Zuma to attend high-level meeting over university fees

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande called the meeting in a bid to defuse tensions on campuses.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma is to attend a high-level meeting scheduled for today to discuss solutions to try to jump start the rest of the 2016 academic year for universities affected by anti-fees protests.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has called the meeting in a desperate bid to defuse tensions on university campuses across the country.

Some student demonstrations have been characterised by violence.

The meeting comes after Wits University management announced it will resume lectures on Tuesday following student protests at the university.

After analysing the results of a student and staff poll, Wits has decided to resume its academic programme this week.

Staff members are expected to return to campuses tomorrow.

The university said additional security will remain in place until students can give assurance that they will refrain from disruptive behaviour.

The university has listened to the calls of more than 18,000 staff and students who have called for academic activity to resume this week.

As of tomorrow, campus facilities will be opened to staff who will begin their work to make up for lost academic time.

The institution says it has lost too much time on its academic programme and would be putting the lives of thousands at risk if it didn't reopen soon.

A tight security presence is expected to be maintained with police being asked to remain around the university's perimeter.

UCT TO RESUME WITH ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will resume its academic programme today after several weeks of #FeesMustFall protests.

UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price said the year's programme can be completed if classes resume tomorrow.

"If we cannot reopen on [3 October] we will need to start having exams on weekends. We will lose some study days and if it goes beyond a week or so, we will not be able to complete the academic year in 2016."