Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training

The Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (The Fees Commission) was established in terms of section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The Honourable Justice Jonathan Arthur HEHER was appointed as the chairperson, and Advocate Gregory ALLY and Ms Leah Thabisile KHUMALO, an attorney, as members of the Commission.

The Commission shall enquire into, make findings, report on and make recommendations on the following:

  1. The feasibility of making higher education and training (higher education) fee-free in South Africa, having regard to:
    1.1 the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, all relevant higher and basic education legislation, all findings and recommendations of the various Presidential and Ministerial Task Teams, as well as all relevant educational policies, reports and guidelines;
    1.2 the multiple facets of financial sustainability, analysing and assessing the role of government together with its agencies, students, institutions, business sector and employers in funding higher education and training; and
    1.3 the institutional independence and autonomy which should occur vis a vis the financial funding model.

  2. The Commissions Act, 1947 (Act No. 8 of 1947), shall apply to the Commission, subject to such modifications and exemptions as may be specified by proclamation from time to time.

  3. The Commission shall submit interim reports and recommendations to the President whenever it is necessary.

  4. The Commission must complete its work within a period of 8 (eight) months from the date hereof and must submit its final report to the President within a period of 2 (two) months after the date on which the Commission completes its work.

  5. Regulations will be made in terms of the Commissions Act, 1947 and will apply to the Commission to enable the Commission to carry out its investigation properly and to facilitate the gathering of information by conferring on the Commission such powers as are necessary including the power to enter premises, secure the attendance of witnesses and compel the production of documents.

  6. The terms of reference may be amended at any time in consultation with the Commissioners.

  7. All organs of state, institutions and stakeholders are required to cooperate fully with the Commission.

Download the Terms of Reference, GG 39608, 22 Jan 2016.