South African Students Congress

11th National Congress

SOUTH AFRICAN STUDENTS CONGRESS 11TH NATIONAL CONGRESS
(Draft Resolutions Vol. 1 No. 2 - January 2004)

4 – 8 DECEMBER 2003, FORT HARE UNIVERSITY, ALICE, EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE

5 DECEMBER 2003

On the Chair Cde Jabu Mathabe

Welcome note by Prof. John Hendricks

Executive Dean : Faculty of African and Democracy of the University of Fort Hare

The University of Fort Hare have Z.K. Matthews memorial lectures annually to pay respect to this particular individual, this calls upon students to awaken to their responsibility of nation building. On the 28th November 2003 the University had the 3rd annual lecture.

The importance of African nationalism is one of the most important issue that we have to look into today, since the 1940s when we begin to access the history of Fort Hare University we note that 60% of the SADC presidency are graduates of the Fort Hare University and they continue to send students from their countries to this institution through the government funding.

We also need to look into the 1949 speech of Robert Sobukwe to the nursing students at Victoria Hospital. He encouraged us to go and read that speech. A question that we need to ask ourselves today is that do we have the same level of intellectual prowess as the past generation. In the 1940s graduates in the Honours roll were: Robert Sobukwe, Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela. International graduates were: Robert Mugabe and others.

He also emphasized on a non-racial ethos and ideas on colonialism, that we are emasculated by academics that were pro-apartheid and that is a challenge.

We need to reinvent the quality of education in our country for it to be responsive to the needs of the market and the country.

The 1994 elections were expected to upheard the apartheid regime and that the South African model on democracy is a popular worldwide, that as South Africa we were able to change that layers of democracy e.g. racism and ethnicity. The challenge that we are now faced wit his how do we identify the symptoms of social democracy and find answers for them.

There seems to be inability of some SADC countries to deal with conflict e.g. Congo and South Africa can assist with that wit the experience that we have in dealing with conflict

The Mo Shaik and Bulelani Ngcuka saga leads to open debates and also points towards democracy and transparency. Democracy means access to the benefits of Democracy, by having access to productive democracy, by citizens having access to basic needs like water, food, shelter and education.

 

ON HIGHER EDUCATION

When Universities were established they were seen as repositions of knowledge, and today the industry that is supposed to be employing this graduates is saying that our curriculum is not responsive of the needs of the market and that it lack social context.

Funding of institutions is still a problem as the funding of the HWIs and to the HBIs needs to be reviewed and to ensure that HBIs receive more funding.

South Africa needs community interventions to ensure proper skills development.

We have brain drain: When the population who have the intellectual skills but do not have access to funding for their respective studies.

We also need to develop our Human capital as a country.

Opening Address delivered by Acting President cde Bandile Masuku.

 

The Acting President in his opening address indicated that as SASCO we must be able to play a meaningful role in communities, and that as the SASCO National Congress we are expected to put forward measures that will take us into the 2nd decade of SASCO.

He also indicated that we also needed to review the 10 past years of democracy, and make a constructive analysis of the HE transformation

The Acting President emphasized the need to prepare for the 2012 ANC celebration as an Organization and our role in delivering the student vote to the ANC.

An emphasis was made that in the process of mergers SASCO has an obligation top safeguard the quality of our curriculum and make sure that our qualifications are not compromised.

As we are in the 16 days of activism we need to reflect on social issues i.e. HIV/AIDS women and children abuse.

As we reflect on the organization in twilight zone: the past Bellville make this right.

We also need to critically discuss the state of the PYA and the Alliance and how we as the young intellectuals can intervene and make a meaningful contribution. We also need to play a meaning role in the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution.

The Acting President in closing pronounced the stance of the NEC on the ongoing saga at the Hefer Commission. He informed congress that the NEC supports the Deputy President of our country Cde Jacob Zuma.

 
MESSAGES OF SUPPORT
The following fraternal organizations delivered their messages of support to the 11th National Congress of SASCO:
  • COSAS – read to congress by Mthetheleli Mfana, as attached.
  • SUCA - read to congress by the Deputy President of SUCA.
  • YCL - read to congress by Molefe.
  • ANCYL - presented to congress by G Godwa.
  • Laboremus - presented to congress by Frederick.
  • AZASCO - read to congress by Gugu Mashiteng, as attached.
ON THE CHAIR: Cde Mothupi Modiba
PANEL DISCUSSION
“DEMOCRACY IN EDUCATION – TEN YEAR REVIEW, AND PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT DECADE OF DEMOCRACY/FREEDOM”
  1. Cde Thami Mseleku (Director General: Ministry of Education)
  2. Prof. Salleem Badat, (Chief Executive Officer: Council of Higher Education)
  3. Comrade Gugu Mashiteng: (Chairperson of SASCO KZN)
Firstly, we need to understand the agenda of our agenda to review if we have made inroads or not. Education was one of the priorities that we set to ensure a better life for all
  1. Government concludes that they have advanced in our transformation programme I all spheres for the better
  2. If the government continues to perform the way it does now this will take us back in 20 years
  3. Government has made more advances were it was working alone than with partners
Government concludes that they have advanced in our transformation programme I all spheres for the better:
  • Delivery
  • Access to higher education
  • NSFAS has allowed more students to access higher education
  • SA has reached the millennium goal of ensuring that all SA have education
  • Social services is very high
There have been more acceleration were government was working alone
  • The level of Social grants has increased
  • Government creates an enabler for people to accelerate transformation
Challenge:
  • Institutional forums are very transformative there are very institutional forums that are advancing the transformation forums,
  • Councils are supposed to be democratic and for all take holders to participate in them and most of them are not advancing the transformation agenda. These councils and institutional forums that were created by government to accelerate the transformation agenda in our institutions of higher learning.
  • The main obstacle to transformation is the body that was created by the government to advance education transformation.
  • NSFAS is not distributed evenly and this makes it difficult for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access education.
We also need to make changes to GEAR and also ask ourselves why do not our partnerships not working
 
