In December 2017 on the evening of the ANC Conference, South African youth
woke up to news that free higher education was finally a reality as the then
President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma declared. These news were greatly
received with jubilation hence fees must fall activists thought they finally won
the long war that has seen many young people lose their lives and others like
Khanya Cekeshe activists incarcerated for a cause they so much believed in.
The fees must fall campaign saw many violent attacks and blood was shed as
the ANC government was very sluggish in responding to the cries of young
people who so wants to be educated in-order for them to be formidable
players in all economic activities.
It was the same Minister Blade Nzimande who was at the helm of the
Department of Higher Education and Training then and he is still today as we
see yet another historical National shutdown.
This is really Minister
Nzimande’s legacy in this ministry, every time he holds this position in this
particular department there emanates chaos as young people feel that what
he says and what is happening on the ground do not talk to each other.
The United Democratic Movement Youth Vanguard is of the view that there
are no measures in place, plans to curb such from re-occurring, year in year out
there are these shutdowns of higher learning institutions. Clearly there’s no
preventative work done, and the DHET get surprised when each academic year
The Youth Vanguard lamented the appointment of Minister Nzimande into
DHET and all those cries and of many young South Africans fell on deaf ears as
our President felt obligated to appease his comrades, factions within the ANC
and tripartite alliance above the interest of the country. This is costing the
What young people are fighting for are not new demands or needs they’ve
been there for years and we have called for action and decisive leadership and
nothing has emanated.
The UDM Youth Vanguard proposes that there should be a synergy between
the two departments of lower and higher Education, since the latter seemed to
not know how to prepare for the in-take of matriculants that have passed each
year. These two departments are required to work closely together.
Selling out the youth dreams is a gross human rights violation. A country that
does not take care of its youth is a country with no future. The way things are,
the ruling party will be judged negatively by history.
Issued by: Yongama Zigebe
UDMYV Gauteng Secretary