Students threaten complete shut down if Gordhan fails to respond to demands
Minister Gordhan accepted a memorandum from protesters outside the national legislature yesterday.
CAPE TOWN - Protesting students are hoping Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will address their demands, chief among them making tertiary education free.
Demonstrators who marched on Parliament amid the medium-term budget speech, have threatened to completely shut down all universities unless their grievances are dealt with.
Gordhan accepted a memorandum from protesters outside the national legislature yesterday.
He announced a further R9 billion in funding for the National Students Financial Aid Scheme.
It's unclear when Gordhan will respond to the list of demands but he's assured the protesters he will look at their concerns.
He also had words for protesters who tried to heckle and hurl insults at him.
"No. I have been in your position many times before. So all we are asking for is cooperation."
But one student had a message for Gordhan before he went back inside Parliament.
"If you don't respond to student demands, the universities will be shut down. That is a promise."
The demands include free education, the scrapping of historical student debt back-dated to 1992 and the end to the outsourcing of workers.
The demonstrators branded Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande a "coward" for failing to come out and address them outside Parliament.
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