SACP and COSATU Joint Statement, 21 September 2016 (shortened)
No violence in our institutions of learning!
No fee increment in public colleges and universities for 2017
The South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African
Trade Unions (COSATU) have been meeting since Tuesday, 20 September in a
The bilateral meeting convened this press conference to communicate on the
issue of no fee increase for 2017, the need to accelerate our country's
progressive rollout of free post-school education, and to address the
violent forms of mobilisation violating the constitutional rights of other
The SACP and COSATU are fully in support of the students' struggle, which is
a working class struggle.
No fee increase
The Department of Higher Education and Training on Monday, 19 September,
announced that all students in public colleges and universities qualifying
for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), as well as students
falling in the category of the so-called missing middle will all experience
a no fee increase in 2017.
The government's interventions represent a milestone.
The SACP and COSATU are urging students to redirect their mobilisation to
the door steps of capital - which is where the problem emanates - rather
than fight against the government that is trying its level best to expand
access to post-school education as evidenced by the massive progress our
country has achieved since 1994, and more so after 2009.
Side by side
Both of our organisations are pledging their joint support to this
mobilisation directed at the exploiters of our education, training and
labour power. In this regard, the SACP and COSATU will fight side by side
COSATU and the SACP have confidence that the leadership of the South African
Union of Students (SAUS), a body representing universities' Student
Representative Councils or SRCs, has adopted progressive positions on this
The SACP and COSATU are calling for a decisively progressive or graduated
tax on the rich and the wealthy to finance education as an apex priority. We
are calling on the state to move forward and introduce this direly needed
Destruction is condemned
COSATU and the SACP are calling on students who want to exercise their right
to protest as enshrined in our country's constitution to do so peacefully,
observe the rule law and respect the rights of other students.
The SACP and COSATU condemn in the strongest terms possible, the violent
conduct by a few disruptors who found their way among students at Wits
We are not only concerned about public property but the human rights of
other students who are being forced to abandon their studies.
Issued by COSATU and SACP
Bheki Ntshalintshali, COSATU General Secretary, and Solly Mapaila, SACP 2nd
General Secretary, Johannesburg, Wednesday, 21 September 2016
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