21 April 2012
The South African Students Congress held an NEC meeting from 19-21 April 2013 at Booysens Hotel, Johannesburg. The NEC paid tribute to our former Treasurer General, cde Babalwa Ntabeni, who was laid to rest on the 23 March 2013. The NEC noted with disappointment the continued abuse of women and children in our society. We call upon our society to fight against this onslaught against women and children. The NEC took stock of the many other challenges in the post-schooling sector and society at large.
On Higher Education Transformation
SASCO notes the appointment of the Higher Education Transformation Oversight committee and the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) FET Technical Task team. The FET Technical Task Team must deal with issues relating to student governance, curriculum transformation, work placement for students, general administrative issue of colleges and the perennial problems of access and success in our colleges.
Whilst we believe that these committees are important for the creation of a single and articulated higher education system, we strongly believe that the Chairperson of the Higher Education Transformation oversight committee, Prof. Makgoba, does not deserve to lead transformation of higher education as he is a legend in bashing student activism. Makgoba viciously attacks any critical voice at UKZN. He is part of an unholy coterie of reactionary Vice-Chancellors who run our institutions as if it were their spaza shops. We will continue to fight against victimisation of student activists in other institutions like the Wits, UKZN, NWU, Majuba College, CIDA City Campus etc.
Intensify mass action in demand for free education for all
The NEC has noted the shilly-shallying by the Department of Higher Education and Training in implementing ANC resolution on provision of free quality higher education for the poor until undergraduate level. We also noted the intention of the Department of Higher Education and Training to introduce foreign concepts like ‘fee free education’ with a mischievous intent of defocusing the public on real issues in higher education and reducing the entire struggle to funding. It is our considered view that government has no clear intentions of dismantling neo-liberal curriculum content in our universities and colleges.
Our call to all students, trade-unions, churches and all organs of civil society is that they should join our call for the implementation of Free Education as early as next year. In the next semester, SASCO will embark on national free education march to the Department of Higher Education and Training. We plead with all South Africans from all walks of life to join us in this endeavour of ensuring that students from poor and working class background have access to institutions of higher learning and further training. We also call upon the society to reject with contempt the desperate attempts to turn our education institutions into exclusive clubs for the rich and elite.
SASCO rejects the National Development Plan (NDP)
SASCO rejects the National Development Plan (NDP) as a futile public relations exercise by government. The NDP will not help us deal with the deepening crisis of triple of unemployment, poverty and inequality in South Africa. We totally reject the NDP as it is built on the ultra right wing notion of open opportunity society and does not seek tamper with South Africa’s neo-liberal development trajectory. The NDP is a class project geared at maintaining the control and ownership of our economy by white monopoly capital which remains the main enemy of our revolution. The NDP represent a serious setback in our struggle to emancipate our people from economic bondage.
A call for unity and cohesion in COSATU
SASCO NEC is concerned about recent distasteful and unfortunate developments in COSATU. We cannot remain silent when our Federation is confronted with such challenges that threaten its very existence. We call for political sanity and maturity in resolving the terminal challenge of unity in our beloved Federation. A resolution to this impasse should not involve a removal of any COSATU leader elected at the recent COSATU National Congress. We call upon the leadership of COSATU to rise above petty factional politics which may further deepen divisions in the Federation. We will raise these issues further in our formal engagements with the leadership of the Federation.
On apartheid apologists
We dismiss apartheid apologists who are propagating a view that challenges in our country are not related to apartheid regime. We believe the apartheid system was not only based on the division of various races at face value but it was a system of social, political and economic segregation. We cannot arrive at any conclusion that geo-spatially, all racial groups live together in harmony, under similar circumstances. We condemn the usual suspects such as the Free Market Foundation and the FW De Klerk Foundation in their ill-conceived attempts to hide their atrocious apartheid crimes. When apartheid was in full swing in the country under the full command of racists like FW De Klerk, there was never open admission on their part that this is a system of racial exploitation and national oppression. This is continued proof of the racism by apartheid apologists.
Towards the ANC landslide victory in the 2014 general elections
SASCO calls upon all students in Republic of South Africa to vote for the African National Congress (ANC) during the 2014 General elections. The ANC remains the only political party that has the best interests of students at heart. Had it not been for the introduction of the NSFAS and many other progressive interventions by our ANC led government, many of us would not have accessed higher education. The vote for the ANC is a vote for our well-being as students. The ANC has made great strides, despite some challenges, in ensuring an enabling environment for academic excellence by students in many institutions of higher learning. All SASCO structures and members across the country will intensify our campaign to deliver a landslide victory to the ANC during 2014 general elections.
Ngoako Selamolela, SASCO President, 071 875 2224
Themba Masondo, SASCO Secretary General, 079 199 3421