A group of about 50 workers, working at UCT but employed by ‘service providers’, took part in a strike to be insourced by the university.
Virgin voters in Khayelitsha hope their votes will change their circumstances.
Sources of funding for free higher education still remain a mystery and the panelists, students and education activists attending a symposium on the topic at Tshisimani Centre were concerned that other government programs might be affected.
“Burn to be heard.” This chilling statement has been doing the rounds through word of mouth and social media on South African campuses in recent weeks.
The message has to be taken seriously. Buildings and vehicles at several universities have been burned since a new wave of protests kicked off in the middle of September 2016. The arsonists haven’t been identified yet, but government and university managements’ fingers are pointing at student protesters.
Some students have also used disruptive tactics to shut their campuses down until their demands for free education are met.
Universities have responded by securitising their campus; seeking wide-ranging interdicts against students and deploying private security guards.
As university students across the country intensify their demand for free education under the banner of #FeesMustFall, their cause has not been peaceful with incidents of violence being widely reported. Those who are sympathetic are getting worried that the violence associated with the students’ protests is sabotaging their legitimate claim which is in line with the Freedom Charter that there shall be free and compulsory education.
Dale McKinley argues that the response of the police is the source of violence during protests.
If we are to believe the mainstream media and most political parties then it would appear as though South Africa is under a massive assault from ‘violent’ protests.
According to this storyline, it is the protestors (whether community members, organised workers or other political/social activists) who are blindly engaging in ever-increasing acts of wanton violence. In doing so, the argument goes, such ‘violence’ is undermining the ‘peace and stability’ of the ‘nation’ as well as the ‘rule of law’ which is being defended by the ANC/state, the police and law-abiding citizens.
We are parents of students at the University of the Western Cape and CPUT. We are in support of the Fees Must Fall campaign. We know our children. They are not violent nor hooligans. We strenuously reject, the crude propaganda of University management to cast them in this light. This is nothing short of attempting to criminalise the student struggle so as to avoid negotiating with their legitimate demands and grievances.
In October 2015, we saw one of the biggest student protests in post apartheid Africa. Students from tertiary institutions protesting against fee increments and called for “free quality Afrocentric socialist education.” Outsourced workers at the instutions joined the protest action calling for insourcing. So much has been written on the campaign and what lessons that can be learnt from it.
The protest was a response to proposed fee hikes by the institutions.
The student strike at Wits University gained momentum when the vice chancellor and his executive deadlocked in negotiations with maybe 2,000 students in the occupied Senate House (renamed Solomon Mahlangu House) over a fee hike of 10.5% for next year.