Cape Town – Fees Must Fall Western Cape has welcomed the declaration by president Zuma to provide free education for the poor and working class students. Read the full statement below:
FEES MUST FALL WESTERN CAPE WELCOMES PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA’S ANNOUNCEMENT ON FREE HIGHER EDUCATION
FMFWC welcomes today’s announcement on free higher education for poor and working class students with a combined annual household income of R350 000.
This is a victory for black students who have put their bodies on the line calling for free decolonial education against an aggressive response by the police working in tandem with the universities.
This declaration serves as an important reminder of the role that students play in shaping the national discourse. This marks an important shift in reshaping the function of universities in society, from being conveyor belts to the white economy to being spaces where radical political change can be realized.
In as much as we have our different understanding of who exactly constitutes the poor in South Africa, ours is informed by the historical material reality that in a colonial society like SA, the rich is the white settler and the poor is us the native dispossessed blacks. Therefore, it is important to understand that we might have dealt with tuition for the poor but the declaration falls short on addressing the decolonial aspect of the call for free education. That is, the real problems of racism that manifest themselves in curricula, university staff demographics and European institutional culture, are yet to be attended to.
In welcoming this declaration, we hope that a meaningful engagement between the state, universities and students can begin to address the dropping of all #FeesMustFall related charges and suspensions against student activists.
It is worth remembering that ours was a call for free decolonial education for all, however, we welcome this as a progressive step towards resolving the crisis in higher education institutions.
It is our hope that the governing party will in its conference take resolutions to increase corporate tax in order to fund this important initiative. White monopoly capital companies like Steinhoff ought to bear the brunt of funding free higher education as reparations for looting from the citizens of this country.
We will further apply our minds to this august declaration and will, at a later stage, articulate a more consolidated view.
We wish everyone a happy Dingaan’s day.
Fees Must Fall Western Cape
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