South African Students Congress

Don't just wish for a happy new year: Fight for it

30 December 2010

Coming from a year of World Cup joy and tears for lack of Free Education, it is not surprising that we are eager to celebrate the end of 2010 and mark the beginning of 2011. We, those of the poor, bear the scars of financial exclusions, grinding poverty, unemployment and disease of the past year. We have, in the same year, seen the rise of the sushi elite, Tenderpreneurs, the new tendency with its anti-communism, taste for lavish lifestyles even by the most left-leaning of Ministers, thousands of unemployed thrown into the streets and thousands of students spewed into street corners by an ever intransigent higher education system. Things must not be allowed to go on in this way in 2011.

In the past year alone, we have also seen restrained but heroic working class struggles – from the Free Education campaign mounted by thousands of students at the beginning of the year to the public service strike mid-year. The past year alone, has fixed the matter firmly in the eyes of all who do not deliberately close their eyes that the state cannot and will never be an impartial referee in ongoing class struggles, it takes one side and that has been the side of the rich capitalist class in the past year. If 2011 has to be a happy new-year, a radical shift is needed.

We will not only wish a happy new year to the working class and the poor, but will pose a challenge which we believe will lead to a REALLY happy new year for the poor. We call on the working class to make 2011 a happy new year through taking power with their own hands by fighting for: free education, increased access to institutions of higher learning, better salaries, full employment, better and more houses, nationalization – not bailouts, but most importantly to defeat capitalism and abolish private property. If the working class and poor do not fight for the realization of these, 2011 will certainly NOT be a happy new year but will once more be a year of disappointment and dashed dreams.

As we drink cheap whiskies and beers, we should gaze up towards the rich as they down expensive whiskies and tell ourselves that they do so at the expense of the majority. As we are squashed in accident-prone overloaded taxis to the beach, we should look to the expensive air-conditioned German cars driven by the rich and tell ourselves those are products of the sweat of the working class whose hard-work it cannot enjoy. As we braai our Christmas meat leftovers, we should look at the Sushi enjoyed by the rich and tell ourselves this will not take place the next year. As we enjoy our little savings of the past year, we should watch the rich buy willy-nilly with no limit with the money it stole from the working class as profits and tell ourselves this could have been used for free education.

We will tell ourselves in the new year that we will not only wish for a happy new year, but we will fight for it. We will ensure that we destroy all that ensures that we remain poor and cannot afford basic necessities. We will ensure, like those who fought apartheid that we will fight for a better economic and educational future, one that will be filled with happy new years', one after the other, without the need for consistent wishes at the beginning of every year. As a start, our organization will launch a most ferocious free education campaign from the moment institutions open with a determination that no student must be excluded from institutions for lack of funds. The achievement of all these goals to us will constitute a truly happy new year.

Nonetheless, we wish everybody a happy and prosperous new year.

For details Contact

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