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Student protests are ‘legitimate’: ANC

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The ANC says the current student protests at several of the country’s universities over fee hikes are “legitimate”.

In a statement, national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said: “These legitimate protests underscore the very important call that affordability cannot be the barometer that is used to determine whether the youth of our country have access to education – the only tool with which we can transform the world as immortalised by former ANC President Nelson Mandela.”

Kodwa said the students were protesting against “unreasonable and exclusionary fee increments… imposed by various universities across the country”.

He said the party remained committed to the realisation of free education at all levels.

Since 1994, university student enrolment had more than doubled from 495 000 to 953 000 in 2012, he said.

“The ANC welcomes the decision of the Minister of Higher Education and Training to convene a meeting with the Vice Chancellors of our higher education institutions. It is our hope that this meeting will emerge with tangible resolutions that will ensure that universities do not use the proposed fee increases as a form of exclusion.”

The statement comes amid several protests at universities nationwide against proposed fee hikes for 2016.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande was to meet vice chancellors, university council chairs, students and workers from various institutions on Tuesday to discuss the fee hikes. News24

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