20 October 2015
The South African Democratic Teachersâ€™ Union (SADTU) supports the cry by students from the institutions of higher learning against fee increases. Education is a fundamental human right, but by constantly increasing the fees, the universities are making education to be a privilege accessible to a few, mainly the children of the rich and capitalist class thus excluding the poor.
SADTU agrees that the proposed fee hikes in the five universities are too high above the inflation and beyond the reach of many students and their parents. As a union for teachers, our members and public servants are battling to send their children to Universities. Worse, the children of teachers cannot access financial aid.
Our government has made progress towards ensuring that students from poor backgrounds access tertiary education through NSFAS but the tertiary institutions keep moving the goalposts by continuing to increase the fees.
We call upon the Department of Higher Education to take a lead in setting the fee structure for tertiary institutions. We cannot afford a situation where South Africa, as a developing country, to have the Universities which are being run like businesses and therefore exclude the majority from accessing this right which takes them away from poverty.
It is therefore, highly opportunistic for the DA to call on the students to march to the office of the Department of Higher Education as it does not set the fees.
We call on the institutions of higher learning to come together with the Department of Higher Education to find an amicable solution to this impasse.
SADTU stands with all the students and the Progressive Youth Alliance organizations (PYA) leading the struggles in the tertiary institutions.
Education is not a commodity but a public good.
ISSUED BY: SADTU SECRETARIAT