While the higher education department deliberates on the proposed fees increase for all higher institutions in SA, the youth league of the African National Congress (ANCYL) decided to write an open letter to minister Blade Nzimande telling him not to think of embarking on any fees increment either for the poor or the the missing middle.
The league’s secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza made his demand public through the open letter, claiming the minister, Blade Nzimande had ignored all private discussions they had with him on the matter.
The letter reads:
I hope this letter finds you well,
I have taken a decision to write you this open letter, because I can see that all the private discussions we have had around free education for the poor and 0% fee are not bearing fruits. The situation is dire, institutions are burning with terror and violence is used against students on campuses. Some campuses are being shut down.
I have no interest in writing you a long letter but to request you to address the following as a matter of urgency;
- Urgently implement the decision of 0% fee increment as resolution of the last NEC meeting of the ANC. Any form of increment against poor students and “the missing middle” is not acceptable and should not be considered or talked about.
- Reduce your meetings with Vice Chancellors because, instead of transforming the system they will transform you to accept the system they have built which is abusive to students. You must spend more time with students who are the endusers of higher education.
- Please refrain and avoid sending messages of doubt about the policy of the ANC on free quality education for the poor. The implementation of free quality education for the poor is not an issue that is up for discussion but for implementation with speed.
I hope you will come to the realization that the issues raised are critical. I really do not expect a letter explaining the process but one would expect that the issues raised will be resolved speedily. We can no longer accept tortoise velocity in dealing with these issues.
NJABULO B NZUZA
SECRETARY GENERAL (ANC Youth League)
Meanwhile, higher education minister Blade Nzimande raised concerns over recent protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as well as the false reports that suggest government has reached a decision on fee increases.
The minister said the department is still in consultation with all concerned parties and has not pronounced on any tuition hikes. The department has also called for an end to reports claiming a hike has been approved.