Challenges in Education
  • Priorities most young people are not in institutions of higher education and are unemployed: Focus on Youth
  • Total revamp of strategy in regarding governance and management, comrades need to be in all the management bodies
  • Cost of education is rising and this will exclude most students for disadvantaged communities, school fees and financial exclusions are used as
Fundamental to the agenda for the next decade
  • Ensuring that all institutions are transformed.
  • Ensure that all institutions are transformed in their totality.
SASCO must lead in all institutions of higher learning all of us have a responsibility to build a strong SASCO, we need to get all students to be members of SASCO and to get all the young people to vote for the ANC in the year 2004. The slogan of COSAS “Each one teach one”, needs to find meaning in us as we are building the organization. “Each one teach one” is a call for all of us to advance the transformation agenda.
 
Prof. Sallem Badat
We need to reflect the role that SASCO needs to play in the transformation of higher education.

What have we inherited in this country and what must be that context of the decade:

  • All our institutions were implicated in the emancipation of blacks, the question now becomes how do we transform them.
  • Learning and teaching were designed that white must be privilege and we should do we turn the remains of apartheid and ensure that our transformation agenda is achieved
  • Globalization: system in which a few powerful countries want us to look them
Six priorities for education for the next decade
  1. We need to ensure that black students and women are well represented in the natural sciences and technology courses and that they register post graduate degrees.
  2. How do we ensure that we have representation of black students from working class get access to higher education?
  3. Quality of higher education in our institutions, we need to we make sure that black students graduate from institution of higher learning, since we have a high drop out rate from black students.
  4. Responsiveness of our education systems, we need to have institutions that produce knowledge that is needed by our society a responsive to its needs. This knowledge must contribute to the transformation of our society.
  5. Transformation of higher education, there are constraints of access
  6. Policy, in Spanish the word policy is the same as politics; SASCO must play a crucial role in the policy making. Change and transformation comes with hard work especially in the policy work.
We need to have a strategies on how are we going to transform the so – called HWIs (Historically White Institutions).
 
Comrade Gugu Mashiteng: Chairperson of KZN
As a student movement we recognize that there have been a breakthrough in the education sector and that the government has moved miles and that it is true that the gains made by government.

Gains in General education:

  • Access
  • Learner teacher ratio increase
  • Democratization of education
Higher Education
  • Democratization of higher education
  • Establishment of governance bodies in our institutions
  • Increased funding to students who are less disadvantaged
 
Issues that we need to address and challenges for the next decade:
  1. Institutional governance – are the structures serving the purpose that they were supposed to serve? Do government and students monitor our institutional governances? Are they accountable to the relevant stakeholders?
  2. Curriculum development, the employability of our students, is the government or the curriculum.
  3. Capacity amongst ourselves, are our SRCs serving their purpose, we need to understand and to deepen our role as a students organization
  4. Primary education, SASCO made a call for a free education for all, we need to assess how committed are we to realize that call.
  5. Increase in funding is it sustainable?
  6. We have a role in sustaining our institutions in sustaining them financially; do we have the capacity to merge our institutions? Has infrastructure and human resource in our institutions improved
  7. We need to assess our relationship with the ANC especially our CC approach; we need to carefully ask ourselves if we are not compromising when it comes to students’ issues, are we asking the necessary strides?
  8. Responsiveness, we have not been able to use the resources that we have effectively
  9. Given the four pillars of SASCO matched against the review of the governance it is important we need to assess as to what extend has government been able to reach its objectives
  10. Our curriculum needs to be responsive and competitive to the global world and needs, can we really send our students to go and work anywhere in the world.
 
