There is chaos, rioting, protests and disgruntled students who are demanding answers from the African National Congress (ANC) and the failure of a government that is South Africa. The ANC will now have to resolve an extremely dismal situation. It is a moment for national social cohesion and reconciliation. The tensions are high, as stone throwing, clashes between students and police who retaliate with stun guns, and tear gas continue.
The university student protests nationwide are a genuine and legitimate educational matter about fees. No politician or political party has a right to grandstand and hijack the student revolution and make political statements. The students all around South Africa are united in their cause of demanding that education must be free. Students rejected Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) official opposition party yesterday. The students will reject Shivhambu, a top leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The students do not want any politician to hijack their revolution.
The ANC are set to join the protest at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and, in doing so, would be protesting against the ruling party of South Africa. Talk about hypocrisy, anarchy and irony at its best – the ANC has joined the student protest to demonstrate against itself! The ANC are convinced its supporters are stupid and, to some extent, there is some truth in the stupidity of ANC followers. The current situation is now severe, and the president of South Africa never expected such an outcry by the born-free generation. Sadly, many will be like sheep and keep following the leader. The only way now is for all to stand up to all this unnecessary fear and rioting and get a government who cares about the country and all the people.
There are poor students who resort to prostitution, stealing, begging, and living in shacks because the ANC government ignores the feasibility report into free tertiary education. The government does not want to “open the doors of learning” as the Freedom Charter promised, because there are other priorities, such as nuclear power stations. Public servants and politicians are to receive R66 billion wage increase over the next three years, but the ANC does not want to invest in education – the most important investment any country could ever make.
The ANC was created to participate actively in the liberation of non-Caucasian South Africans. They did very well in that department, and many are grateful for the worthy contributions in that regard. The ANC was, however, never created to rule. They hijacked the opportunity and made a mockery of it by trying to fool the very people they helped liberate, hence the unfortunate state of the nation on many critical fronts, including education at all levels.
The quality of education in South Africa is inferior, and entrance level for higher education facilities are not suitable for all the young people. Offering free education will cause congestion within the system. The education system will fail, especially if youngsters enroll at a university just to be there and not really to learn. The repeat rate and drop-outs will become a huge burden and will cost the government. The government is dealing with a multi-layered problem, and there is no easy solution. President Jacob Zuma has announced that there will be no increase in fees for the next year.
There is no doubt the ANC has failed the youth of South Africa, and there is little time for damage control now. The government should not use the notion of autonomy of the university as an excuse for the failure of bad governance. It all goes to show that the ANC government undermines the intelligence of the black people and, in particular, at its constituencies, where someone has to die before the ANC responds.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
Iol.co.za – Mbeki Warns SA
Photo Courtesy of Intelligence Bureau SA’s Facebook Page