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54 Sauer Street
Chief Albert Luthuli House

P.O. Box 9939

Tel: (011) 376 1108
Fax: (011) 376 1084


12 October 2016
The South African Students Congress has noted your appointment of a Ministerial Task
Team to supposedly respond to the current impasse in higher education and its funding.
We have noted same with caution, that around this time last year students and progressive
workers organizations were on the streets demanding that your government, the
government of the people , the government of the ANC must immediately introduce free
quality higher education; as per the ANCs promises to the electorate and resolutions.
The President intervened and gave students a compromise position with a view of finding
lasting solutions within a year. Your government declared a moratorium over any fee
increments in the sector for the academic year 2016 whilst your government would be
working hard in finding long term solutions. Because students were acting in good faith;
they accepted this intervention and went back to class with hopes that the government
would expeditiously find solutions. The president commissioned a judicial commission of
inquiry into the feasibility of free education and funding thereof. The commission was
commissioned to report by November 2016. The President, without consultation extended
the term of the commission further delaying the implementation of the ANCS
We rejected the commission on the basis that it was instituted on incorrect terms of
reference. The ANC government had commissioned the same study in 2010 through the
NSFAS review board, in 2012 the ministerial task team on the feasibility of free
education was also commissioned. Both studies revealed that free education was feasible
in South Africa. The African National congress in December 2012; at its highest decision
making body; the national congress mandated government to implement free education
with clear guidelines and time frames. We therefore viewed the recent judicial
commission as a waste of time, resources and a delay tactic.
We have learned with disdain that yet again that the President has appointed an inter
ministerial task team which will not deal with the essence of the grievances of the future
of the country, students. Surprisingly 80 percent of the task team consists of Ministers
from the security cluster the relevance of such a great contribution of security cluster
ministers raises more eyebrows with specific reference to whether the task team has bona
fide intentions to resolve the impasse or rather intimidate us into a point of submission.
He has left out people from the finance department who are central in the impasse in
higher education. We and the task team were not given any time frames. We were not

engaged. The situation has not been given due attention and urgency. Due attention and
urgency is not the appointment of another faux fact finding commission that will tabulate
reports which will eventually be forgotten amidst the mountain of bureaucracy of state
Whereas there has been isolated incidences of violence, arson and confrontation in some
campuses; these have not been the defining factors of the Protests. We cannot pretend as
though the situation we face in higher education today, is some spontaneous uprising
seeking to destabilize the country. The situation on campuses currently Mr President and
your cabinet is a direct response to the lack of action and consistent postponement of
critical issues of higher education, most of these being differed to trivial and ineffective
task teams and commissions. We cant afford to mask the genuine issues raised with
trivial questions of frustrations of damage to property that fails to take into consideration
the current conditions of the ground, lest it must never be viewed that we as a movement
support such damage but the damage cannot be isolated in order to delegitimize the
struggle of free education.
We thus reject the ministerial task team of the President and challenge him and his
government to provide leadership. When we speak about leadership we mean that the
powers vested in his office must provide a speedy resolution to the current crisis of higher
of education. We do not accept his attempt to delegate these responsibilities to fly by
night commissions and committees. We challenge the President to sanction the report of
the judicial commission immediately. We challenge the President to declare free
education now, we challenge him to implement the hard earned and articulated resolution
of the African National Congress that we all belong to.
We have utilised all platforms available to us, including unending meetings, consultations
and pickets; these seem to makes us complicit to the injustices that are being rained upon
our constituency. We want a definite pronouncement on free education for the poor and
we want it now. We are taking a position Mr President not to allow any members of your
task team to enter any campus in this country. We call upon all branches, regions and
provinces of the South African Students Congress to rise up and render higher education
ungovernable until such a time the plight of the working class student is seen as exigent.
As the South African students Congress we are pronouncing on nation wide days of
action on Thursday and Friday 15 th of October 2016, all campuses in south Africa will
be closed. Our students will take to the streets and march in the name of free education. A
new rendition of the Chilean winter is upon us, it would be careless of the vanguard of
the working class students to cower in such moments of history. We must rise to the fore
and defend our generational and class mission.
We are calling on all young people, workers and parents to unite with us, and take to the
streets, let 2016 be the year where the working class revolts in unison against the
injustices meted out against us by history. Mr President let it be known by all and sundry
that we were taught to revolt and seek liberation by the very same ANC that you lead and
in raising our concerns we will use the methods and principles that were handed down to
us. We can no longer wait, the urgency cannot be abated by a mere task team, we call
upon you MR President to liberate our people.

How many more buildings must burn? How many more students should be injured? How
many more police should bear the pain of teargassing their children? How many more
students should be arrested? Should we lose lives?
On Thursday and Friday we are declaring a national day of action because our 10
demands as tabulated in our previous statement were not met!
These were the demands:
1. President and his deputy to meet with student leaders
2. De militarization of our campuses by VC and immediately remove extra security and
police on campuses
3. The judicial commission on fees must submit the preliminary report now
4. The minister to pronounce on a sector wide implementation of the missing middle
5. Debt Clarence of the missing middle, by treasury and private sector, and institutions to
commit no exclusions for the next academic year
6. Amnesty to all arrested students and staff
7. Establishment of workers and student ombudsman against victimization
8. HE and institutional transformational charter (s) with clear time lines
9. All workers issues to be resolved
10. Opening of our campuses and resumption of academic year.
These demands we shall fight for, side by side with our parents, fellow students, lecturers
and the entire society.
Victory is certain!
Free education now!
Yours in the struggle;
Thabo Moloja
071 875 2224
Tembani Makata
Secretary General
071 875 2209