Student protests at Wits a symptom of Blade Nzimande’s indifference
15 October 2015
Recent student protests at Wits University serve to underscore the abysmal failure of Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, to provide adequate tertiary education funding to those students who can least afford it.
Students at Wits began protesting earlier this week after an announcement by the University that fees were being hiked. The stark reality is that the ANC government does not make enough funds available to subsidise student fees. While Minister Nzimande is fully aware of the desperate need for more funding, he has done nothing to address the matter, showing utter disregard for millions of young South Africans seeking further education.
Minister Nzimande commissioned a report, which was released in February last year, entitled the Report of the Ministerial Committee for the Review of the Funding of Universities, which made it clear that South Africa’s universities are grossly underfunded.
The report, found that South Africa’s budget for universities as a percentage of GDP was only 0.75%, which is lower than the Africa-wide proportion of 0.78%, the world-wide proportion of 0.84% and the proportion spent by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of 1.21%.