Parliamentary committee concerned about student protests
Protests erupted after Minister Nzimande announced that universities would be allowed to hike their fees.
JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's Select Committee on Education and Recreation says it's concerned by the resurgence of protests at institutions of higher learning.
Protests erupted on Monday after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's announcement on fee increments for the 2017 academic year.
The committee has urged all students to acknowledge processes that are underway and recognise that comprehensive solutions must be found to ensure that both the quality of higher education programmes and access for everyone is achieved.
The committee's Lungelwa Zwane says: "We're really concerned about the protests, while at the same time we understand that students have got a right protest. But they must understand that there are still processes in place to follow."
Demonstrations erupted after Nzimande announced that universities would be allowed to hike their fees, but only up to 8%.
At the same time, some University of Cape Town students have vowed to continue demonstrating until their demands are met.
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Student leaders have been in talks with management this week amid a campus shutdown. Fresh protests erupted this week after it was announced fees would be increased next year.
Yesterday, more than a hundred UCT demonstrators and workers, marched from Cape Town train station to the Hiddingh Campus in the CBD.
There students occupied the library and discussed issues that they want management to address.
Those include rape culture and the need for more security personnel on campus.
Protesting students say they will not stop shutting down activities on campus until management meets their demands.
"We've a problem in agreeing with them on specific things, so we're still trying to engage with them but we're not going to engage with them very long if they're not going to listen to us.
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Students say meetings with management have proved fruitless so far.
Meanwhile, activities at the UCT have been suspended until Sunday. The decision follows a meeting by the senior leadership group last night.
UCT's Elijah Moholola says they remain committed to engaging with students to establish a way forward.
"The senior leadership group of the University of Cape Town has agreed that university activities will be suspended on Thursday until Sunday. The UCT libraries will also be closed during this period. The bus service has also been suspended."