#FreeEducationInOurLifetime #BlackTaxMustFall

2015-10-24 20:59

I stand with every student who cannot afford the current fees and yes it’s the states duty to quantify their promise on free education, also the idea of “black tax” needs to come to an end. I completely endorse the goal of free education but we can’t allow the class of 2015 and 2016 to fail because of it. I stated this in my previous article a few days ago, academic exclusion is important to consider and we need to remain cautious on this topic. I was filtering through Facebook and saw a post by one of the academics at Wits Law School and I had to share it with you via this platform …


This is unfortunately one of those long posts but I try and shed some perspective in light of the announcement that strike action will continue. These are excerpts from a forthcoming article so bear with me

I have been one of the most vocal supporters of the ?#?FeesMustfall campaign whose initial primary mandate was to oppose the fee increases at universities. That is one campaign I continue to whole heartedly believe in. However, the turn of events in the last 24 hours leaves me thinking that the project has been hijacked by unreasonable and anarchist individuals who have no foresight.

We have heard it being said that there will be no fee increase and the other collateral issues raised will be addressed soon (and logically so because they are not one day events ) . It then bothers me to the core when the academic programme for the year has to be delayed or alternatively cancelled because some people simply want to continue protesting. Firstly, it is NOT possible to roll out free education for all in 2016 , 2017 or 2018 without a major economic regression. The economy is already suffering and this will do nothing but accelerate a burn down of the economy. What will happen if this is forced on government is that government bill will go up and to avoid being bankrupt the government will raise taxes to cover its costs. If the government does not do that, the quality of education will (further) decline because universities will be forced to cut down a lot. The reality is that not even the UK has a free tertiary education system and their economy is much stronger than South Africa’s . If you want to go through what Zimbabwe went through, then go ahead and force the government to give free education but do not expect to find jobs when you graduate because there simply won’t be any after the economy is comatose.

I also think that the issue of outsourcing should be discussed and negotiated while the academic programme continues. The universities and government have seen how powerful the student voice is and they would be foolish to ignore it in future but we must use our brains here and think. The academic year can be postponed (very easily I might add) and then what ? You leave 2015 without having passed the year ? It is also sad that final year students will not be allowed to graduate if they do not sit for exams . That means anyone who had a job or higher study offer for 2 Jan 2016 can forget about it. What happens to their bid to pay off black debt? They are set back an entire year because companies won’t be holding out contracts for a few individuals. Don’t forget that there are people who qualified before and actually hold degrees but don’t have jobs and they will be called up to fill in the gap.

We need to display that we are indeed intellectuals who know when to strike and when to negotiate. The right to protest becomes very meaningless when it is used to hold people to ransom for every request. In fact it becomes the case of the ‘boy who cried wolf’. Those that sympathised with you won’t sympathise with you anymore and you become a lone voice. The primary goal was achieved now get back to why you came to university and finish the year or else you have just wasted an entire year. In FACT , we look like a bunch of unreasonable clowns who want everything now and cannot reason . Give government a reasonable date to act by and if they don’t then maybe escalate the pressure.

Has anyone thought that there are foreign nationals whose visas expire by the end of November this year and the longer the academic year is extended , the more they are at risk of deportation?

Has anyone thought about the students who stay in KZN or

Limpopo who are currently housed in Braam residences and have lease agreements coming to an end in November? Any day extra they spend in Johannesburg they have to pay South Point an extra month for their stay ?

Has anyone thought that some people have ulterior motives in not wanting to write final exams and they are happy to drag along everyone else down with them? ( some of them have secured political offices after leaving university so they could care less about getting a degree)

Has anyone thought about the number of people who simply live for anarchy and will ride out any wave of violence and intimidation because they are just those kind of people? We saw them at the Union Buildings yesterday- they did not come to hear solutions, they came to disrupt things. Are you sure these people are not behind the extension of the strike? Half of them are not in academia and if they are , they are probably struggling there too so they have nothing to lose. I promise , check the credentials of the people you listen to and you will see some agendas unfold. Don’t just follow blindly , check people’s reasons It will give you an idea why some people want some things done .

People support struggles they see reason in but when you hold everyone hostage to your every demand , you cease to get that support . You give every racist person a reason to say ‘I told you those blacks can’t think , look at them now’.

You came to school to study not to become full time protesters, can we please remember that. There are some of us who have forgotten what the fight was about in the beginning and think striking is cool. It was never meant to be cool. It was meant to relay a message . the message was sent , now we must go back and study while negotiating the rest.

Please miss me with that further protest must continue . You are playing with people’s lives here and there is no right afforded to that effect in the Constitution. Parting thought , if you got your mandate to govern from students then you must also get your mandate to lead in this regard from students. 80% of them want to write exams , why are you holding them hostage ?


- Paul Kaseke Snr (via Facebook)

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