The South African Students Congress is by far the most influential and credible student organization that carries the aspirations of students in general, poor and working class in particular. SASCO views the SRC as a strategic site of struggle to pursue the transformational agenda, as such SASCO contests SRC elections with a sole purpose to advance its perspective on the transformation of the higher education sector.
Firstly, we would wish to join all South Africans in support of rape victims. We have followed the Omotoso rape trial and we thus commend the bravery of our fellow student, Cheryl Zondi. In the face of intense cross-examinations, she stood up for all women who have been victims of gender-based violence. We wish to also commend the sterling work by the ANCWL YWD for waging a relentless fight against GBV in both our communities and institutions of higher learning.
It is with great shock that gender-based violence against women also occurs in institutions of higher learning and our churches, both these institution should preserve the safety of young women at all material times. We, therefore, join the call for the immediate closure of all parody and unregistered churches.
We will be joining hands with progressive formations, jointly the ANCYL, YCLSA and COSAS in Durban and Port Elizabeth to ensure we close down the Jesus Dominion International church with no prospect of “resurrection”. We are, however, worried about the silence of SACC, their silence speaks volumes. The struggle against gender-based violence is the struggle against patriarchal relations and a societal struggle.
The overall Performance of SASCO
The SASCO led PYA in institutions of higher learning governs 45/50 TVET colleges in the country, SASCO governs 14 and co-governs 4 universities of the 26 universities in South Africa. The SASCO led PYA has undoubtedly reclaimed 4 universities from the hopeless, corrupt, VBS inspired EFFSC with a great margin. This signals the anger and disgust voiced by students towards the EFF rhetoric and their incapacity to address the challenges faced by students.
These SRC Elections have to a greater degree, and for all purposes shown a vivid confidence of students from all walks of life, which they still have in the leadership of the SASCO, and the proficiency and efficiency within which it has invariably executed its mandates.
Consequently, this phenomenon asserts and reaffirms SASCO as the only formidable and revolutionary student organization in South Africa, and arguably in Africa at large. We have been able to meticulously define and courageously lead together with students the most desirable future prospects which may be deemed to be located within the National Democratic Revolution.
Admittedly, we acknowledge in some institutions of higher learning and training we seem to have lost ground. As a result, we will conduct an empirical analysis which will enable us to take stock and make self-introspection and self-retrospection, and further devise strategies that will guarantee us a sustainable overwhelming victory in the battles that lie ahead.
As SASCO, we wish to express words of gratitude to all students across the board who have come out in their numbers to cast their votes in favour of the PYA led by SASCO in institutions of higher learning and training. SASCO will carry the mandate wholeheartedly and serve students selflessly without any ulterior motives of material gain.
We, however, call for an investigation of IEFSA which is an unregistered company masquerading as a credible elections body. This company was running SRC elections in many institutions. It is our considered view that this unregistered IEFSA was bought in order to drive a particular narrative and agenda towards the National General Elections in 2019.
The discrepancies that occurred in many institutions are similar. This includes, amongst many other things, missing ballot papers, shortage of ink, numbers not tallying, elections beginning 6 hours late etc., this has resulted in violent confrontation amongst student organizations wherein some students were badly injured and others lost their lives, this is great SRC elections heist.
National General Elections
Against media-driven propaganda, SASCO wishes to express categorically that young people and students, in particular, have full confidence in the ANC led alliance. In the upcoming national general elections, students will confirm their unwavering support of the caring and old yet largest liberation movement in Africa, the African National Congress (ANC). The support given will not be in silver platter but carries a load of student-related challenges from NSFAS, student accommodation, student safety etc.
SASCO calls on DHET to fully investigate the collusion of service providers and institutional managers, this kind of corruption is rife in the TVET sector. These corrupt elements emanate from tendering processes, the recent case being DUT that spent millions on a tender related court case. The pricing of meals in our institutions is not regulated and borders on NSFAS limited resources.
SASCO has noted with grave concern the report on The Great Bank Heist released by SARB into the looting of the VBS Mutual Bank. We condemn with strongest terms the looting of taxpayers money, the poor and working class invested funds. We call on auditing and legal professional bodies to take harsh actions in order to restore their credibility against attorneys and accountants involved in the heist.
We are however not surprised by the involvement of the EFF in The Great Bank Heist. The EFF was built through corrupt blocks. Its existence has been gossip and lies to cover up their corrupt tricks. We call on law enforcement agencies to follow to the latter the money received by Brian Shivambu through corrupt means to fund the EFF and its leaders.
We further call on parliament to finalize its processes, so that political parties can begin to disclose where they receive financial support, it is without a doubt that EFF will be amongst those who will be exposed for corruption. The EFF has always benefited from the corruption in our institutions particularly the University of Limpopo.
Mental illness on campuses
SASCO is concerned that examinations are to begin without a single report on strides made by both DHET and DoH to curb the scourge of mental illness in our institutions. Mental health-related incidences have led to many students committing suicide, yet there is no responsiveness from these departments.
Whilst we acknowledge that socio-economic backgrounds and discrimination are contributing factors to depression, we call on DHET to conduct research on the psychological ramifications acutely suffered by the students coming from a poor and disadvantaged background in particular.
Commencement of the year-end Examinations
SASCO wishes matriculants, the class of 2018 well in their examinations. We promise them that SASCO combatants will be ready to welcome them on campuses both in TVETs and Universities in 2019.
Equally, we wish to take this opportunity to plead with students to study hard and focus on their examination. One of SASCO’s principles is to preach academic excellence; SASCO leaders must lead with example, we want to see more graduates from them.
National Lekgotla/Political School
SASCO will host the National Lekgotla and Political school from 2-5 December 2018 at CPUT Belville Campus, Western Cape. The National Political School will be attended by SASCO Convocation, alliance partners and delegates from Branches of SASCO across all campuses. Political education is the cornerstone of our organization. The purpose of this Political school is to capacitate our members and sharpen them for the next academic year. We will also reflect retrospectively on this year’s electoral performance and most importantly the road to a decisive victory in 2019 begins now.
We encourage students of VUT to punish the EFF for looting from the poor through VBS by VOTING SASCO from the 30 – 31 October 2018 SRC elections. We are confident of victory!
The struggle continues!!
Issued on Behalf of SASCO NEC.
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