ANC has surpassed higher education goals - Mantashe

2016-10-03 20:57

(Inga Mbambisa)

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Johannesburg – The ANC believes it has exceeded the goals for higher education it set down in the Freedom Charter, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

People tended to exaggerate the charter’s objectives on free education, he told journalists at a briefing on the outcomes of the ANC’s national executive committee meeting.

“People say there will be free education. No, that is not what the Freedom Charter says. It says higher education and technical training shall be open to all, that is the right to it, by means of state allowances and scholarships, on the basis of merit.”

However, instead of applying merit as a criterion, the ANC indiscriminately helped those wanting further education.

He said South Africans did not want to admit that the ANC had gone beyond what it had set out to achieve.

At its 53rd conference in Mangaung in 2013, the ANC completed a draft policy on free higher education. It had intended to start implementing it from the end of that year. The party had been harshly criticised for failing to deliver on this promise.

On September 19, some students began protesting after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said universities could decide their own increases for 2017, provided these were capped at 8%. The poor and “missing middle” would not have to pay the increase. Protesters however wanted the immediate implementation of free education.

The ANC spoke out against the violence seen at institutions of higher learning. Mantashe said a debate was needed on the right to protest and the responsibility not to destroy property and intimidate others.

The ruling party had expressed its support for Nzimande’s announcement on increases. In August, it said he and tertiary institutions needed to explore all options and that a fee increase should be a last resort.


Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  university fees

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