Overall summary of the Political Report
 
The Acting President, Bandiile Masuku presented the Political report of behalf of the National Executive Committee to congress.
President welcome all delegates, branches, provinces and fraternal organization present both national and international
  1. Students have higher expectations from this congress
  2. Commentators have already written off the congress as a battle for leadership positions at the expense of critical issues characterizing our movement
  3. Report reemphasized the importance of constructive debates, self-reliance and self-criticism.
  4. Our country is faced with the celebrations of the 1st decade of freedom
  5. This congress follows in the footsteps of the ANC, SACP and COSATU who in the recent few months held their congresses
  6. Congress must discuss the state of the nation, balance of forces both national and international as well as the ten-year review of the student movement (SASCO).
  7. In 1989 all black organizations were unbanned
  8. The struggle for freedom was ground swelling in the entire country
  9. This also resulted in the release of cde Nelson Mandela
  10. The collapse of the soviet union shifted the balance of forces in favour of the capitalist imperialists
  11. Globalization is spreading its wings at a faster pace to advance technology, privatization and free market
  12. The US continue to undermine the UN by invading the sovereignty of other nations i.e. war in Afghanistan and Iraq
  13. SASCO will continue to pledge solidarity and close working relations in other international organizations for the advocacy of peace and freedom
  14. UN remains toothless hence it can not implement its resolutions
  15. Formation of the AU heralded a new beginning for the African continent
  16. This was cemented by the adoption of the development policy in the name of NEPAD
  17. SASCO welcome the stepping down of Charles Taylor in Liberia
  18. SASCO support peace in Liberia
  19. We commend the ANC Women‘s league for its stance on the Amina Lawal case.
  20. SASCO does not takes sides in Zimbabwe but support peace and that the people of this country must work together for the good of the country
  21. The abuse of student leaders, human rights is an issue of great concern in Zimbabwe
  22. King Mswati in Swaziland continues to be a small god on a despotic spree of dictatorship
  23. SASCO hopes that peace initiatives in DRC, Rwanda and Burundi will continue to flourish
  24. The April 1994 usher in a new era and epoch in the lives of the masses of our people
  25. The NDR remains the objective to create a non-racial, non sexist, united, prosperous and democratic South Africa
  26. There are still contradictions that the NDR seeks to resolve, these are the national, class and gender
  27. The character of the NDR is under serious scrutiny especially on what constitutes the motives forces of the NDR, whether the patriotic bourgeoisie are the motive forces of the NDR
  28. The democratic government managed to succeed in both the previous national and provincial elections
  29. Progress has been made in increased budget allocation on social spending such as health and education
  30. The economy has stabilize hence the rand is performing very well
  31. Unfortunately its strength bring about a jobless growth
  32. BEE is not sufficient to empower all
  33. This is a very heated debate in the Tripartite alliance
  34. There is an emergence of social movements who want to usurp the role of the congress movement
  35. SASCO believes that our country should follow its own model of economy which best address the needs of our country
  36. Transformation of education has resulted in a minimum progress despite the creation of NCHE, legislation of the Higher Education ACT of 1997, National plan on higher education and of late mergers
  37. SASCO believes that some of the mergers will yield positive results, equity and redress
  38. NSFAS contributed a lot in granting access to the majority of disadvantaged students to access higher education
  39. Despite the success, a lot of issues need to be addressed in making NSFAS a viable tool for transformation
  40. There is a need to build a strong COSAS for a strong SASCO
  41. Our country’s youth are faced with a lot of challenges, HIV and Aids, poverty, unemployment and lack of skills
  42. Youth Commission and S.AY.C were formed by the government to advocate for policy development in youth
  43. There are those who are sowing divisions among SASCO and YL members to advance their selfish interests
  44. We need to expose them for the good of our organization
  1. SASCO welcomes the re-launching of the YCL
  2. There is a need for political education and consciousness to acclimatize the youth with the history and politics of our country
  3. Our organization is at its weakest ebb
  4. What happened in Bellville should never happen again
  5. SASCO must unite all students and youths
  6. We must build SASCO towards 2011
On curriculum

Noting that our curriculum is not responsive to the needs of the country
  • We have a role to play were we will influence the curriculum of our institutions and ensure that it is responsive of the needs of the country and that of our society
On motives forces
  1. Noting that there seem to be confusion or a debate on whether the patriotic bourgeoisie are the motive forces of the NDR
  2. There has been name labeling such ultra left for those who hold peculiar views
  3. In the deracialisation of the economy the motive forces may have contradictions
Therefore resolves that
  1. The primary motive force of the NDR is the working class and the poor.
On the Zimbabwean question
Noting that :
  1.       The organization decided to take a quite diplomacy stand
Believing :
  1.       Both the parties are holding different views both ideologically and political
Therefore resolved :
  1. SASCO must take a stance guided by our historical alliance with Zimbabwe both ideologically and politically
  2. SASCO must be vocal on this issue in terms of providing solution to the people of Zimbabwe.
On challenges facing the youth
Noting :
  1. Majority of the youth are apolitical and never tested the might of apartheid
  2. Youth Commission could not successfully cover the vacuum to address the interests of the youth
  3. HIV/AIDS, unemployment, and poverty still remain prevalent
Therefore resolved :
  1. SASCO must advocate for curriculum transformation to produce quality graduates with marketable qualifications not job seekers
  2. This should be covered in our vision 2011
On NEPAD
Noting :
  1. NEPAD is a good initiative but with an ambiguous agenda
  2. It does not cover the interests of the students
Therefore resolved :
  1. SASCO must advocate for the voice of students and workers within Nepad
On the characterization of the international balance of the forces
Noting :
  1. The report suggest the demise of the Socialist agenda post the collapse of the Soviet Union
  2. Departure of Taylor does not guarantee long lasting peace because warlords are used as low intensity warfare by the capitalist block
Resolved :
  1. SASCO should continue to pledge support to all those sharing similar views and aspiration for a socialist agenda
On General Elections
Noting :
  1. The report is silent on the role of SASCO in the forthcoming general elections
  2. Report is also silent on voter registration and ID campaign
Resolved :
  1. SASCO must mobilize all the youth of this country and the masses of our people to go and vote correctly and voting correctly only means re-affirming the ANC into power next year
  2. SASCO must engage on an offensive voter registration and ID campaign within campuses

