Zero percent or else, ANCYL warns Nzimande

2016-09-08 09:42
ANCYL says no to proposed fee increments

ANCYL says no to proposed fee increments (File)

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The ANC Youth League has urged Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande to implement a zero percent fee increase for universities, saying it was a resolution of the party’s National Executive Committee.

The league made its feelings on the fees issue plain in a brief but stern open letter to the minister, which comes as the University of KwaZulu-Natal closed early for the September recess amid student protests.

ANCYL secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza puts forward three demands to the under-pressure Nzimande in the letter.

“Urgently implement the decision of a 0% fee increment as a resolution of the last NEC meeting of the ANC.

“Any form of increment against poor students and ‘the missing middle’ is not acceptable and should not be considered or talked about.

“Reduce your meetings with vice-chancellors because, instead of transforming the system, they will transform you to accept the system they have built which is abusive to students. You must spend more time with students, who are the end-users of higher education.”

Nzuza tells Nzimande to refrain from sending messages of doubt about the policy of the ANC on free education for the poor.

“The implementation of free quality education for the poor is not an issue that is up for discussion, but for implementation with speed,” he says.

Nzimande is expected to make his big fee reveal before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, student unions have weighed in on the current situation at UKZN.

Sasco KZN said it had noted that “elements of imperialist forces” were trying to hijack the country through “our struggle”. It condemned the destruction of property that accompanied the student protests.

“Our struggle as students should never be reduced to acts of barbarism. Therefore we condemn the burning down of institutions. You can never solve a problem by causing another problem.”

Sasco said it was the duty of the current generation of students to ensure that it protected infrastructure and saved it for future generations. “These acts of hooliganism are barbaric, and students who burn [property] are not adding value to the revolution, but are setting us back,” said the organisation’s provincial secretary, Mqondisi Duma.

EFF Students Command spokesperson Naledi Chirwa blamed the ANC and the private sector for the “ongoing violence” against the protesting students by the police and campus security.

“The EFF Students Command together with the students of South Africa will continue to plot, rally and usher in its generational mission and purpose,” she said.

The DA Student Organisation’s Sizwe Msweli said while the union respected the students’ right to protest, violence and vandalism were never solutions to their problems.

The IFP youth organisation Sadesmo would brief the media today about the protests.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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