Gain without education notion worrying: Jansen

2012-09-27 15:55

Johannesburg - There is a worrying notion in South Africa that material prosperity can be achieved without an education, Free State University rector Jonathan Jansen said on Thursday.

"The desperate route to power and privilege that bypasses education and training is amply on display in the political arena," he said at an SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) discussion in Johannesburg.

"The institutionalisation of corruption in some provinces and the profitable linkage of party deployees to jobs simply confirm in the minds of ordinary citizens that there are other, more immediate routes to escaping poverty."

Jansen said two of the country's most influential politicians were semi-illiterate.

"That the most charismatic among our national leaders have themselves accessed enormous wealth and privilege without personal investments in education and training must be enormously attractive to millions of young people failed by the school system before and since 1994."

He said even the workers at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, where 46 people were killed, had understood that they could gain material benefit without pursuing the long, hard road to education and training.

Ostentatious display of wealth

"A demand of R12 500 after tax is more than what a beginner teacher with a degree and teacher's diploma will take home after deductions," Jansen said.

"Of course, this demand for massive financial reward makes sense when the union bosses themselves drive expensive cars and lead luxurious lifestyles."

The workers were not against the ostentatious display of wealth; they wanted the same material things.

Jansen said the boldness of the Marikana demands had spread like wildfire.

Some union members on his campus had come to him to demand a salary increase. He was given the gentle warning of: "We don't want another Marikana".

"I told him to fuck off," said Jansen, to giggles from the audience.

He quoted African National Congress national executive committee member Joel Netshitenzhe, who said: "With the flick of a pen, a man can go from long-term unemployment to a job, house and car."

Added Jansen: "Once again, without the labour of education and training."

Value of education

He said there was also a shift in the value of public education, using the example of schools in Olifantshoek in the Northern Cape, which had been closed for three months because the community was protesting.

"What kind of society closes down its schools for months on end because of demands for a tarred road and for the ejection of a single person - the mayor?" Jansen asked.

"How do you explain 'tarred road now education later' or 'mayor fired, education later?"

Jansen said the only conclusion he could reach was that value of education had lost all meaning for rural communities.

He said he had interviewed the man who was organising the protest in Olifantshoek and was disturbed.

The man said he was prepared to continue keeping his child out of school, until 2020 if necessary, just because he wanted the mayor out.

Political infighting in the Northern Cape had become more important.

Books take second place to rocks

"Now, I understand the hyperbole of South African politics, but the notion that children could be kept out of school for months for causes that have nothing to do with education is something worth pondering," said Jansen.

In these, now routinely, violent community protests, education was no longer given the same value as in the previous century. It was not seen as the route out of poverty.

Jansen said these were some the consequences from having a socially and educationally illiterate society.

"Where emotions triumph over logic, where reason is displaced by wrath, and where books take second place to rocks."

The only way out was a social revolution that once again put education at the centre of the agenda for change.

This should happen "not in the form of yet another round of rhetoric by the powerful, but through a social movement among ordinary people that urgently confronts the rot in the school system before it is too late", Jansen said.

  • justin.frittelli - 2012-09-27 16:02

    Anybody listening in the ANC, please appoint Prof Jansen as our education minister!!

      angela.michaels.73 - 2012-09-27 18:04

      Justin if I could give you 10 000 thumbs up, I would.

      carpejugulim - 2012-11-23 05:27

      sadly the chant of: "Freedom before Education" has a lot to answer for

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-27 16:03

    It is not a notion but fact! Take our esteemed president and his family...

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-09-27 16:06

    Everything started with "WE demand" and then they received, for free...

  • compos.mentis.58 - 2012-09-27 16:06

    Because they tell people to work for their money. And South Africans don't want to hear that.

  • richard.bosmano - 2012-09-27 16:08

    Man, I like this fella more each day. Finally some honesty

      Erna - 2012-09-27 16:28

      And sense.

  • louis.hager.12 - 2012-09-27 16:09

    Give me an A, Give me a N, Give me a C. What do you get? Give Me! Give Me! Give Me!

  • Willie - 2012-09-27 16:10

    Spot on Prof----the root of violence is wealth without work

  • dane.jenkinson - 2012-09-27 16:11

    Jansen said these were some the consequences from having a socially and educationally illiterate society. "Where emotions triumph over logic, where reason is displaced by wrath, and where books take second place to rocks." So true!

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-27 16:12

    We need more leaders and bosses like this.

  • franco.beukman - 2012-09-27 16:12

    Now this guy knows wot he is talking about. Just a pitty it wil be seen as words of a white man trieng to oppress SA again

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-09-27 16:32

      eerr... franco... Prof. Jansen is not white. But I would certainly vote for him!

      daniel.schay - 2012-09-27 16:37

      Just pointing it out that Jonathan Jansen is not white. But agree that he knows what he's talking about

      cathy.dejongh.5 - 2012-09-27 16:54


  • jannie.kotze.7 - 2012-09-27 16:17

    Give that man a Bells, and then make him SA's Presedent. Wisdom will prevail!!!