Overall summary of the Organizational Report

The Secretary General, Ngoato Phadime presented the organizational report of the National Executive Committee to Congress.
CLARITY QUESTIONS
  • Pg 47- Fee increment, exclusion of student participation on interim council, what is the way forward in this regard?
  • Pg 29- TNW Branch affected by internal problems.. What was the intervention of SASCO NEC on that problem?
  • Pg 9, UNISA crisis in relation to Azasco wining SRC elections, what was the NECs intervention in this regard
  • SAU SRC- what was the mandate given to interim leadership of this structure?
  • Pg 24, 2.4 most departments fails to submit reports to the secretary, which are those departments that fails to submit reports to the secretary?
  • What was the strategy of NEC to address political coherence in provinces?
  • Position of SASCO towards YCL launching on campuses?
  • TNG results pending
  • VISTA Mamelodi Campus- what happen in relation to Edgewood resolutions with regard to mass action anticipated?
  • Pg 27, Gauteng, the PEC removed Projects and Campaigns Officer and redeployment of the Education and Transformation Officer and Gender Officers to their branches what tactics used on that regard?
  • Pg 10, Para 1, what is it that the NEC has done with regard to the fight between cdes which tarnish the image of the organization
  • Cabalism in Tshwane, what is it that the NEC is doing?
  • Ill discipline on branches and provinces, what is it that the NEC is doing to eradicate such?
  • UNISA saga, what was the case of cde Castro (what has he has done)
  • Pg 49, What is the report from the minister of education up to so far as the NEC met with him
  • Merging of institutions, how will the whole process assist the organization SASCO?
  • Pg 44, (Meeting with the minister) what was the level of intervention by the NEC when it relates to merging
COMMENTS
  • Financial Exclusion especially at Limpopo (Pg 31) it never attended especially at UNIVEN
  • Pg 47, Financial Exclusion, the organization seems to not have clear approach as to deal with exclusion on higher education system.
  • Between the department of Education and SASCO who is well informed and have interest on the best interest of the students.
  • SASCO is turned effective during SRC elections whereas during the course of the year nothing happens.
  • Every year the issue of lack of discipline by cdes is an addressed and concrete remedy need to be taken.
  • State of National Youth Commission is questionable.
  • Nationally the Department of Education is not doing any good to the movement as it continuously behaves like reactionaries especially on the funding part of it.
  • 16 days of activism must be an every day activism as we believe on
  • Pg 26, the ANC makes it a point that our cadres are still politically conscience
  • Right to learn Campaign, the organization seems not ready to embark on such and as such it deals with the image of the organization.
  • The report does not indicate membership statistics.
  • The growth and development of SASCO on provinces and branches? Is the report only encumbers provinces?
  • Termination of membership of SASCO the commission must engage itself
  • The NEC must take part on ensuring that women are well equipped on the organization.
POINTS OF DISCUSSION
  • State of Women
  • How have we, as SASCO be able to influence public on issues pertaining youth in particular.
  • Our role as component of the movement
  • Discussion around student debts (Monthly interests on NFSA)
  • The role of ANC in
  • Fundraising on different structures
  • Relationship between SASCO, YCL and other structures within the campus.
  • Since 1996 there is a problem of total membership of SASCO then it must be discussed on a broader way.
  • Institutional statute that is going to exist.
  • Transformation and training
  • SRC election deployment
  • Launching of the YCL on campuses
  • Voluntary community service what is our role
  • Our role in participation on BEE
  • Hefer Commission
  • Academic exclusions in higher learning institutions
  • Convocants what is their role, etc
The 11th National Congress of SASCO unanimously adopted the organizational report.
Resolution On the Organizational Report
  1. On Relations with the African National Congress
Noting :
  • That our relations with the African National Congress have been largely based on Resources.
  • At a National level, we have just recently engaged the leader of the movement on fundamental theoretical and Ideological discussions.
  • A need to commence our programmatic relations with the ANC towards 2012.
  • Of immediate for SASCO is to deliver a decisive majority for the ANC.
  • The limitations of the ANC led STOP the WAR campaign that did no go beyond and address peace maintenance.
  • The need for the ANC to assist in the organizational renewal and development initiative we are currently busy with.
  • The support the ANC has given us on the establishment of the SASCO Parliamentary office. 
Believing :
  • That broadening ideological and theoretical discussions between office bearers of the ANC and SASCO at all tiers can go a long way in understanding each others programmes and advancing the NDR.
Therefore Resolved :
  • Together with the ANC S-G and the Chief Whip continue with the process of establishing our Parliamentary office.
2. On relations with COSATU.
Noting :
  • That we have had resolutions as the Tripartite (COSATU/SASCO/COSAS) for three years on how programmatically we relate.
  • That there is already a one-a-side committee established to take forward the outcomes of the strategic planning session of the trio.
Resolved :
  • The office of the Secretary General together with those deployed by the other two organizations should take the process of implementation to its logical conclusion.
3. Relations with the SACP.
Noting :
  • We have had some principle relations with the SACP with nothing documented to guide our interaction.
  • As an organization we have direct interest in the ideological guidance that the SACP can provide.
Believing :
  • The SACP is the only working class and leader of the advanced detachment of the working class that can provide necessary ideological guidance to the student movement.
Therefore Resolved :
  • Continue with our commitment to build the YCL and strengthen relations with the SACP.
  • Through the Political Education Department, develop political education syllabi for advanced theoretical and ideological training of our members.
4. On the Progressive Youth Alliance and SRC Unions.
Noting :
  • The lack of a common understanding within PYA partners on what is the strategic direction and purpose of the Progressive Youth Alliance.
  • An unfortunate tendency by members of the PYA not to trust each other to an extent of thinking that it is revolutionary correct to connive with our political opponents to achieve narrow personal interest at the expense of principle relations.
  • The serious organizational and political weak state of some members of the PYA.
  • That there was a productive meeting between SASCO and the ANC YL that looked into the challenges reflected above.
  • Particularly the weak state of SASPU, which is supposed to be voice of students in these challenge moments and a preparatory school for progressive journalism in our country.
  • That as the organization we are not organized in the FET sector, which is facing serious challenges of Institutional Landscape Restructuring.
  • Except attending the National Congress of the Nursing Students, we have not developed a programme to build capacity.
Believing :
  • Without strong PYA components, there is no way we can achieve our long term strategic objective of Transformation.
Therefore Resolved :
  • We must take a conscious decision and programatize our work in making sure that we rebuild all PYA member organizations.
  • To communicate a positive message to all our structure to desist from concentrating on personal squabbles at the expense of a common political programme.
  • To work tirelessly in making sure that we guide the process towards the launch of a single National SRC Union Federation in the Country.
  • To develop a strategy to have fully functional and capacitated SASCO branches and ultimately their SRCs.
  • To build strong programmatic relations with the South African Youth Council for the next three years and beyond.
Financial Report.

