History has identified with thousands of individuals via numerous platforms. Some for good, others for bad. But, whichever way one stands to outshine others, impact(s) left on the sands of time is often the question that carries the day.
Some time last year in South Africa, there were upsurges in violent protests carried across most higher institutions in the country. Of course, those young protesters did not fall from heaven or let’s say appeared in SA just to fight and then disappear. No way!
Their morales went high because a group started the fight and they saw fair reasons to join in the struggle. And today, that particular group that spearheaded the #FeesMustFall fight has been recognized.
Buzzsouthafrica has gathered that student led protest movement #FeesMustFall has been named 2015 newsmaker of the year. The recognition came from the National Press Club.
This recognition has shown that at least their efforts were never in vain. Do not also forget that following their numerous protests, president had to announced from within the Union Buildings that there would be no increase in university fees in 2016.
The writers club’s unanimous decision was based on the amount of media coverage the movement received and the impact it had on universities.
Speaking further, the media body said the #FeesMustFall movement turned the future of many students for good and played great and tremendous roles in tertiary education in the country.
Not only that, the club noted that the social media campaign powerfully dominated headlines.
Also, a member of the press club Ben Rootman expressed delight that the movement’s campaign impact was felt across the country, and to some extent, outside the shores of the country.
“This was very well orchestrated, it was exceptionally well-run and for a number of weeks and it culminated when the student leaders met with President [Jacob] Zuma at the Union Buildings. The same day he announced that there will be no fee increase for 2016,”Rootman said.
We will recall that the student led protest movement began in mid October 2015 in response to an increase in fees at South African universities.
The protests also agitated for higher wages for low earning university staff who worked for private contractors such as cleaning services and campus security and for them to be employed directly by universities.
Students at the University of Witwatersrand were the first brandish their #FeesMustFall placards followed by the University of Cape Town and Rhodes University before rapidly spreading to other universities across the country.
Although the protests solely focused on a rise in fees, lots of other factors formed the background for the protests. Some include lack of funding for poorer students to attend university, high incomes for University managers.
Others are real decline in government funding for higher education, lack of social transformation and then socio-economic and racial inequality issues which the movement felt have been neglected by the current administration.