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Student leaders ready to take action following leak of fees commission report

The University of Pretoria’s student representative council says it is disappointed at the reported findings but it is not surprised.

FILE: University students chanting for free, decolonised and quality education outside the Union Buildings on 20 October 2016. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With possible more student protests planned after the leak of a report into free higher education, student leaders say they are ready to take action after the official release of the report.

The City Press reported that the commission led by retired judge Jonathan Heher had found that free higher education is not viable and government should consider the struggling economy and demands on the fiscus.

Students at universities across the country have rejected the report, with some accusing the Presidency of leaking it to create a soft landing for when President Jacob Zuma makes the announcement.

The University of Pretoria’s student representative council says that it is disappointed at the reported findings but it is not surprised.

However, the SRC’s Duane van Wyk says the student leadership is trying to avoid a complete shutdown.

“The shutdowns in the previous two years, first of all shutdown to any opportunity we had to make sure management is held accountable to the memorandum we gave them which entailed lots of promises from 2015 won’t even be looked at.”

Meanwhile the EFF student command at the University of Johannesburg says that some action needs to be taken.

Chairperson Zwelakhe Mahlangu says: “Definitely there will be an action that will be taking place to ensure that we put pressure on the state to give free education.”

The Presidency says the report will be released soon but it will be engaging some Cabinet ministers first.