The university fees mess isn’t a matter that must be resolved by the government or by the Department of Higher Education and Training alone, South Africans must all work together to fix the mess, says President Zuma.
His Excellency is concerned about the violence that erupted over the 2017 fees. He reminded South Africans that education is such issue that concerns all, as he pleaded for help towards finding solutions to the issue.
Mr. President charged university managements and students to cooperate with Minister Nzimande and combat the challenge of student funding and access.
“It is not a matter that must be resolved by government alone, or by the Department of Higher Education and Training. We must all work together to find solutions to the higher education access challenge. From parents, business community, labor, religious leaders, traditional leaders, political parties and communities in general, let us find solutions together,” Zuma begged.
President Zuma inferred that it’s uncool to think the government doesn’t care and wailed that the funding base for higher education is on a steady increase.
“Government cares and will continue to search for ways of making access to higher education easier for students,” he said. But then remarked that “the funding base for higher education students has been expanding considerably over the years.
…It has not yet entirely offset the financial challenges for many students,” added Mr. President.
Above all, President Zuma asked the students to explore peaceful avenues to demonstrate their dissatisfaction. He warned that unlawful protests would be punished.
In his words, “We urge the students to explore peaceful avenues to engage on this issue constructively. The destruction of property is a criminal offense and will be treated as such by the law enforcement authorities.
We have directed the police to ensure that all such cases reach the courts and that those responsible answer for their actions.
This infrastructure must be available for use by generations to come, and students should respect university property as leaders of the future,” he cautioned.