South African Students Congress

Right to learn campaign

14 January 2010

Right To Learn Campaign (RTLC)

Our Right To Learn Campaign will at a national level be officially launched through a rally in the racist University of Free State, on the 22nd January 2010, which will possibly be addressed by SASCO President (Mbulelo Mandlana), Julius Malema, Buti Manamela and ANC Chairperson Ace Magashule, under the theme "right to learn 20turn: turning the tide against exclusions". An internal political framework detailing the political and ideological permutations of our RTLC will be released to our structures today.

Through this campaign we will intensify the struggle to increase access to institutions of higher learning. This is to practicalize the declaration by the delegates to Kliptown in 1955 that in a democratic South Africa "The doors of learning and culture shall be open for all." In ensuring increased access to institutions we will be as resilient as the delegates of Kliptown who defied arrest and all odds to craft a better future for us.

In our struggle for access to institutions we will be meticulous, rigorous and militant. SASCO help-desks have already been erected in every campus in order to receive and assist students in their struggle with financial and academic exclusions. From the moment of the release of Matric results (07 January 2010) our structures, particularly our branches, have been embroiled in a struggle to defend students right to learn by ensuring increased access to institutions of higher learning. This has not been without challenges.

Sadly, some institutions such as Wits, University of Pretoria and University of Johannesburg etc are consistently turning away walk-in-students. This is outright nonsensical and unacceptable. We call on all our structures to be militant in dealing with arrogant institutions such as those that have made it their duty to exclude students. We refuse to see our students suffer for the late release of Matric results, which is not their fault.

Response to Press Briefing by Minister of Higher Education.

We also welcome the pronouncements by the Minister of Higher Education and Training on possibilities for "post-school education". They emphasize the commitment of government to increase possibilities for South African students. Although we welcome these pronouncements we remain convinced that these will need commitment and sustained monitoring.

We call on the Minister of Higher Education to exercise a firm hand towards institutions that are hell-bent on closing access in institutions of higher learning. The Ministry must come down harshly on institutions that ignore the call to pay registration fees for all NSFAS students and admit "walk-in-students". We call on a more active Ministry of Higher Education and Training, particularly during this period.

Although our approach is to engage with managers of universities on problems of exclusion we however are not shy to engage in protests where they are necessary and unavoidable. Our members and students in general will be combat ready to engage in the above-mentioned action.

For details Contact

Mbulelo Mandlana (President)
071 879 3408
Lazola Ndamase (Secretary General)
082 679 8718