Mr Mbali Mkhonto, The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Convocation President and interim national board member of Convocations in South Africa, urges students to be aware of those who appropriate legit student causes for their personal political ends and to focus on their studies during this crucial time in the academic calendar.
This appeal follows the announcement by Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training, regarding the fee increase for 2017.
Mr Mkhonto commended the announcement as ground-breaking and a positive stride towards free education. The government, amidst fiscal constraints and circumscribed economic growth, has committed to ensure that students from the working class, whose annual household incomes are less that R600 000, will not be affected by the fee increments. This is in all regards a feasible concession while the commission charged with looking at the feasibility of free education wraps up its work.
Says Mr Mkhonto: “We encourage students to contemplate the Minister’s announcement to ensure that they are not hoaxed into joining protests that have got absolutely nothing to do with them. It will be mendacious to think that free education can be rolled out instantaneously, it is a process which may be protracted as government looks at sustainable funding models for this far reaching, immense project. ”