sasco-students Statement of the South African Students [Congress] on developments in Higher Education 24 August 2016 The South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) notes with anger the continued, rampant racist practices at the university of Free State, not so long ago the organization challenged the university to deal with the barbaric Raidz 4, who went to make our mothers drink their urine, during a racist and backward practice in the university residence. It is not surprising that few years later a similar incident occurs from this university, where a female security personnel has been poured with urine by another group of white students, this is what the least paid workers, who are black mainly, and work for contracted companies are subjected to on a daily basis, their dignity, their pride and lives disrespected if not threatened, this is the basis that has made us as SASCO to fight for an end of their oppression, by calling on universities to do away with labour broker slavery, and permanently hire all contacted works in the universities. The University of the Free State unashamedly continues with their racist and criminal activities unabated. Yesterday the 23rd of August 2016, yet another act of white privilege occurred wherein an Auditing test was written by students; the paper was supposed to be written in both English and Afrikaans. The English version of the paper contained questions whereas the Afrikaans version was in actual fact a memo with all the answers. We have always held a position that Afrikaans speaking white students enjoy more privileges and an advantage over other students especially black students who are located at the bottom of the pyramid. It is not surprising that the Afriforum and Solidarity reversed the language policy decision of the University in court. They wanted to continue cheating and placing white students at an advantage. This is the worst form of academic crimes. Heads must roll in that University. All involved in this evil deed must be fired. We maintain our position of “one institution, one language” until our indigenous languages are developed enough to be languages of tuition. We implore on the department of Higher Education (DHET) to dissolve the council of the University of the Free State for its dismal failure to transform the university in order to meet the transformation goals of the government and the developmental needs of the country. The department must also appeal the decision of the Bloemfontein High court which favoured white privilege. On UKZN, UJ, LP, WSU, King Hintsa TVET and NMMU University of Kwazulu Natal: SASCO has learned of the closure of the institution until the 28th of August due to mass protests of students. These protests began, amongst other reasons as a result of the management reneging on agreements made with student leadership that all outsourced services be in sourced and employees of these companies be permanently employed by the University. It is disturbing that instead of confronting the issues tabled, the Vice Chancellor and their management team elected to shutdown campus resulting wastage of meaningful teaching, learning and research time. The VC must meet with student leadership and the SRC urgently in order to arrest all grievances and students go back to class. University of Johannesburg: The leadership of the Progressive Youth Alliance and the SASCO led SRC are still suspended from the University without any lawful basis. This is done in order to coerce the SRC into fee negotiations and to abort the protracted struggle for name changes of residences and Afrikaans culture of the University’s Auckland park campus. The University management has turned the institution into a camp of bouncers who assault students and violate the rights of student political leadership. Our SRC and political leadership have been suspended without a good course and have not been presented with an opportunity to present their case. We call upon managers of this institution to immediately drop the charges and transform the university or face the full might of the student movement. They must desist from dividing the student body. University of Limpopo: A female student residing in an off campus residence of the University was shot by criminals trying to break in at the apartment when she got back from studying resulting in a protest. The political leadership of the campus has long been calling for more visible policing and campus security’s presence around the vicinity of the University. This is because students study until late and have no transport to travel back to their respective residences. The student is in a critical condition fighting for her life in hospital. Our minds and hearts are with her, we wish her strength, courage, full and speedy recovery. The University management must expedite the process of implementation of the agreements on safety which have been reached before more lives are lost or endangered. WSU: SASCO is angered by the bully tactics of the University management who were supposed to meet with the student leadership to deliberate on the grievances of students which include dilapidated infrastructure at the Umtata campus, inadequate security at the Butterworth campus including incompetent and stealing security company, shortage of lecturers; insufficient residences and maladministration of NSFAS funds at the Buffalo City campus. These are genuine struggles which have been met by a court interdict. The university has instead used coercive force resulting in the arrests of magnitudes of students including the Provincial Chairperson of SASCO in the Eastern Cape. Our comrades must soldier on until all their demands are addressed. King Hintsa TVET: Students of this institution have been on a 3 weeks long toy toy which emanated as a result of the college demanding an upfront R710.00 payment before registration. This is despite the calls by the department that no student should be required to pay any ufront payments especially in the TVET sector. This is daylight robbery and our students must not pay a cent. We call upon the department of Higher education to intervene and bring to book all college managers who are robbing students. On the Fees Commission The Marxist –Leninist political leadership of SASCO as lead by the President made oral presentations to the judicial fees commission of Judge Heher on the 22nd of August in Mbombela. We expressed our displeasure at the slow pace of the commission in execution of its task as the commission was conceived around November last year only for them to commence with the work by the end of April 2016. We are of a conviction that the terms of reference of the commission were wrong in the first place, the organization was misled into believing that the commission will be dealing with the funding of free education in our country. The question of feasibility of fee free education was concluded upon by the 2012 ministerial commission which found, within 6months of its appointment that Free education for the poor is feasible in South Africa. The current commission therefore is a waste of money and boarders on repetition as an attempt to arrive at a different conclusion. Although there is no universal or generally accepted definition of “the poor” we differ with the definition of the 2012 commission and believe that the poor should be all those having a household income of less than R180 000 per annum and the missing middle be stratified however to not more the R600 000 per annum. South African Higher Education derives its income mainly from three streams viz tuition, government and private sponsorship. Our conviction is that education is a shared responsibility which benefits the individual, government and the private sector. Those who can afford should pay their tuition, the government must reprioritize education as an apex priority thereby increasing funding into higher education; this will require boldness and decisiveness from the government and tapping into the billions of Rands in unclaimed pension funds, reduction of vice chancellors salaries, diminution of the unreasonable big cabinet and their salaries and benefits, introduction of an education tax from all formally working people amongst others. The private sector must also play its role including a compulsory direct investment into education as part of their social responsibility. The skills levy must be increased by at least a nominal percent. The South African Students Congress will be closely monitoring the work of the commission. Guided by our structures, we will take concomitant action should the need arise. The NEC has not declared any shutdown of institutions save for those which want to table fee increments our compromise stance is that there should be a moratorium on any fee increments until the commission declares free education in South Africa. Court Case The National Executive Committee is elated by the decision of the South Gauteng High court to dismiss the application of renegades who are anti majoritarian and hell-bent on liquidating the student movement if it’s not them leading it. These turncoats have betrayed every fibre of our organizational values and principles especially democracy and the principle of democratic centralism. Whereas we respect the right of everyone to have their matter heard before a competent court, courts should however not be abused to serve narrow political interests. The dismissal of the urgent application should have served as warning shots. We will consult our structures on decisions to be taken on all those involved. We wish to send a stern warning on all those who continue with parallelism and undermine of our structures, principles, values and the constitution that SASCO belongs to students and we will jealousy guard this inheritance of future generations. We call upon our structures to unite and prepare themselves for battles that lie ahead of us. We must all put on our boots and enter the battlefield in defence of our hegemony and unparralled struggle credentials in the sector. We are confident of victory in all institutions during this SRC election season. We congratulate branches that have already reclaimed our campuses. Issued by the NEC For more info: Thabo Moloja President 071 875 2221 Or Tembani Makata Secretary General 071 875 2209