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  He he...right on grahamcr! When are the students going to riot about the rising cost of bread, milk, meat, petrol etc etc. And, who is footing the bill for these future intellectual giants - their par...  

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Zuma caves in on fees amid violent student protests

Protests have damaged Zuma’s image – analyst.

PRETORIA – South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma on Friday ruled out university fee increases next year after a week of angry protests by students across the country in the first signs of the post-apartheid ‘Born Free’ generation flexing its muscle.

Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at students who hurled rocks and lit fires on the grounds of Union Buildings, where the government has its offices in Pretoria, demanding Zuma come outside and address them.

But security officials feared for his safety, and Zuma remained inside, making the fee freeze announcement to the media instead. 

“We decided against it because it was not safe,” a state security official told Reuters. “There were students there with stones.” A second source confirmed the change of plan. 

The protest caps a week of angry demonstrations over the cost of university education – prohibitive for many blacks – amid frustration at the inequalities that persist two decades after the end of white-minority rule. 

“On the matter at hand we agreed that there will be a zero increase of university fees in 2016,” Zuma said after meeting in private with student leaders and university management. 

Some of the more than 12 000 students who gathered at Union Buildings in Pretoria welcomed Zuma’s announcement, but others said the measure fell short of their demand for free education.

“It’s a partial victory. It’s not a victory worthy of celebration. It just means that we are safe for this year,” Busisiwe Mashiqa, 29, a student at Fort Hare University said.

“There are many issues that need to be addressed and affordability is the main issue.”

Kenneth Matshili, 21, a student in Pretoria, said: “It’s better that we resolve the issues once for all. I am saying I want free education for all in our lifetime.” 

Tuition fees vary across universities, but can run as high as R60 000 per year for medical students in a country where white households still earn six times more than black households, according to official figures. 

But low growth since a 2009 recession has forced the government to keep a lid on spending, meaning that it has little spare cash to offer students in the form of enhanced subsidies.

The government, which subsidises universities, has said it cannot afford the free education that students are demanding.

Protests punish rand

The rand currency touched a 3-1/2 week low against the dollar on Friday as investor sentiment soured due the protests, which analysts said had damaged Zuma. 

“The protest has affected the image, stability and popularity of the ruling party. The damage is accumulating at Zuma’s doorstep before local elections next year,” BNP Paribas Securities South Africa political consultant Nic Borain said.

“Not raising fees for a year is not a sustainable solution, this will still remain a crisis for the government.”

Two decades after the end of apartheid, many students have no personal recollection of apartheid and thus little emotional allegiance to the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

On Wednesday, riot police threw stun grenades at students who stormed the parliament precinct in Cape Town as Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene delivered his interim budget in which he painted a gloomy outlook for Africa’s most advanced economy.

“The ANC just talks, we support the ANC but we just don’t support the current cabinet…The children are making a plea, you should listen,” Makungu Sithole, 21, an engineering student said. 

South Africa has a million students in further education, a figure that the ANC wants to increase to 1.5 million by 2030.

Universities say they need higher fees to keep up standards and they urged the government to find the extra money. 



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Renee Eagar

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So by freezing the fees what does that really mean that 2016 fees will be the same as the fees for 2015.
If by swishing his magic wand he believes he has solved the problem he is wrong – the students will be back next year demanding that the fees must be lowered. At the end of the day the varsities have to balance their income against expenditure – if expenditure is genuinely and legitimately increasing beyond revenue then a compromise will have to be found as to a means of paring back expenses.
This scenario is going to get uglier way before it even gets better
There is absolutely no winners with this announcement

He he…right on grahamcr! When are the students going to riot about the rising cost of bread, milk, meat, petrol etc etc. And, who is footing the bill for these future intellectual giants – their parents or their sponsors? Hell, I worked every vacation when I was a varsity to help pay my fees! Oh, and when these students eventually graduate, they will demand immediate positions as managers!!! Are there ever any winners in South Africa, besides politicians?

The proverbial can being kicked down the road…
A short-term psychological victory of note, but it does very little to quell the root cause.

A (dangerous) precedent has been set now.
Somewhere out there, someone is rubbing their hands and licking their lips, raring to have a go at also using militancy and mobilization of the masses to get what they want, so Zuma and co. better brace themselves.

Zuma Must Fall, next ?

Devaluation of the currency is the ultimate cause of rising prices. Governments benefit from this process as it raises the income from taxes. Eventually, when the people protest about the unaffordable cost of living, governments act to freeze any increases in prices.

Government is not your friend for freezing price rises, on the contrary, it is a sure sign that they are stealing the purchasing power of our money and blaming it om someone else.
This is exactly what Mugabe did when hyperinflation kicked in.
ANC must Fall!
Zuma must Fall!

How to get rid of Zuma is the target for all of us in SA. How many nkandlas are there that we do not even know about. The corruption. The mismanagement. The hopeless wasteful cabinet. Let’s get Zuma out and you will all get free education. Completely FREE. How do we get people to mobilize to remove Zuma?

“South Africa has a million students in further education, a figure that the ANC wants to increase to 1.5 million by 2030”
Where are all these kids going to get jobs anyway?

You cannot support the ANC if you support #FeesMustFall as it is them that has created this situation through wrong policy and corruption. The pot is virtually empty.

#ANCMustFall & #SumaMustFall

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