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Wits council calls on Zuma to lead in resolving university fees crisis

It says it expects the president to establish a gathering that will explore sustainable funding options.

resident Jacob Zuma. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Wits University council has called on President Jacob Zuma to do something urgently to address the ongoing crisis in the higher education sector-warning if universities are unable to continue with the 2016 academic programme, there will be consequences.

The president has already established a commission of inquiry into free higher education and an inter-ministerial committee to ensure stability in universities.

But the council says the president must be at the forefront of exploring options for sustainable

It says while it appreciates efforts by Higher Education Minister Blade Bzimande and the President in addressing the educational crisis, it says it does not think there is sufficient appreciation of the fact that this is a national crisis of significant proportion that requires the president and his office to lead the thinking on resolutions.

Member of the Wits council Cas Coovadia says, "The President should lead a process to find a sustainable, long-term solution to this issue, because we believe it is a matter of national issue."

He says they expect the president to establish a gathering that will explore sustainable funding options for higher education.

This will ensure that no student who qualifies academically is excluded and that the president commits the necessary resources and capacity from government to ensure the necessary work is undertaken expeditiously.