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Radebe: Economy will take strain if fees shutdown continues

Jeff Radebe says government is looking at a number of proposals on how to finance higher education.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Cabinet has urged students to return to class, warning of the impact on the economy if the academic year fails.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says the government is looking at a number of proposals from students, banks, and business on how to finance higher education.

He says the ministerial task team announced by President Jacob Zuma last week to help resolve the crisis will develop a road map to pave the way towards a solution.

"Ultimately our economy has no new skilled graduates [who] will enter the market. Consequently, those who would have graduated as medical doctors, engineers, accountants, teachers and various other professions will no longer be in a position to enter the economy."

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will be joined by the ministers of human settlements, communication and the minister of social development on the ministerial task team.