THE fees commission report is proving to be a hot potato for student structures at various universities with some calling for a complete shutdown to force its release.
The South African Students Congress (SASCO) has expressed disappointment that the incoming Wits’ Student Representative Council (SRC) led by the EFF announced at the beginning of this week that they would not go on with the rumoured university shut down until the report is released by the President.
SASCO president Thabo Moloja urged students at Wits to reject EFFSC, saying the ongoing leadership led by president Orediretse Masebe would not champion campaigns that have to do with fees because ‘they neither have the courage nor energy for such student struggles.
“SASCO is not surprised by the lack of clarity demonstrated by both EFFSC at Wits and DASO at UCT, which have defined themselves outside students struggle. They got into student power claiming to be for the students but now they have left students to lead themselves and care less about students,” he said.
He also said that his organization was ‘not moved’ by the leaked reports. According to reports, it suggests that the fees commission found that South African government under the ANC cannot fund free higher education.
On Monday, EFFSC president at Wits Orediretse Masebe said the ‘shut down’ can only happen after the leadership engaged thoroughly and intensively with the students. He said students should be allowed to finish their exams before considering taking to the streets.
“We are tired of creating pop stars out of every protest. Right now we are in the middle of examination season. We are saying it will be careless, reckless and selfish of us to pronounce a shut down through emails at this time,” Masebe said.
DA student body DASO (Democratic Alliance Student Organization) continued their repeated calls for President Zuma to release the report immediately, accusing the President of being ‘arrogant’. DASO national leader Yusuf Cassim said his organization has already done the hard work for the ANC led government by proposing a funding model to the fees commission which ‘creates a safety net for the poor and missing middle students.’
“We have already outlined the model. The ANC government must just follow our model, don’t be arrogant, reduce your pride and we will even congratulate them. We can’t wait for 2019, if we have to wait, it’s going to be painful then we will need to bring government that will take over from the ANC and that is the only option,” he said.