Cape Town can expect a double whammy this afternoon as students from around the metro will prepare to march on Parliament to demand the release of the fees commission report, while Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is expected to deliver his medium-term budget policy statement.
University of Cape Town and Cape Peninsula University of Technology students are threatening to shut down their campuses if the fees document, which looks into the feasibility of free higher education, is not released.
On Tuesday, UCT’s vice-chancellor Max Price urged President Jacob Zuma to release the higher education fees commission report as soon as possible.
In a statement released on Monday, Price explains that UCT has delayed making a decision on the 2018 tuition fee hike as it wants the report made public first.
UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola says: “UCT was supposed to plan its 2018 budget and would normally have concluded consultation with the SRC and other stakeholders by September. However, UCT delayed decisions on fees pending the release of this report, in order to not preempt the recommendation of the fees commission.”
The University of Free State has been protesting over this issue for several weeks now. Violence broke out at there last week following the announcement of a proposed 8% fee hike.
Last week, ANC presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu received loud cheers during an address, when she announced her support for free higher education.
“The ministerial task team that was set up estimated that the cost of free education would be R42 billion. We have calculated the cost of money stolen over three years which is R100 billion.”
Sisulu believes free higher education is possible if the looting of the country's coffers is stopped.