  • somila.sizani - 2012-09-27 16:22

    Prof, I agree, and a somewhat educated citizen, I also wonder how the masses (within SA and the ruling party) were used by the elite families (within the ruling party) to gain the power and wealth they have gained (and which they have now lost to the illiterates within the ruling party) feel...most of those who died during the struggle were the so called illiterates...what has happened was bound to happen...dont get me wrong, I am not justifying anything...just poiting out the obvious as you have done!

  • Erna - 2012-09-27 16:25

    All comment this observation needs is: WOW! DOUBLE WOW!

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-09-27 16:27

    Isn't it sad that our best brains e.g. the likes of Jansen and Ramphele are not in key positions of Govt policy.We need their calibre to halt this frightening slide to the bottom.Consider..Zuma and Malema by contrast are poorly educated.Clearly many black South Africans don't place education as a key leadership value.Sad!

  • christopher.wright.908347 - 2012-09-27 16:31

    Studies (ITWEB) have shown that the biggest contributor to salary is the level of education. In simple terms the more educated you are, the more you earn. Prosperity comes with education and a ability to learn from mistakes. "Economic freedom fighters" should be found at Tertiary institution and not shouting rhetoric to the uneducated. Education is power!

  • Sidney Gilroy - 2012-09-27 16:37

    That's all good and well Prof. The problem is just...once people are educated, they will start voting for educated,honest,reliable politicians. The ANC is well aware of this. So education will receive lip-service and neglect. For in the land of the blind , One-eye is King.

      manfred.meyer - 2012-09-28 10:33

      My thoughts exactly. Give the masses free water, electricity, build houses for them, give them free medical aid.. BUT FOR GODSAKE DON'T EDUCATE THEM, they might realize what we are doing lol The irony is, that they are taxing a smaller and smaller educated workforce more & more to fund this BS strategy. By rather investing in free & higher quality education & cutting back on the other freebees, we could have a larger educated, taxable workforce. Thereby increasing available state funds for social upliftment. But I guess the government just isn't that smart.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-09-27 16:37

    Just look at Malema, prof. That dimwit achieved it, somehow.

      mike.leggatt.3 - 2012-09-27 22:04

      I wonder who he was referring to with this statement?...."That the most charismatic among our national leaders have themselves accessed enormous wealth and privilege without personal investments in education and training must be enormously attractive to millions of young people failed by the school system before and since 1994."

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-09-27 23:37

      Mike, I imagined Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema!

      John - 2012-10-11 12:52

      Mike was being seriously sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, Tasmeen....

  • Godfrey Adams - 2012-09-27 16:40

    The prof hit the nail on the head

  • neilpretorius83 - 2012-09-27 16:40

    Future news24 headline: \ANC finds Prof's comments 'unfortunate'\

  • mshiniboys - 2012-09-27 16:42

    yes yes yes I echo this sentiment ten times more.govenment let schools fall because they actually have people who never went to school who happen to earn millions.political parties have been infiltrated by these kinds of people who also have a tendency to murder the educated people who seem to threaten their political ladder.we end up with uneducated self centered gansters runing the country.the only word they know is amandla! and old struggle songs.nothing else.

  • sifiso.sosibo.10 - 2012-09-27 16:43

    Its proven fact Prof that the only prerequisite to success is either I'm related or shagged by someone in high places!

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-09-27 16:43

    It's a correct notion. Just check out our politicians. Not educated but good at stealing tax payers money.they must be deprived of this money. Go figure

  • dave.kofang - 2012-09-27 16:53

    Well said prof.The culture of entitlement is at a root of this madness.

  • dave.kofang - 2012-09-27 16:53

    Well said prof.The culture of entitlement is at a root of this madness.

  • sadrick.lottering - 2012-09-27 16:56

    Is this what closing ranks mean, a varsity prof deployed to create a sense of meritory, this after the poorest of poor had been muscled aside by men such as the prof, irrespectives of academical potential, to make way for those to be deemed the middle class, and the many ask why black and white children with their degrees are without proper employment. Nepotism institutionalised! And come and insinuate the idea of fair and equal distribution of opportunity when there is no longer men and women around to instill the believe of meritory in the masses. I'm sorry prof the damage is already done and some, like myself will have to accept that political warfare starts the moment a 6yr old enters basic education. Society controls opportunity, the gate-way to material wealth and education is just a by-product. It's Unfortunated

      Gill McCain - 2012-09-27 20:27

      What are u on about mate? Meritory ??? Do u mean meritocracy? You've just demonstrated the whole point that Professor Jansen is making - education is key.

      sadrick.lottering - 2012-09-28 20:02

      And you're dead right, Sir. Education is key. It requires of us to use a dictionary when challenged.