The Treasurer General, Nandipha Zonela, presented the Financial reports for the financial years 2002 and 2003 on behalf of the National Executive Committee to the 11th National Congress. During the presentation there were problems raised in relation to the distribution of the report to delegates.

After the presentation the Secretary General informed Congress that the Finance Committee had noted some financial transactions that raised eyebrows and explanations presented to FINCOM were not satisfactory. Finance Committee has then recommended that there is a need for a process of a Forensic Audit of the books of congress.

The following were raised,

  1. The need to improve our financial report.
  2. An audit was made as to the confiscation of SASCO asset.
Question and clarification,
  1. The signature of the AP and TG
  2. On the assessment, the NEC resolved to allocate the AP and DSG some always, when and when it arise.
  3. 05 Oct 2002 pg5.what are fixed asset, what are those.
 

Printing.
Congress resolved that there should a forensic audit and such a report to be presented to the NGC.

Reports from Commissions

1.      On the Character and Ideological Orientation of SASCO.

Noting:

    •        There are two main contending ideologies in the world, capitalism and communism.
    •        The society has been constituted through class lines, main capitalist or working class.
    •        The terrain in which we are operating is a visible reflection of those ideologies

Believing:

  •       Students are a strata (class in transit) not a class.
  •       In resolving national, class and the gender question, the NDR is our approach 
  •       The NDR is a socialist project that seeks to resolve the above, (national, class and gender relations) which we subscribe to.
  •       The working class is the leader of the NDR.
  •       Understanding the above we are using Marxist- Leninist tools of analysis.
  •       SASCO is the organization of the working class

 Therefore resolved.

    • We are a working class biased organization
    • We are against capitalism, and through our relations with working class movements in our communities; we have the role to transform our sector from the Ivory Towers to centers of peoples education to respond to social needs.
    • SASCO is and will remain revolutionary Student movement and its ideological work will be production of revolutionary working class conscious cadres.
2.      On the Review of the SPOT Document.

Noting:

  • That SPOT is fundamental bases document that conceptualizes our four pillars, that is Policy Work, Campus Work, International Work and Community Work.
  • The need to disseminate information in relation to institutional operation plans, memorandum of understanding and all other policies relating to the merger processes to students.
  • That this merger processes shifts our focus on the real transformation agenda as its contained in the higher education plan. As a results inst. like Wits, UCT are no longer in our transformation agenda.
  • The current weak state of the student union SASU.
  • As an organization weve been very weak in doing community outreach.

 Believing:

  • That SPOT its main objective is to bring unity within the public education system as well as preserving quality within.
  • Through SPOT we need to re-asset that we are members of the community before we are students. And the importance of our community outreach program.
  • SPOT is a theoretical base for us to understand the fundamental challenges facing students on financial and academic exclusions.
  • Through the understanding of spot we hope to make sure that access to higher education.
  • Most of our intended objectives as contained in SPOT can truly be realized through a strong student worker alliance.
  • Recently our solidarity campaign with Swaziland has weakened.
  • The abuse of student rights in Zimbabwe has reached unacceptable proportions.
  • SASCO needs to pronounce its self on all US imperialist war disguised under the term anti-terrorism.       

 Therefore resolved.

  • Campus work.
  • Resolved to monitor all institutional policies and make sure that they are compatible with transformation agenda.
  • we must actively participate in all institutional structures intended to implement and monitor policies.
  • Community work
  • Each Province should have at least Three community outreach programs., areas of focus to be decided by Provinces.
  • We need to work on strategies that will complement local govt. initiatives on public works projects through learnerships.
  • Through joint community outreach programs, we can strengthen the PYA.  
International work
  • a.   Intensify our campaign of establishing a democratic rule in Swaziland specifically within these provinces, KZN, Mpumalanga.
  • b.   To intensify our capacity building programs with the youth and student movement of Swaziland.
  • c.   To fast track the process of opening a SASU office in SA.
  • d.   We need to strengthen bilateral work with the already existing organizations (Laboremus, Sweden)

Policy work
*As a matter of agency we establish policy and research and Education and Training Units in all Provinces.

  • Encourage research work by every member of SASCO and give the co ordination responsibility to the PEC and the NEC.
  • NEC to distribute all education relate policies to the provincial policy and research unit.
  • Through the office of the political education we establish a commission that will deal with the theoretical and ideological to take care of the socio and political conditions post 1994.

3.      Political vision and theoretical understanding of the Progressive Youth Alliance.

 Noting:

    • There seems to be general confusion as to who constitutes the PYA.
    • The question on who is the leader of the PYA is a contentious issue that has proved to be a determining factor when it comes to the relationship between the structures of the PYA.
    • The issues and the program of the PYA have been reduced to contesting SRCs.
    • The historical basis for the formation of the PYA was to contract young people after the democratic dispensation.
    • There are PYA structures that are not as strong as the others in terms of visibility and profile for example SASPU.
    • Comrades seem to be subscribing to the three Cs: Careerism, Cabalism, Corruption
    • Our provincial structures fail us when it comes to presenting an exemplary relationship depicting the relations of structures of the PYA.
    • Programs of the different structures of the PYA are run in isolation of each other in tertiary institutions.
    • The different structures of the PYA, whilst autonomous, are failing to conceptualize their respective roles in relation to each other.
    • PYA contestations have been reduced to contestations between the ANCYL and SASCO.

 Believing:

  • Before we can attempt to answer the pertinent questions of who should be leading the PYA we need to take into cognizance the fact that we cannot divorce the programe of the PYA from that of the ANC and the Tri-partied alliance +1
  • As much as we are autonomous we must remember that we are brought together by areas of common interest under the auspices of the ANC and the Freedom Charter.
  • The fact that we are members of our communities before we are students needs to be stressed and the role of the PYA should be extended beyond the realms of tertiary institutions.

