23/10/2015. Thousands of students from different universities hold hands after clashing with the police on the south lawns of the Union Buildings. Picture: Masi Losi

Cape Town – The ANC on Friday welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s announcement that there will be no university fee increases for 2016, but said the campaign for accessible education was far from over.

“We therefore celebrate the victory of the disciplined and gallant campaign waged by students which culminated in the President…announcing a moratorium on fee increases for the 2016 academic year, delivering the 0 percent increase the Fees Must Fall campaign of united students had called for,” the ruling party said in a statement.

But, it said the campaign for free education should continue.

“The ANC reiterates our call to all social partners to build on the momentum of this campaign and bring closer the realisation of free education at all levels,” the party said in a statement.

“Many of our institutions of higher learning remain untransformed with exclusionary practices still entrenched as part of the fabric of the institution. We welcome the institution of a process as alluded to by the president to address, amongst others, the holistic living conditions at institutions of higher education, transformation and the institutional autonomy of universities.”

The Democratic Alliance also welcomed the announcement, but insisted in was a temporary solution and did not address what it termed the “funding crisis”.

“The 0 percent increase will provide short-term relief, but the systemic funding shortages and subsidy cuts from government were not addressed in today’s (Friday’s) meeting,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said.

“Government agreed to no further funding today, and it would not agree to any bail-out of distressed and indebted students. This is a failure by President Zuma to take the bold steps necessary today to solve this crisis, rather than to defer it.”

African News Agency

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