  • pota.motlokoa - 2012-09-27 17:07

    Wouldn't agree with you more, Prof.

  • willem.dehaan.94 - 2012-09-27 17:07

    Just remind me, please. Who shouted: "No education before liberation!" And who was it again that burned down the schools then? And was it not a certain mrs Mandela who said that with the aid of tyres and matches they would rule the country, or something in similar vein? And who promised to make the country ungovernable? You see, when you tell the people that this is your policy then you must expect them to implement it. Toughies when it happens when you are trying to govern the country. And was it not some ANC stalwart who publicly proclaimed that he did not join the party to stay poor? So why should the ordinary man in the township now think otherwise?

  • pota.motlokoa - 2012-09-27 17:09

    Oops, meaning I agree with the Proffessor.

  • neilpretorius83 - 2012-09-27 17:16

    Future news24 headline #2: Jackson Mthembu: 'Don't listen to Jansen, don't listen!'\r\n\r\nAnd headline #3: Mthembu comments 'misinterpreted': Mantashe

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-09-27 17:19

    He is beginning to sound like a 'Know it all.' Prof don't you think the Marikana management's obscene salaries quoted at a jaw dropping 900 000 per month for the CFO had nothing to do with the demands? It was the Union leader's 'flashy' lives. Well I know a nut called a coco nut.

  • pmalungana - 2012-09-27 18:00

    I agree, my friends who have not received any formal education live in potche houses, take their wives and girl frinds to overseas holidays.This has undermined the value of education in many respects. But hey we live in a competative society in which everybody regardless of class can climb the ladder.That means every body is free

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-09-27 18:24

      often BEE and "a little help from my friends" helps to create that "freedom" but in the long run it is an illusion which will finally implode and leave us with a helluva big rubbish dump

  • jewel.moyana - 2012-09-27 18:07

    Totally agree with the prof,I have never understood the burn the school cos we want water mentality ! That just shows you the value placed on education and of course the not so intelligent minds running rampant in society

  • masamune.azeem - 2012-09-27 18:35

    Sure prof, in an ideal world education should increase your opportunities. But you forget 1 major factor, the species called the human being(educated or not). The cruelest of all creatures. And also main stream education is ridiculous,instead of freeing the mind it imprisons it, and this is world wide that's why the Americans voted for bush.

      John - 2012-10-11 13:01

      Symantics...Masamune The jist of the message is that education increases salary. Yes, there are exceptions(like our dark ANC brothers show every day)

  • sasha.marais - 2012-09-27 19:12

    it time that the YOUTH LEAGUE start educating the masses bg promoting education to the highest levell

  • OneChristovanZyl - 2012-09-27 19:14

    Well said Prof! It seems that the vast majority have not been taught the Secrets to Wealth. One is that "as your emotions go up, your intelligence goes down." The second is that "You don't get paid for having a job. (If this was true all you had to do was show up to get a paycheck) You get paid for the VALUE that you ADD or contribute to your job. When you learn more, you add value to yourself. This makes you more valuable, and more valuable means a higher salary can be anticipated. Please continue to speak as you are one of the rare few who actually say what the issues really are. When enough people hear this, it will become common knowledge, and the average guy will start to challenge his friends.

  • nico.dejongh.90 - 2012-09-27 21:21

    Correlation between job opportunity and birthrate is spiraling out of control - world wide. What motivation to study if you only have 1:50 chances to get the job. Sex education with poverty eradication - a priority - not dishing out condoms at school (sic) which rather promotes intercourse. 13 000 School pregnancies annually. (eina).

  • katherineldkirk - 2012-09-27 23:04

    Before getting sucked into debate based on this shoddy 'journalism' - this paper has been reduced to its most sensational comments, and horribly oversimplified. Read the full text here:

  • renier.keyser - 2012-09-28 09:44

    Surly Affirmative action contributed to education losing it’s value.

  • colignyfrancois.nel - 2012-09-28 09:57

    Simple formula: Time x Education = Salary i.e. worth! To the few who think the CFO at Lonmin is overpaid, just remember we have to compete with the rest of the world for CA's, Engineers and doctors, we either pay what the world think they're worth or do without them - No mines, no hospitals, no banks, no businesses. The only real benefit (with that I mean lasting and transferable) we "white" men (and I mean men, since women were excluded almost entirely till the eighties) was education, find a way to re-distribute that first (education), and the country will succeed, re-distribute wealth, land etc you just end up with more people with less.

  • Chino Darling - 2012-09-28 10:06

    Everyday I wish this man will just be in a position where he can influence how this country is run with his logic. Thank you Prof Jansen.

  • david.holtzhausen - 2012-09-28 10:35


  • david.holtzhausen - 2012-09-28 10:35


  • alexcon85 - 2012-11-22 23:40

    A nice big slap on the ANC's face. You educate your way out of poverty!

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