South Africa has recommended that 2017 university tuition fee increases be capped at 8 percent, the higher education minister said on Monday, after waves of student protests demanding cuts or free education.
The cap is higher than South Africa’s current inflation rate of 6 percent and unlikely to quell the protests.
Thirty-two students were arrested earlier this month after arsonists torched a law library at South Africa’s University of KwaZulu-Natal following days of protests by students over grievances including the cost of tuition.
South Africa was also rocked last year by weeks of demonstrations over university costs, forcing President Jacob Zuma to rule out fee raises planned for this year.
Many black students are frustrated by the inequalities that persist two decades after the end of white-minority rule. They argue that raising fees will further disadvantage black students who had little access to universities under apartheid.
“Our recommendation is that fee adjustments should not go above 8 percent,” minister Blade Nzimande told a news conference.