The EFF rejects the Presidency’s decision to constitute a commission of inquiry to investigate, “the feasibility of making higher education and training (higher education) fee-free in South Africa.” The President uses Section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which empowers him to appoint commissions. However, the question of higher education is not a judicial one, but a policy question and is not of the same standing as issues like the Marikana massacre and the Arms Deal which required a commission.
The instrument chosen therefore demonstrates that there is no political willingness on the part of the ANC government to provide free higher education. As it is, there is an existing report submitted to Minister of Higher Education by education experts which illustrates how free education can be realised.
Funding of higher education is not even going to cost as nearly as what the nuclear build programme will, yet there was no commission on it. This is because the political principals who are presiding over our country will not have direct personal benefit with free education. The reason nuclear can be decided without commissions, despite coming at a great cost of the fiscus, is because many in the ANC will benefit corruptly from it.
Free Quality Education is a demand of the 1955 Congress of the People which adopted it as part the Freedom Charter. It cannot be subjected to a judicial commission as it is a political statement premised on ideology and aspirations of our people. It cannot be that 22 years into democracy, the ruling elites suddenly direct that a provision of the sacrosant free will and wishes of the 1955 Congress of the People should be subjected to a commission.
The commission is tasked with a wrong objective: We do not want an investigation into a feasibility of free higher education. It must not be a question whether free education is feasible or not. It must be a commitment which we work to realize.
We warn Zuma to disband his judicial enquiry, source funds from all the wastage of his bloated administration and prioritises higher education, or be met with the full might of the united and undying voice of the people.