Violent student protests – proof of not choosing to be superior

Opinion Piece by Bill Harington

Violent student protests – proof of not choosing  to be superior
Violent student protests in South Africa. #FeesMustFall. Photo: Supplied

The DA support the fees must fall campaign – With the right priorities, #FeesCanFall – Mmusi Maimane:

“Access to quality education is surely the biggest leveler of the playing field when it comes to opening opportunities for young, disadvantaged South Africans. All possible interventions to revive our economy and create jobs – if the ANC ever get round to this – will be in vain if we don’t produce a new generation of skilled, empowered South Africans to step into these jobs. Eradicating inequality and transforming society doesn’t begin with a job. It begins with a quality education.

The student protests against fee increases that have swept across our university campuses caught many people by surprise, and none more so than the African National Congress (ANC) government.”


My view: – However, Mmusi was denied any platform from students and also threatened and he ran like a little bunny, back into its hole in the ground. I doubt if Mmusi will ever try any attempt whatsoever to face the students and or the FeesMustFall campaign in public again.

“The data on the quality of university education are disturbing. South African universities are mid-level performers in terms of knowledge production, with low participation, high attrition rates and insufficient capacity to produce the required level of skills. They are still characterized by historical inequities and distortions, or should I rather say; that this is what they want us to believe.

The university sector is under considerable strain. Enrollments have almost doubled in 18 years, yet the funding has not kept up, resulting in slow growth in the number of university lecturers, inadequate student accommodation, creaking university infrastructure and equipment shortages. The number of institutions that have recently been put under administration is an indication of the leadership and governance challenges.

According to PWC, from 2000 to 2012, the state’s contribution to university education declined from 49% to 40%, while the student’s burden increased from 24% to 31%. The rest of the funds, 29%, are mainly from the private sector. For more information, read “#FeesMustFall: The Thoughts of a Fellow Student”.

The need to improve quality is demonstrated by the reports of graduates who are unable to find employment and the low conversion from graduation.

Higher education is the major driver of information and knowledge systems that contribute to economic development. However, higher education is also important for good citizenship and for enriching and diversifying people’s lives.

Those participating in campus violence and mayhem, proof that they choose not to be superior in their way of thinking and there for, will not have the knowledge, or skills, or even the patience in their future careers to tackle obstacles in their place of work, other than to burn down or to destroy, rather than to be part of the positive attributes one need to resolve and or build a company and indirectly, a country.

Discipline…they lack discipline and these so called patriots follow the Africa syndrome of free grants, rather than earning their seat in a civilized community and be proud on their achievements, which was earned the hard way and not “fought” the hard way.

One would rather protect what you worked for and earned, than what was handed over for free.

People might say that these are previously disadvantage students and it is owed to them…but before you do, understand and read up on the fees must fall issue in detail and you will realize that it is indeed the privileged that can afford the fees whom want this grant or free pass – rather than those who can’t.

By Bill Harington