Free education demands come at difficult economic time, says Unisa VC

Mandla Makhanya says South Africa is experiencing a tough economic period.

Students protest at Parliament in Cape Town for free education on 22 September 2016. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - Unisa's Vice-Chancellor Mandla Makhanya says student demands for free education cannot be ignored, but neither can the fact that South Africa is experiencing a tough economic period.

The professor was speaking at the second round of public hearings of the Fees Commission of Inquiry, which is exploring the feasibility of fee free higher education.

President Jacob Zuma established the commissions last year following violent student protests.

Makhanya says the question of free education comes at a difficult time in the country.

"We have knowledge that we are actually going through a challenging time with our economic situation. We know pursuing education is a costly endeavour and acknowledge student activism is a matter we cannot dismiss."

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