ANCYL slams fees re­port

Provin­cial youth league branch la­bels He­her com­mis­sion re­port ‘anti-poor, counter rev­o­lu­tion­ary’

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - Free State News - TNA RE­PORTER prov­inces@the­newage.co.za

THE ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the prov­ince has re­jected what it termed an an­tipoor re­port by the He­her com­mis­sion on free ed­u­ca­tion.

The league said the re­port had counter-rev­o­lu­tion­ary rec­om­men­da­tions that would not help mil­lions of black stu­dents who wanted to be ed­u­cated.

The re­port, re­leased on Mon­day by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, dis­missed the pos­si­bil­ity of free ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

In­stead it pro­posed that the Na­tional Stu­dent Fi­nan­cial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) be re­placed by a new scheme, which has re­ceived wide­spread re­jec­tion.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, provin­cial ANCYL spokesper­son Sello Pi­etersen said the pro­vi­sion of fee-free qual­ity ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion by the ANC led gov­ern­ment was non-ne­go­tiable.

“In our view, it’s mis­chievous of the com­mis­sion to pro­vide rec­om­men­da­tions which have ab­so­lutely no res­o­nance with the terms of ref­er­ence as we un­der­stand them,” Pi­etersen said.

He said the is­sue at hand was to look into var­i­ous fund­ing modal­i­ties and not present a “ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied NSFAS” un­der the dis­guise of some cost shar­ing model.

“Our gov­ern­ment must re­ject this at­tempt to re-dis­cuss what has al­ready been adopted as the pol­icy of the ANC, the need to im­ple­ment fee free qual­ity ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

“As the ANCYL we wish to re­mind our gov­ern­ment that the ANC re­mains the strate­gic cen­tre of power and im­ple­men­ta­tion of its poli­cies can’t be a de­bate. The Free­dom Char­ter is clear on this is­sue and the Man­gaung Con­fer­ence crys­tallised it fur­ther There­fore, this re­port which seeks to fur­ther po­larise our peo­ple on the ba­sis of class is mis­lead­ing and must be re­jected with the con­tempt it de­serves.”

Pi­etersen said the party should never be on the wrong side of his­tory, stand­ing op­posed to the will of the peo­ple.

“We can’t af­ford to waste time any­more on this is­sue and its im­ple­men­ta­tion is not only long over­due but ur­gent.

“The ful­fil­ment of this gen­er­a­tional mis­sion of eco­nomic free­dom in our life­time, but­tressed by the rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion pro­gramme can only be re­alised through an army of skilled young peo­ple in this coun­try.” He said they will en­gage the Progressive Youth Al­liance com­po­nents to de­velop an ur­gent pro­gramme of ac­tion to fast-track this is­sue.

“We will con­tinue to en­gage the lead­er­ship of the ANC and one of the press­ing con­di­tions for our sup­port in the ANC will be the im­me­di­ate im­ple­men­ta­tion of a fee-free qual­ity ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion now,” Pi­etersen said.

Mean­while the league at na­tional level also called on the gov­ern­ment to take proac­tive ac­tion in fast track­ing the is­sue in the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

Spokesper­son Mlondi Mkhize said the gov­ern­ment should work around the clock to en­sure that free ed­u­ca­tion is im­ple­mented.

“We call on gov­ern­men­tal to start im­ple­ment­ing free ed­u­ca­tion as of next year, 2018,” Mkhize said.

“We make this de­mand out of a re­al­ity that is not de­sir­able in South Africa. We know in South Africa that the youth, ac­cord­ing to Stat­sSA, are less skilled in con­trast to older gen­er­a­tions, that is bad.”

PIC­TURE: THAPELO MOREBUDI

QUES­TION­ING MER­ITS: The provin­cial ANC Youth League has en­cour­aged the gov­ern­ment to re­ject the rec­om­men­da­tions tabled in the re­port of the He­her com­mis­sion on free ed­u­ca­tion.

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