal, SRC members say they are in a meeting to decide whether they will be joining other students across the country in protest.