The South African Students Congress (SASCO) held its 2nd Ordinary plenary session of the 20th National Congress National Executive Committee (NEC) from the 17 – 19 May 2019. The NEC received presentation on Land Question by Dr David Masondo, the role of media by the spokesperson of the South African Communist Party, comrade Alex Mashilo and a presentation on dismantling the patriarchal norms from the former TG of SASCO, comrade Julie Beya, Comrade Sifiso “Tso” Mtsweni on the state of the youth.
The NEC congratulates the former Secretary General, Cde Themba Masondo who acquired his PhD at Wits University, we are truly inspired by his achievement and his achievement serves as a motivation to the current generation of SASCO to live up to SASCO’s principle of Academic Excellence.
Amongst other issues the NEC exhausted itself on the following Issues;
On the Budget Vote Speech
The NEC noted and welcomed the budget vote speech by the DHET particularly on the budget increase for the year 2018/2019. The budget set aside for infrastructural development in our institutions particularly in the TVET and historical disadvantage institutions will go a long way to address the appalling conditions in our institutions.
The NEC also welcomed the budget set aside for Teaching and Learning program, this program will address the quality of teaching in our institutions, particularly in the TVET sector.
We further call on institutions to revive student services councils as set out in higher education act. These institutional structures will ensure that institutional managers are accountable and limit the continuous students’ protests.
On Youth Unemployment
The NEC is deeply concerned by the high unemployment rate which now stands at 32% and 38,2% among young people aged 15-34 years. We note with disgust the stagnant and unresolved unemployment of graduates which stands at 7.3%. This is a direct insult to the skilled youth of South Africa who spent sleepless nights in the institutions of higher learning trying to get their qualifications.
The major problem facing graduates is the work experience requirement from entry posts. We join the NYDA and all progressive forces on the call for the scrapping of work experience requirement. We call on government and private sector to join hands for the creation of sustainable and decent jobs for the youth of this beautiful nation, South Africa.
The NEC is outraged and highly disturbed by the ongoing violence against women. The recent killing of Cde Zolile Khumalo and the reported rape incidents at UKZN and TUT reminded us of the kind of society we live in. Wherein women are treated as secondary human beings. The NEC also noted with great concern the violence and discrimination targeted to the LGBTQI community in our institutions.
In order to curb this backward mentality, the NEC resolved to run gender-based violence awareness campaign in all campuses. We have also resolved to adopt the “know your neighbourhood campaign” as part of our campus work. In this program, we will encourage all women and LGBTQI communities to report any incident of violence.
We have recently learnt of the brutish killing of a student in Ekurhuleni East College by police who used live ammunition during students protest. We call for the arrest of the criminals in police disguise.
On Student Accommodation
Student accommodation is still a nightmare in the sector. Majority of Students are to date homeless and some resorted to using libraries and computer labs for sleeping. The NEC has noted the accommodation crisis in our institutions particularly in the TVET and historically disadvantaged institutions. We, however, welcome the minister’s budget towards infrastructural development in our institutions and call on all institutions to speedily address the scourge and direct the resources to where they are meant to go.
SASCO has standing resolution on the building of student villages thus the NEC resolved to use the land expropriation without compensation resolution to run a spirited campaign for student accommodation. We will take to task both the Department of Human Settlements, Public Works and DHET in order to ensure proper implementation of our resolutions.
SASCO is outraged by the snail pace of processing student’s applications at NSFAS, we have learnt of students who are yet to receive their allowances (Book, meals and transport). We are aware of the intentions to collapse this institution in order to handover the institutions in the hands of corrupt privately owned Banks. We have rejected any attempts to privatize NSFAS. This will not serve the interested of our students but subject the public purse to private accumulation, maximization of profits and wealth for an elite few in our society.
SASCO has cautioned the Minister that the successes and failures of the progressive fee-free education lie on the effectiveness of NSFAS. We call on the Minister to closely monitor NSFAS to ensure that there is effective communication between students, universities/TVET Colleges and management. We give the Minister until the end of July to sort out the mess failing which, SASCO will organize and confront the department head on.
On Head office re-arrangement
The organization has rearranged the organogram of the Headquarters. This came as a result of accepting our flaws with a view strengthening ourselves. We have therefore made the following additions to the headquarters:
A. Head of communications
B. A fully fledged Research unit
- 1. Department of Data capturing and statistics
2. Department of Academic and skills development
3. Department of student entrepreneurship and development
4. Department of monitoring and Evaluation
C. Quality assurance
D. Provincial organizers
Their work is to assist the NWC in executing the day to day running of the organization.
We have noted the report of the National Disciplinary Committee. The NEC after exhaustive and thorough engagements resolved to accept and endorse the verdict of the NDC. The organization will communicate the verdict with structures of the organization and the persons charged. The NEC stressed the importance of discipline in advancing the students revolution. Misconduct and abuse of office must never be tolerated, from all levels of the organization: branch to the NEC. This corrosive behaviour eats away on the health and livelihood of the organization.
We congratulate Gauteng, Western Cape, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga for holding successful Provincial Congresses. The Congresses were free from violence and no delegates were harmed. We commend delegates and members of SASCO for remaining disciplined at all costs. We must continue working towards unity and cohesion in the organization.
We, however, have noted a dispute in Gauteng province. Although not in line with guidelines we have agreed to send NEC members to exhaustively investigate the dispute, meet structures on the ground and report to the NEC as to what must happen. We should never at any point in time always throw the constitution to all political problems in the organization.
We take this opportunity to wish all provinces the best in their Provincial congresses. These Provincial Congresses must reflect on the life of the organization and not merely be a contest of leadership positions. Out of Congresses, there must be unity and cohesion. They must not only in theory but in practice execute the theme of renewing, reposition and Mordenise.
The organization will be going to its second National Political School which will be attended by the branches, regions, provinces and NEC. The organization will also convene a National General Council to review the work of the organization. All these events will happen during the month of June and/or July.
The NEC has noted with concern the ongoing onslaught of the people of Palestine by the USA sponsored apartheid Israel. The merciless killing of innocent women and children in Palestine must be condemned with the contempt it deserves.
We welcome the decision by the ANC government to withdraw its Ambassador to Israel. We further call on the international community, especially the developed world to seize this moment to do everything in its power to end this senseless killing.
NEC has resolved to hold seminars, political lectures and mass action programs to raise awareness amongst students on the necessity for the support of Palestinian people. We call on all institutions (TVET and Universities) to downgrade and cut all ties against the Israel state. We shall push this motion using our deployees in SRCs (Both SAFETSA and SAUS).
Ends Statement released by
SASCO Acting Secretary General