Therefore resolved

    • An Extensive PYA summit that will pronounce and debate who constitutes the PYA and who leads the PYA should take place. The summit should be inclusive of all structures and should be at a national level.
4.      On Organizational Renewal Towards 2011

 Noting:

  • The organization is experiencing problems with the methods that are used in identifying leadership of organizational structures.
  • The focus of branch activities and therefore of the organization has become on SRC structures and this is a contributing factor towards weakening the organization.
  • Members of the organization join the organization and receive little or no political education and service, which leads to a lack of organizational discipline.

Believing: 

  • That SASCO is an organization that has lived for the past 12 years and can continue to live forever serving the students of our country to look after their rights and aspirations in Higher Education institutions.
  • The capacity of building a stronger SASCO lies within its membership, which is committed to the ideals and principles of SASCO.

Therefore resolved.

  • Membership recruitment should be done as early as possible in the year and those members should undergo intensive political education and this should be the pool of membership from which the leadership is drawn
  • SASCO should revive and strengthen its alliance with COSAS so as to capture the young students mind as early as possible (Before they reach tertiary institutions)
  • Provincial structures of SASCO should oversee and supervise programmes on political education for branch membership
  • A balance between capacity and continuity should be struck when identifying leadership for organizational structures and an assessment method should be identified for those in leadership positions
  • The role played by the convocation of the organization should be limited to giving political education and guidance at times when it is needed as well as assisting administratively and politically. This should be adopted in provinces to help the provincial structures that do not have any administrative support staff.
  • The confrontational and contradictory approach of the organization towards the ANC- led government should be maintained.
  • The administrative employees of SASCO should be given sufficient job security and incentives so as to ensure that they remain with the organization for as long as possible
  • The organization should establish a parliamentary office, which will deal specifically with policy submissions and parliamentary debates. A national organizer should be appointed to deal with membership database and all matters that relate to membership
  • The electronic media tools should be used in communicating within SASCO with our members and with the public as well as the traditional methods of communication. The Publicity Secretary should develop (a) publicity strategy (ies)
  • The pillars of the SPOT document should be reemphasized and it should be determined whether we are still able to effectively implement them for building SASCO with special emphasis on community work which we have not been seen doing
  • The political role of SASCO within the MDM structures should be reemphasized to ensure that SASCO is effectively able to participate within the countrys political situation in tandem with the expectations with the MDM
  • The status quo should be maintained with the SG of the organization being full time with the possible inclusion of the National Organizer
  • The matter of extending the requirements for a branch to exist (to 50 members), the proposal for the extension of the NEC term of office (to 2 years), the possibility of the term of the SG only being extended to 2 years should all be subjected to a Constitutional Review Process, the results of which will be submitted and interrogated at the upcoming NGC
  • The resource capacity of the organization should be stabilized by acquiring the organization its own administrative machinery e.g. photocopier, etc as well as by establishing permanent sponsors
  • Annual Political Education schools lasting for about a week should be convened yearly for Provincial Political Commissars who should be trained in such a way that they can train the Branch Political Commissars. BECs, REC and PECs should be mandated to draft discussion documents on current political trends within SASCO and the country at large. These documents should be discussed in Provincial and National gatherings
  • Resolutions and relevant minutes of National meetings (gatherings) and the resolutions of the previous congress should form part of the Congress package for purposes of continuity and accountability   The constitution of the organization should be strictly implemented and a Constitutional Review Task Team should be set up to coordinate the review process of the constitution including all the matters that have been deferred to such a structure
  • A vision of SASCO towards 2011 should be established with specific reference to the areas that have been identified as weakening the organization and this should be towards developing branches to become centers of power and the consistent practical implementation of the principles of SASCO especially non- sexism
  • The discussion document submitted by Cde. Buti Manamela (A Will To Die) and the document submitted by Cde Screamer Seabi  (Organizational Renewal) should be used by the NEC as a guideline in developing a programme for Organizational Renewal
5.      Gender Policy Review.

Noting:

    •        Gender is the expression of roles assigned to different sexes
    •        The gender question cannot be addressed unless we emancipate women from past imbalances
    •        The effects of triple oppression

 On religion and culture

  • Women still suffer from cultural and religious oppression

 On quota system:

    • The achievements of democracy in addressing gender inequalities through legislation
    • That the oppressor will not liberate the oppressed
    • There is a need for leaders to have political understanding        

On Sexual Harassment

  • This issue deals with the principles of individuals

Emancipation of Male and Female

  • Both males and females were oppressed according to race

On effectiveness of implementation

  • That the branches have no knowledge of the policy

Believing

  • That we have more female comrades in terms of membership than we have active members with political understanding
  • That our focus should not be on quota but on building the capacity of women
  • This oppression is a result of misconception and misguidance
  • The women should play the most important role in fighting harassment.

We all need to be capacitated as male and female

Therefore resolved.

        • We must convert quantity to quality
        • Female comrades need to be capacitated politically
        • The quota must not be changed.
  • The organization must organize classes/workshop that will deal with this issue by involving cultural and religious organizations.
  • That male comrade must assist women in freeing them from the chains of oppression.
  • The women must stop playing victim.
  • That comrade must report cases and appeal when they are suppressed to higher structures.
  • Comrades must separate personal issues from political issues [socializing vs socialism.
  • Workshops should be facilitated that will capacitate comrades politically through the office of the political commissar
  • Comrades must empower themselves politically through reading of documents
  • The gender policy should be distributed to branches and provinces
  • The branches should engage on the implementation of the program guided by the NEC.

