Going by the current fee crisis rocking the country, it is now obvious that the principle of free education; as promised in the Freedom Charter by the African National Congress (ANC) is not an easy one to implement, says Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The widow of late statesman Nelson Mandela made this known from her former home on Vilakazi Street in Orlando, Soweto on Thursday; where she met with soccer legend and former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand; to discuss issues affecting South African students.
Free Education, As Contained In The Freedom Charter Was Ignorantly Made
She admitted that the ANC made the promise from lack of experience; because they failed to map out designated and specific sources from where education can be freely sponsored.
Winnie asked: “Free education is difficult to attain because of problems from those times. How did we think we were going to get money to fund education from the onset?. It was an impossible promise but of course, we made it from lack of experience.”
She added that now is the appropriate time for the ANC to carry out a full retrospect of the Freedom Charter; because the demand for free quality education by students across the country has put the state in a difficult position.
“It seems a very, very difficult problem. How do you differentiate the students from southern suburbs, whose parents can afford, from those who come from the shacks?” Winnie queried.
She also sent her thoughts to the protesting students and called on the government to come to the rescue of the protesting students.
Violence erupted across many Universities in the country earlier this week; after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande’s announcement that universities determine their own fee increases for 2017. Blade, however, warned that any increase must not exceed 8%.
The fee hike followed intensified calls by SA universities for the government to come to their financial aid ahead of the 2017 academic session.
Fee protest across the country has gradually become an educational norm. Sadly, a number of school properties are either vandalized or torched by students during protests.