Cabinet remains committed to finding a sustainable and lasting solution to the funding of higher education to ensure that all academically deserving students are not financially excluded.
Briefing the media on Thursday, following Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, noted that the fee compact reached between the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and institutions of higher learning, is aligned to inflation as part of making higher education affordable.
Ntshavheni said that Cabinet is concerned about the growing historical student debt in the higher education system.
“The DHET is currently collating data on the profiles of students affected by this debt, which will form part of a planned review of the student funding policy to introduce a sustainable funding model for higher education.
“In the meantime, Cabinet encourages institutions of higher learning to engage with their student bodies to find solutions that will allow more students to register,” Ntshavheni said.
Arrest of police in Wits murder commended
Meanwhile, Cabinet commended the speedy investigation and arrest of four police officers for allegedly killing Mthokozisi Ntumba (35) during the recent student protests outside Wits University in Johannesburg.
Cabinet further welcomed the arrest of people responsible for public violence and continued attacks on police during the protests.
“Cabinet respects the constitutional right to peaceful protest within the confines of the law. However, law-enforcement agencies will not allow criminal elements to take advantage of legitimate protests and cause mayhem by burning and destroying private and public property,” the Minister said.
Fostering greater social cohesion
Meanwhile, Cabinet has called on all South Africans to use the remaining days of Human Rights Month to foster greater social cohesion, nation-building and a shared national identity.
Cabinet thanked all South Africans who joined in the country’s Human Rights Day celebrations on Sunday, 21 March 2021 under the theme: “The Year of Charlotte Maxeke: Promoting Human Rights in the Age of COVID-19”.
This year’s commemoration coincides with the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996.
The day reminded the nation of the moral duty as a nation to continue the fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia and all related intolerances, including gender-based violence and remnants of police brutality.