Implementation Strategy

  • The national executive committee should facilitate an induction workshop for all gender officers
  • Women should be given opportunities to take leadership position

Possible Partners

  • ANC WL
  • Young Womens Network
  • NGOs
  • The commission rejected the idea of a SASCO Womens Forum as it widens the gap between sexes

Minimal and possible areas of program for SASCO structure

  • Building from branches as basic units of the organization.
  • Induction program for new women and concurrently run gender related political classes constituted by both men and women.
  • A National Gender program to be used throughout the country.
  • Volunteer in community projects in gender related organization e.g. HIV/AIDS, economic development, and academic services.
  • On Rural Women
  • Not to be campus comrades
  • Have activities centered on illiteracy and business skills development
  • Constitute branch sub-committees for community development
  • On general elections
  • Volunteer our time for the activities of the movement
  • Identify achievements and publicize using organizational funding
  • Understand ANC and be up to date on issues
 
6.      Deployment Strategy and Policy

Noting :

  • That the strategy is a mechanism one can use to achieve a set goal.
  • That a strategy should be operational.
  • It is also temporary and can be reviewed from time to time to respond to material conditions.
  • That it cannot ensure accountability.
  • That the current strategy is only focusing on SRC elections.
Believing :
  • That deployment strategy must be developed into a deployment policy.
  • Policy is a continuous process.
  • It can ensure accountability, not material driven and emphasize the guiding principles on how deployees must act.
  • That it ensures consistency.
  • Guard against manipulation of processes to suite individuals.
Therefore resolved :
  • The deployment strategy must be developed into a deployment policy.
  • It must exercise a principle of democratic centralism.
  • It must pronounce it clearly on the question of leadership in terms of the following,
  • Capacity.
  • Discipline.
  • Understand SASCO and its principles.
  • Recall clause must be introduced e.g. External deployments if SRC constitution provides such provision.
  • On internal and international we resolved that it is a constitutional issue.
  • SASCO is an organization that has its constitution and principles that every member must uphold.
  • Policy is the only solution to stop deviation from the mandate.
  • The current strategy or guidelines on SRC elections must also form part of the policy document.
7. On mergers and Incorporations on Public Higher Education.
What are the process that we have been able to begin as an organization in dealing with the challenges of the mergers and incorporations?
Noting :
  • There is a serious concern of Student representation on the new interim councils.
  • There is going to be changes effected on Policies, curriculums, student governance, fee structure, housing arrangements, student services.
  • In the long term like in any other change, there are people who are going to loose their jobs as a result of restructuring.
  • Standard institutional statute does not serve the interest of the students governance.
  • There are complications with regard to mergers especially as it regards to the representation of students in the interim councils.
  • SASCO was never opposed to the restructuring of higher education as a form of transformation, but made pronunciations on the manned in which its processes were carried out.
  • Branches of SASCO were never in the position to influence these processes, due to the manner in which there were driven.
  • We have noted general that SASCO structures have not done much in responding to the challenges posed by these mergers.
  • We have also noted that in a case where there will be a merger of two institutions and incorporation of another, only the merging parties are to resolve on the fee structure.
  • SASCO, particularly at the national level has been able to develop merger guidelines, but fail to relate such to branches.
  • The branches normally deploy comrades with less political capacity to serve in SRCs and merger and corporation structures.
  • In other institutions, there are SASCO led Student merger committees or structures established.
Believing :
  • Mergers should be carried out in such a way that they benefit the previously disadvantaged institutions.
  • Redress the Apartheid-induced system of the past
  • Pipeline students must be given at least two years to complete their programmes in their previous institutions
Therefore Resolve :
  • SASCO must facilitate formation of student merger forums.
  • SASCO must ensure that the incorporated institutions are also party the determination of fee structures.
  • The NEC should engage the government in ensuring the representation of students in the interim councils.
  • The branches of the merging institutions in collaboration with the PECs and RECs should conduct merger summit to ensure common positions
  • NEC should revive national student structures such as SAU-SRC to lobby governmental support over the organizational position on mergers
  • We therefore resolve that branches should conduct a capacity building workshop
  • PECs must strengthen the branches politically to equate them to the challenges posed by the merger process
  • SASCO should also build relationships with the MDM structures in their respective campuses.
  • There should also be a continuous interaction of PECs and branches affected by the merger
  • We also resolve that the government must review the language policy framework to address loopholes that will allow other institutions to continue using Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
  • We have also resolved that the government must speed up the establishment of the central administration of admissions.
  • We need to clearly define the role of SASCO in various branches specifically to the merging institutions.
8. FET Landscape : Strategy and Tactics for SASCO.

Noting :

  • Lack of policies of the organization in terms of FET landscape
  • Lack of student funding for Further Education and Training, which leads to financial exclusion of the previously disadvantaged communities
  • Low operational budget for SRCs with a lot of expectation in terms of delivery and students program implementation.
  • We fast track the process
Believing :
  • We should access education to all who would like to register with the FET institution without looking at the Financial ability of these comrades
  • SRCs are voices of students and are expected to deliver in terms of policies and programs of students
  • There is no standard model for student governance
  • SRC s constitution are having a lot of improvement that have to be made
Therefore resolved :
  • Engage the department of education on the issue of student funding for FET students, to ensure that all accesses education.
  • We engage with our institutional councils to ensure that the funding for SRCs is in line with the number of students that have registered at FET institutions.
9. On the Review of the Student Funding.
Noting :
  • NSFAS National policy is not made available to students as a result many institutions compile their own framework, which disadvantage many students.
  • Institutions were taking back funds to NSFAS wheres other students were not assisted.
  • There is no proper monitoring from NSFAS Board National.
  • NSFAS is further changing interest rate monthly even to students who completed their studies but not yet employed
Believing :
  • Institutions must work as a middle person between NSFAS Board and Students.
  • NSFAS must be made available for all students who have potential to succeed as per NSFAS Police
Therefore resolved :
  • Standardization in terms of allocation must be reviewed.
  • 40% for bursary must be changed to 60%.
  • NSFAS must provide letters to confirm that students have qualified for NSFAS at the beginning of the year to assist them to get registered and also to access books early January.
  • On FETs We resolved that NSFAS must cater FET irrespective of their level of study, e.g. N1 to N6.
  • NSFAS Board National must have clear strategies on monitoring all institutions on this aspect.
  • Poor administration of institutions on NSFAS allocation must be discouraged on all aspects.
  • As SASCO we dont see any necessity for NSFAS to charge an interest rate to students, which are needy because this qualifies them to be bad debts before they start employment.
  • On Recovery of NSFAS we resolved that as SASCO we must come with campaigns to encourage students to pay back NSFAS when they get employed.
  • On Student Debts we resolved that all debts from 10 years back must be written off.
  • We further resolved that the government must increase access to internship to also assist students to recover their debts.
10. Models of Students Governance.

