South African Students Congress

SASCO Statement on Reckless comments by NYDA Chairperson Andile Lungisa

23 January 2012

The South African Students' Congress (SASCO) has noted the unfortunate misguided statement on Unions in Education by Andile Lungisa. His call for the banning of unions operating in the education sector and attributing poor results and challenges in our education system to unions is unfounded and cannot be equated to common sense.

It is clear to us that Lungisa lacks the understanding of deep rooted crisis in our Education system and want to mask his ignorance with rather a liberal conception of the crisis. It is very unfortunate that a leader of an institution which is supposed to be a reputable state institution (of course without any reputation) becomes the self appointed and imposed spokesperson of the liberal policy position similar to those of the DA. Surely Lungisa must be ashamed that he calls for weakening the capacity of workers to bargain collectively and thus worsening of conditions of the working class children he is forever claiming to represent.

It is baseless and lacks analysis to attribute the challenges of our education system to unions. The legacy of the Apartheid system continues to be evident in our education system. The matric results still represent the legacy of the past with working class rural school (which are un-resourced) continuing to perform poorly, while advantaged, private and Model C, schools continue to do better. The performance of Black students from working class background is also not very good in tertiary education. Perhaps Lungisa must learn that the poor performance of student is basically a class issue.

We encourage Lungisa and his NYDA colleagues to focus on much more serious issues relating to the well-being of the youth of the country than wasting their energy engaging in a shadow boxing exercise of writing proposal for banning of unions.

For more information contact

Ngoako Selamolela, SASCO President
Themba Masondo, SASCO Secretary-General