The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, must keep his hands off the government and private sector’s pension funds in his undertaking to offer free education to tertiary students. Nzimande has already indicated that the government is considering using billions of rand of pension fund money for this cause.
In light of the Transnet pensioners’ victory in their long-drawn-out court case against Transnet, the Minister must think twice before he uses other people’s pension money to make up for the government’s shortcomings.
Ultimately, only a number of ANC cadres will be enriched by other people’s pension money, as was the case with the government’s failing IT system for Higher Education. The same goes for fictitious or ghost students and basically everything else in which the ANC is involved.
The message to the Minister is loud and clear: Keep your hands off the pension funds. The money belongs to people who have worked hard their whole life and have reached retirement age, not to the government. It is extremely dangerous and alarming to think that the Minister is actually considering using hard-working people’s pension money in an attempt to make up for the government’s failures.
It is particularly unacceptable that the money earmarked for students, like the proposed procurement of R2,5 billion worth of computers and related devices for higher education, will be allocated based on race.
If pension money is used to fund injustices like these in the future, it will basically mean that white and coloured people’s pension money will be used to discriminate against their own children.
Covid-19 has had a destructive impact on education and South Africa has reached the point where populism can no longer be considered more important than the youth’s education. Dreams of a classless society with free higher education are simply not attainable in the current economic circumstances.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that the ANC’s ideologies are not realistic nor attainable. The reality of the economy ultimately determines what is possible and what not and only time will tell whether the ANC’s populism will hold up in the face of it.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Armand Cloete on FF Plus
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