Noting:

  • The crucial role that should be played in the student governance sector, particularly SRCs, political, religious, cultural, sports, academic and Housing Residence/Committees.
  • The unfriendliness of some of SRC constitutions.
  • There are SRCs that are totally or partially not accountable to the general student body.
  • There are SRCs that are not fighting for students interests with the dedication expected.
  • The model of student governance differs from one campus to another based on the material conditions of each campus.
  • Most often than not, students structures continuously fight against each other as a result compromise their mandates of taking students interests forward.
  • Within SASCO members, there are apolitical tensions that emanate between SASCO deployees and the Branch Executive Committees.
  • The limited participation of SRC members in democratic structures of Governance e.g. Councils, Senates, Faculty Councils etc.
  • Out of the merger/incorporation process, there are institutions that are in a long-term going to close down (MEDUNSA and University of the North).
  • Given the congested and demanding responsibilities bestowed upon SRC members, at times or mostly they do not meet their academic obligations
11. SASCOs Perspective on the Ten-Year Review.

Opening Statement:

Whilst noting that the 10 Year Government Review deals with a whole range of issues, for purposes of Congress and SASCO Programs, we only focused on themes most relevant to our constituencies and our operations in the short term.
 
This commission did its work informed by the following terms of references :
  • What are the political gains of democracy in education?
  • SWOT analysis of the ANC led government in education.
  • What are achievements of the ANC led government in education both in terms of policy formulation, service delivery, etc.
Noting :
  • The progressive legislative framework created by government intended to deepen democracy within the system as a whole and at institutional level.
  • The governments commitment in coming up with programs intended to alleviate (eradicate)
  • There remain a huge population that deserves social security and services through social grants still out of the system.
  • The majority of South Africans struck by poverty and deserving governments social security interventions are African, which is a constituency that we mostly represent.
  • There exist a sizable number of female led households with carry the heavy burden of raising families as opposed to the male counter parts.
  • The two major governments programmes intended to address income poverty which are income grants and public works programmes.
  • The legislative limitations for accessing foster care and grants in Aid for families taking care of children and people in need.
  • The limited
  • The desegregation of education and access to institutions of higher learning has helped bridged the racial divide that was a product of the old apartheid establishment.
  • Through structures of student governance such as SRCs in tertiary institutions and such structures as SGBs in primary and high schools, we have been able to democratise education and broaden the participation of local communities in education.
  • The establishment of structures of popular participation and governance is part of the building of organs of peoples power and therefore need to be consolidated
Believing :
  • That if we can build the prerequisite internal policy capacity within SASCO to interpret and together act in one direction with our government, we are likely to advance and deepen democracy.
  • That we have the necessary potential to be a force in defense of democracy.
  • The full impact of the governments poverty eradication programmes will only be realized when everyone eligible is registered.
  • While the ANC led government has done a lot in terms of opening access for all, there are however some weaknesses with regard to education.
  • The transformation of the curriculum is not fast enough to deal with the major challenges of dismantling the legacies of apartheid.
  • The restructuring in institutions of higher learning has dealt a heavy blow and reduced the bargaining strength of public sector workers, therefore affecting productivity.
  • Lack of information on bursaries and funding for students keeps a lot of students out of the system, thus contributing to the rise in crime levels.
  • There are however, some opportunities, especially because there is a very strong unionised and progressive sector in the country, which is at the implementation end of the programmes of the government.
  • There is a threat of terrorism and acts such as those claimed and attributed to the Boeremag are just a symptom of some underlying reactionary tendencies by the right wing against our government and our ANC has not taken it to itself to skill and equips its cadres on the military field.
  • Joblessness has forced most young people to join the security forces of the country, not driven by patriotism, so they do not take it as a responsibility to safeguard the interests of the country let alone the progressive values for which this government stands
Therefore resolved :
  • That the government must encourage the participation of young people especially in the security forces of the country to help deal with the threat of country revolution from within.
  • That there must be a conscious programme that will be guided by a ten-year to train progressive academics who will in turn be utilised to give the service of teaching a progressive outlook.
  • That the bursaries currently offered to students must be increased to cover some of the areas which poor students in particular cannot afford, such as housing and day-to-day sustainability of students.
  • That through councillors in local communities the ANC must be able to reach to the people and inform them about some of the funding that does exist for students who cannot afford fees especially in institutions of higher learning.
  • That all activists of the movement must in one way or the other be active in structures such as School Governing Bodies because consciously these structures can be utilised to practically advance the goals of the National Democratic Revolution.
  • The public sector must be strengthened as one of the key instruments through which the ANC government can deliver effectively.
NB: Work in Progress !!!