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“Nothing less than free education” – Student leaders on leaked fees report

Some Student Representative Councils (SRCs) have decided to wait till the president releases the Fees Commission report rather that relying on the leak.

On Sunday, the City Press reported on a leaked copy of the Fees Commission report which stated that the demand for free education would not answered.

The Commission was set up in early 2016 following the first protests against higher education fees. The 748-page report with recommendations made by the Commission was handed to the president in August this year.

The Daily Vox spoke to a few SRCs from around the country about the leak and what it would mean for the students.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s deputy SRC president Athi Ndita said they will wait for confirmation to be made by the official release of the report. He said they won’t accept anything but free education. “The country has all the necessary resources to make free education feasible but it has not been explored [by the government] which is a problem, he said.

Kwanele Mbatha, SRC president at University of KwaZulu-Natal said they would wait for the national and provincial arms South African Students Congress to announce the plan of action. “But if they don’t announce [free education], we will hear from students on the ground of what they are saying about the report,” he said.

Lwando Nkamisa, Stellenbosch University SRC chairperson said the SRC was not calling for free education for all, but for the students who could not afford fees. “We agree that free education for all is going to defeat the very purpose of free education because it will mean people who are privileged will be accessing this,” he said.

Mangosuthu University of Technology SRC president Sandile Dlamini said the SRC will wait for the president to release the report. “We don’t want to respond on allegations hence we will wait for the release of the report, only then we can comment,” he said.

Letlhogonolo Maimane, SRC president from the University of Johannesburg said it would only take a stance once the report was released because it did not trust the media.

Editor’s note: The Daily Vox is still attempting to reach other university SRCs. The article will be updated once comment is received.

Additional reporting by Lizeka Maduna

Featured image by Ayesha Tape

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