The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] congratulates the South African Students Congress [SASCO] for a successful Right to Learn Campaign which was concluded with a rally this afternoon.
As NEHAWU, we applaud SASCO’s tenacity in pushing the struggle for young people to have access to higher education and to ensure that they settle in at all institutions of higher learning at the beginning of each academic year. Throughout the years the Right to Learn Campaign has assisted many students from completing registration to finding accommodation.
The campaign this year was a very difficult one as the management of universities like Wits, DUT, UNISA NMU, MUT and UKZN used brutal force to thwart peaceful protest by students for access and accommodation. However, SASCO stood gallantly on the side of students and robustly engaged with the Department of Higher Education and Training on the need to end financial and academic exclusions.
As we celebrate 25 years since the dawn of democracy we must ferociously fight against financial exclusion, inadequate accommodation and unsafe campuses. If these realities are not attended to as a matter of urgency we will continue to have an education system that is only accessed by those with deep pockets only. As NEHAWU, we call on our government to fully implement without any delay free tertiary education as adopted by NASREC Conference of the ANC and announced in December 2017 by the then State President. In this regard, the union working with SASCO will crisscross the world in conducting fact finding missions on the possible model to deliver free and quality higher education in universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training [TVETs].
As we gear up to campaign for an overwhelming victory of the African National Congress [ANC] in the upcoming National General Elections set for 8th May 2019, it is important for the governing party to implement its resolutions on higher education as a matter of urgency. Young people will not hesitate to campaign and vote for a party that prioritises their education and their future. The national union will continue to fight side by side with SASCO in ensuring that young people have access to higher education and our members in universities work in improved conditions as part of the student-worker alliance.
As part of conveying the message of support to SASCO, the national union extended an invitation to this gigantic student organization, to join hands in calling the ANC and the State President in particular post the National General Elections to convene a national summit on education along the overarching vision of the South African society on education not as a rhetoric but as a yardstick to measure progress registered thus far.
It is a belief of the national union that this overarching vision has defined the kind of education we have envisaged. The national union further called upon SASCO to join hands in defining the kind of the alliance centre that can better coordinate education not only relying to the ANC Education Committee which relies squarely on government program as opposed to societal interaction as education is a societal issue.
Lastly, the union invited SASCO to join its discussion on the NSFAS model characterised by management and policies orientated to a loan scheme system which is a complete contradiction to free education subsidiary scheme. In this regard, the union calls on its reliable ally SASCO and other progressive forces in the higher education band to venture into a national dialogue aimed at providing an alternative to totally subsidize free education in its totality.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or
email: email@example.com Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za