Hilary Joffe Columnist

Negotiations at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) over a threatened national strike for free education could provide the basis for the government, business, labour and students to come together in a structured way to seek solutions to the fees crisis. That is the view from the business chamber at Nedlac ahead of a third meeting, on Monday, on Cosatu’s application in October for a section 77 notice to protest. Cosatu, which has called for a wealth tax to help fund free education, last week accused the government and big business of "arrogance", saying the government continued to undermine Nedlac by sending junior bureaucrats with no decision-making power. The trade union federation said all issues relating to free education must be discussed at Nedlac "and nowhere else", and the demands did not need a commission of inquiry. Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has thus far not appeared at the Nedlac meetings on the free education issue. And though the ...

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