SASCO notes with the necessary caution the announcement by the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Blade Nzimande and Universities South Africa (USA) Chairperson, Professor Adam Habib on the demand by students that #FeesMustFall.
This announcement can only be delivered if there was a certain level of trust within the higher education system, but the reality is that university managers are not trustworthy and this might be an attempt to cheat us.
We have noted the principled reached of an inflation related adjustment to the fees. We however remain resolute that there ought to be a 0 percent fee increment in all institutions and we welcome the fact that there is at least movement from the 10 or more percent that were proposed earlier. This announcement does not change our stance on no fee increment and as such we will continue to push forward up until this call is realized.
SASCO maintains its view that higher education has become excessively unaffordable. The current cost of higher education makes it extremely difficult for students to both access and succeed within the system. The burden of this highly costly higher education system has been displaced to students.
SASCO remains concerned that even though this principle has been reached, it is not final since Councils of universities will have final decision making powers in this regard. This means we will not stop but fight for no fee increments in the various campuses.
SASCO will continue with its planned nationwide total shut down, and will use this opportunity to consult students and receive a mandate. The higher echelons are feeling us, we must increase the tempo so that they adequately respond to our call for a moratorium on fee increases.
The very principle of fee increment assumes that students will have increased ability to afford this. This logic is standing tall on its head and irrational. It is also very sad that the announcement does not even cover the question of upfront payments, which are at the center of the ongoing protests.
The struggle continues, aluta continua.
For more information
Ntuthuko Makhombothi, SASCO President on 071 875 2209
Luzuko Buku, SASCO Secretary General on 071 879 3258