SASCO notes with great concern the missed opportunity by the president to release the fees commission report and pronounce free quality education.
The South African Student’s Congress notes yet another 2017 cabinet reshuffle by the President, which affects higher education and training, it seems issues relating to students are not a priority for the President; the SABC board issue has now been resolved, while problems relating to students are shelved under the carpet.
This cabinet reshuffle by the President is incomplete and has left young people of this country at bay. We note with concern the vacancy in the deputy minister in presidency responsible for youth; young people constitute the majority of our population, they remain marginalized, subjected to high levels of unemployed, underdevelopment and poverty, therefore, should be a priority in government activities and cabinet decision making.
We believe the only scorching matter that needs to be addressed by the President is the immediate release of the much awaited Fees Commission report and the pronouncement of free quality education. The ANC Lekgotla and its NPC made a decisive pronouncement on the question, and it would only be just for the president to follow suit.
We, however, wish to welcome the appointment of Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize as the minister of higher education and training. Prof Mkhize is no stranger to the Department having served as the deputy minister of higher education from 2010-2012, she remains part of the capable and reliable crop of female cadres the movement has produced. We believe her experience in government will be utilized at the best interest of students and steer the sheep towards the attainment of free education.
We also wish to welcome the newly appointed deputy minister of higher education comrades Buti Manamela. Buti Manamela is a former student activist and youth leader, he will usher the much-required youthfulness and enthusiasm in the department. Comrade Buti hails his student activism from the TVET sector it is our considered view that his appointment will assist in the acceleration of the TVET transformation, and much-needed TVET focus by government and the private sector.
We wish to thank Dr. Blade Nzimande for his leadership, his team in the ministry and the department, for their efforts in transforming the sector and their resolve in increasing access to poor and working-class children, by increased student funding which saw NSFAS increased from 300 Million in 2009 to almost 15 Billion in 2017. The building of two new universities, demerger of Medunsa from the University of Limpopo, and the creation of Sefako Makgatho health and science university, the building of 12 new TVET college campuses amongst others. We wish him well in his future endeavors.
Lastly, we want to send a clear message to all our deployees to NEVER attend any fee adjustment meeting in our campuses. SASCO will communicate to all structures on the way forward once the fees commission report is released.
Issued on behalf of the NEC by: