National 19.8.2016 06:31 am

EFF rejects temporary varsity fees protest

Students and members of the EFF sing struggle songs, 30 January 2015, at the Vaal University of Technology in VanderbijlPark. Students are calling for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to pay out money to those students who are in financial trouble. Picture: Alaister Russell

Students and members of the EFF sing struggle songs, 30 January 2015, at the Vaal University of Technology in VanderbijlPark. Students are calling for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to pay out money to those students who are in financial trouble. Picture: Alaister Russell

Early this week, concerns were raised about a looming student protest under the auspices of Saus, but the union said it was still engaging students on the way forward.

The Economic Freedom Fighters Students Command (EFFSC) refuses to react to, or associate itself with, a temporary university fees struggle.

This comes as the SA Union of Students (Saus) continues to consult with students at institutions of higher learning in a bid to seek a mandate on whether to embark on a nationwide shutdown.

Early this week, concerns were raised about a looming student protest under the auspices of the Saus, but the union said it was still engaging students on the way forward. Students had made it clear they would not accept fee increases for 2017.

Economic Freedom Fighters Students Command leader Mpho Morolane yesterday told The Citizen it would continue its fight for quality free education for all. “We have made it clear that we will not support or join a struggle led by people who are not genuine. Who, when the #feesmustfall protest action was at its height, labelled protesting students third forces,” Morolane said.

“If any other political structure was to embark on a shutdown protest, we would join in.” He said the EFFSC had engaged students on how to appropriately continue with the free education struggle.

“The research we conducted into the feasibility for free education proved it was possible, yet the fees commission is still trying to determine that … They are wasting time,” Morolane said.

“Private enterprise must and can play a big role in ensuring the dream for free quality education is realised.”

Asked if they were planning protest action before the end of the year, Morolane said details to that effect would be communicated in due course.

SA Union of Students president Avela Mjajubana, meanwhile, said they were still consulting.

“We are left with one last mass meeting, and as soon as we are done, we will hold a national executive committee meeting to deliberate,” Mjajubana said.

“The higher education ministry has requested we wait until the end of the month to hear whether there will be an increase in tuition for next year.”

The fees issue was among the top priorities discussed at this week’s Cabinet lekgotla, which is expected to wrap up later today.

–stevent@citizen.co.za

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