Sasco takes Blade on over tertiary education

NEWLY elected South African Students Congress leadership is to push Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to implement the ANC's free education policy at tertiary institutions.

Sasco's general secretary Themba Masondo told Sowetan yesterday that students were eager to tackle Nzimande head-on about their goal of free education. "We are disappointed that since 1994 free education does not seem to be the government's priority.

"We are not happy. The minister does not have a coherent plan with time frames on when free education will be implemented. All we hear is a lot of rhetoric that free education will be progressively realised," he said.

Masondo accused Nzimande of sidelining students when he institutes "endless and useless" task teams meant to resolve higher education challenges.

The congress, which ended yesterday, also instructed Sasco leaders to hold meetings with the ANC Youth League and Young Communist League with a view to stopping them from contesting SRC elections.

"Higher education remains a terrain of Sasco. We expect political support from the ANC Youth League and the YCL, not to contest elections with us. We will engage them and hopefully we will reach an understanding," he said.

Masondo confirmed that congress delegates booed ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola when he veered into issues of ANC succession in his speech. He said delegates expected speakers to limit their address to issues affecting higher education.

"Sasco members are ANC members in their branches, and they hold certain views on the unfolding political situation. As Sasco, we always refrain from internal ANC matters."

Masondo, a PhD student at Wits, was elected general secretary, with Ngwako Selamolela as president and Liyanda Maphanga as treasurer.

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