Growing concerns over the persistent protest by students over the recently increased fees have raised calls for the ruling ANC to keep to its promise of providing free university education for all or go ahead to apologize to all citizens for deceiving them.
This warning comes following government’s insistence for a fee increase despite students protest for a reversal of the increase made by the education and training minister Blade Nzimande.
The current #feemustfall protest by student will is the second violent protests carried out by students since in less than two years.
Looking at this, analysts are concerned about the demeaning effects of these protest on the country’s institutions especially as it continued to disrupt academic activities.
The knock-on-effect would be catastrophic: important sectors, such as healthcare, will be denied thousands of new recruits; tens of thousands of 2016 matriculants, who want to study next year, will be forced to stay at home or find a job; Universities will have even less money available to them, being forced to continue to rely on student fees; and our economy, worryingly close to both a downgrade and recession, will be hit, adding to our unemployment crisis and the frustration and anger which it gives birth to, analysts further noted.
The recent fee increase has among other issues facing the country, presented the governing African National Congress as a party whose promises can not be trusted.
The governing party has on countless occasions reiterated its promise at its conferences that it wanted South Africans to enjoy free University education
In Polokwane, no doubt, Jacob Zuma and his merry band of Mbeki ousters were feeling drunk at their own success and unpredicted rise. “ Free university education for all.
“ Free university education for all? Sure! Why not? Let them have it!” They may as well have thrown in complimentary holidays to a beach resort on the moon.” ANC reportedly said.
Now, following the economic challenges faced by the country, it became more difficult to carry on with the free education plan. Analysts also blame the party for prioritizing corruption instead of the best interests of young South Africans in the past years.
It is now pertinent that President Jacob Zuma and his party to either chose to keep to its promises of free education by providing the necessary fund or openly apologize to all South Africans for deceiving them.
Meanwhile, Belinda Bozzoli, DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education and Training has blamed the violent student protest leading to a mass destruction of government properties on Minister Blade Nzimande’s “drop-and-go” attitude in making the fee-increase announcement.
The DA shadow minister said Blade’s announcement allowed for the crisis to escalate quickly.
“Parliament, despite numerous requests from the DA, has refused to convene a special committee meeting; and President Jacob Zuma has been largely hands-off, going through the motions as normal, and delivering the same-old recycled notes. “DA’s Belinda Bozzoli added.
Analysts say President Jacob Zuma and his government must, therefore, share responsibility for the crisis that has unfolded this year.