We're engaging with students because it's the right thing to do - Gauteng ANC

2016-01-21 15:30
Students from DUT, FET and UKZN march to the legislature to protest against fee increments.

Students from DUT, FET and UKZN march to the legislature to protest against fee increments. (Ian Carbutt)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The ANC in Gauteng says it is engaging with student organisations on the #FeesMustFall campaign out of principle, and not because it is a local government election year.

This was after the ANC in the province said its leaders had been interacting with student groups and university vice chancellors over the past few weeks.

"All these issues we are dealing with, we are not dealing with them because of the electoral implications," provincial secretary David Makhura told reporters in Johannesburg.

"We are dealing with these issues from the point of view of the country's development. We need more skilled people at that level."

Makhura, who is also Gauteng premier, said that when the party started its election campaign it would engage with students at different campuses, but at this point the ANC in the province was not campaigning.

"This is a fundamental question about the development of our country. That is why the system must expand, that is why access must be expanded. It doesn't matter who wins a particular election, it's the right thing to do."

Some protesting students in the #FeesMustFall movement have threatened to boycott the elections, which are due to be held between May and August this year.

According to the Electoral Commission of SA, current voter registration is 24.98 million, out of around 34.1 million people of voting age (18 years and older).

As many as 9.1 million eligible voters are not currently registered, with over 80% of these under the age of 35.

ANC Gauteng secretary Hope Papo said the party's local government election campaign would focus on the youth and reach all students and young people who were not in universities.

"We are confident with work which has been done in institutions of higher learning that they will reciprocate in our province."

The party in the province welcomed the work done by government and and the measures put in place by institutions to address concerns raised by students.

Papo explained that the ANC's understanding of free education was that it would only be free for those who could not afford it.

"It covers students from working class and poor backgrounds. Those who can afford, like myself, can't expect the state to pay for [their] children. I actually pay. That's our understanding of our resolution,"  he said.

The Gauteng leadership warned those who wanted to disrupt the academic year and shut down universities.

Makhura said shutting down these institutions would be a step backwards.

Papo also issued a stern warning to those who tried to disrupt the academic year.

"We will mobilise against anyone who wants to wreck the academic year,"  he said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.