13 June 2015
The South African Students Congress [SASCO] and the Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] met yesterday morning for a bilateral meeting to discuss issues of common interest.
The meeting noted that the bilateral is convened while we are in the process of celebrating youth month. This is a special month for us the young people of this country as we celebrate the martyrs of June 16, 1976. We will be going all out in celebration of their martyrdom and their resilience in fighting the white minority rule that was hell-bent on ensuring that the black child is subjected to inferior education.
During our bilateral meeting we noted that the state of the Progressive Youth Alliance and the Mass Democratic Movement [MDM] is not healthy and that we are under siege. The African National Congress is losing wards to opposition parties; SASCO is losing in SRC elections while our labour federation Cosatu is also losing members as well. We also noted that the void left by the African National Congress Youth League [ANCYL] has left a glaring space for our detractors to make inroads.
While we note the SRC elections that we have lost it must however be noted that its only 3 campuses and we have won almost 90% of them. Just because DASO has won Fort Hare does not mean they have won all campuses. It is our media which seeks to exaggerate their win and undermine our gains.
State of youth politics
The meeting noted that our politics are ravaged by factionalism, student careerism, outsourced and lazy thinking. While we face the huge burden of youth employment most of our energy is invested in gossips and rumour mongering. Young people are the hardest hit by the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
It is for these reasons that we have to advance more radical campaigns that will be aimed at bringing betterment into the lives of young people in the country. We will be working together in the reestablishment of the Students Union for Christian Action [SUCA]. We of the view that we have to be in all key sites of power; the church is one of them.
The meeting noted that the R9.5 billion allocated to NSFAS has not met the demand of the working class students. We demand more funding for NSFAS and a new Board Chairman of NSFAS to be appointed a.s.a.p. by the Minister of Higher Education and Training to address the administrative deficiencies at NSFAS. All students who registered and pay their registration fees must be funded by NSFAS.
NSFAS must become the vehicle for free, quality, compulsory and relevant higher education. We are also calling for the forensic audit of NSFAS officers which will ultimately lead to the discovery of the monies that were stolen through students who unduly benefited from NSFAS.
We will be reorganizing our branches not to only direct their anger at NSFAS but also the management of the universities. For instances Fort Hare University has been allocated R60 Million by NSFAS and in June they have only spent 27% of that fund. Most of the funds are not being utilized while students are still without meals, book allowances and transportation.
Transformation should not be only about the removal of statues but about broader issues that touches on a range of transformational matters. For us transformation should speak to issues of the curriculum and courses content. As much as we support the removal of statues we are however opposed to vandalism and misplaced militancy.
We are going to ensure that we form part of the Higher Education Act review; we refuse to be passengers, we want to drive the process. Ours is to open the debate on the independence of institutions of higher learning. We hold the strong view that these institutions of higher learning use institutional autonomy to be exempted from public accountability.
We will be undertaking an aggressive campaign to do a mass recruitment campaign in Technical Vocational Education and Training [TVET] colleges. We ensure that we have a branch in every TVET college in the country.
The meeting resolved that we must convene a political school that will inculcate political education and ideological training in our members. We of the view that some of our loses in SRC elections are as a results of proper political education.
Issued by the Secretariat:
YCLSA National Secretary
Secretary General SASCO
For more information contact:
YCLSA National Spokesperson
Cell: 074 5 204 204