Three student leaders join this week's FridayStandIn Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng to discuss the future of higher education.
Since the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall campaigns ignited in 2015 and 2016, a new wave of student activism has been on the rise.
Students were united to say that we want fees in the universities to be scrapped. And that is a genuine struggle.— Mpho Morolane,President EFF student command
Students have realised that the freedom narrative is an illusion, and hence they have started to rise up against the systematic oppression.... from institutions of higher learning together with government.— Ngcebo Mqati, Pan-African Students Movement
The student leaders say that the authorities dealt with the protests badly.
They criminalised the genuine struggle of students.— Ngcebo Mqati, Pan-African Students Movement
EFF's Moralane says they want the implementation of free quality education and nothing less.
The introduction of an education tax. 2% of annual income for individuals, and corporations must be taxed 5% of annual revenue.— Mpho Morolane,President EFF student command
Mqati disagreed, saying that is not the solution.
Government has enough without making citizens pay more tax.— Ngcebo Mqati, Pan-African Students Movement
Former Wits SRC president, Shaeera Kalla, jumped in saying while education is not free and "somebody has to pay", government is not prioritising education as it should.
Government claims they need to spend the money on things like social grants, it's misleading, she says.
We can't talk about taking money away from the poor, but the money is there. It just needs to be channelled in the right way.— Shaeera Kalla,Former Wits SRC president
Kalla insists that if the coffers of the country were better managed, the higher education bill could be paid, and allow those who cannot afford institutions of higher learning, the access they deserve.
We know there is a lot of wasteful expenditure. we know our universities are not exactly transparent about the way they spend money. and we know we are also bailing out state owned enterprises— Shaeera Kalla,Former Wits SRC president
Listen to the entire conversation below: