African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma has lauded the efforts of the class of 2015, who fought against proposed fee increases for the 2016 financial year.
The President was addressing crowds at the party's 104th birthday celebrations during his January 8 Statement delivery at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg in the North West.
Under the #FeesMustFall campaign, university students across the country took to the streets last year, protesting un-affordable tertiary education costs.
Zuma has described the students as agents of positive social change.
"The youth of 2015 have demonstrated during the protests last year that they can be agents of social change. There will be no
upfront payment for students. The ANC assures the county that we are working hard at finding long-term solutions to the challenges around funding for the post school education."
The student protests intensified in Cape Town when they interrupted proceedings during the Finance Ministers budget speech
Scenes of violence, burning of property and manhandling of students by the police took place.
In the same week, students in Gauteng marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where student leaders met with university
chancellor's and education stakeholders.
There a resolution was then taken to halt fee increases for the 2016 academic year.
During his address at the stadium, Zuma also announced an allocated amount of R2 billion for the 2016/17 academic year.
An additional R4.5 billion has been allocated towards funding for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Zuma also condemned scenes of violence that played out.
"The destruction of property in some cases and the violent behaviour witnessed was unwarranted and not progressive and undermines the student's campaign."
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