CAPE TOWN-The South African government has assured the nation that there is money for students who can’t afford academic fees in 2016.
President Jacob Zuma has told the National Assembly that he gave directives to the Minister of Higher Education and Training to make sure there is money allocated to cover the no fee increase.
The recent #Fees Must Fall protests forced government and universities into scrapping planned fee hikes for 2016.
Answering to oral questions in Parliament for the last time this year, Zuma says the issue of zero fees is not going to affect the starting of schools next year.
“The issue of zero fees is not going to affect the starting of schools next year. And that matter is being handled and I think the minister of higher education has said something about that matter. So that matter is being addressed. There will be no rise indeed and there will be money to pay.”
Further, the President says there is a need for a balance between the autonomy of universities and their accountability on issues such as transformation and financial access. According to Zuma, government recently introduced the Higher Education Amendment Bill that addresses institutional autonomy and transformation.
The President has also given assurance that the Bill will not interfere with academic freedom.
Zuma says while there are mechanisms in place to deal with such issues, more needs to be done. He adds that a right balance between the autonomy and public accountability is needed while still promoting democratic freedom which, is enshrined in the constitution.
A right balance between the autonomy and public accountability is needed while still promoting democratic freedom which, is enshrined in the constitution.
President Zuma also explained his statement that the ANC is more important than South Africa by saying the party fought for freedom years before democracy existed in the country.
“If I address the ANC, I am an ANC president in addition to being the president of the state. We are saying the ANC started to fight for a democratic South Africa before it existed and the ANC is taking South Africa today to its prosperity no other party can do it except the ANC. So the ANC is very important.”