ANC’s Gwede Mantashe has called on citizens to shun all ANC critics impression that the party has done little or nothing to improve the standard of higher education in the country in a way to make it accessible for all.
The ruling party’s secretary general noted this on Wednesday following the growing claim by the public that the party failed to keep its promise of providing free higher education for all citizens.
ANC critics believe the recently announced fee increase and its negative effect on all SA schools contributed in weakening people’s trust in the party especially as it had failed in the past local elections.
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ANC critics say the ruling African National Congress has to keep its promise to pay students’ fee so academic activities will continue for the benefit of all.
However, ANC’s Mantashe said at the opening of the Black Management Forum’s annual conference in Midrand that people refer to the Freedom Charter and they read the headline, stop there, and say therefore you are offering free education.
“The authors of the document said access to university education should be granted on merit,” he said, pointing out that only Basic education is expected to be free and compulsory.
Mantashe’s comments on the ongoing #feesmustfall protest had him saying he would want schools to be shut down for six months until students come to their senses.
He said his comments recently about universities being closed for six months if destruction of property on campuses continued, had opened him up to insults.
“When you go to university, you are not doing it for Blade, you are doing it for yourself,” Mantashe said, referring to the higher education minister.”
He then tells the public of his daughter who lost focus on her studies, he allowed her to take a gap year. She subsequently did well in both her academic career and personal life.
Meanwhile, analysts say the ongoing total shutdown of schools would hamper the country’s labour market in 2017 if nothing is urgently done.
Using a model designed for economic research by the University of Pretoria in collaboration with the global Centre of Policy Studies, analysts say the varsity shutdown will make 2017 a bleak year.
According to the analysis, a 90% reduction in skilled labour (graduates) entering the labour market in 2017 would have a negative impact on virtually every macroeconomic indicator
“South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would fall dramatically, with the economy shedding around R5.6 billion. Investments would plummet,” it said
The results also suggest that inequality would deepen. Unemployment would rise and real wages for less-skilled workers would fall. The only real winners in this scenario would be incumbent skilled workers, who would benefit from higher real wages.