JOHANNESBURG- A group of Congress of South African Students (Cosas) members will on Friday protest outside the ANC’s NEC meeting, demanding the implementation of free tertiary education.
The organisation said that it was expecting about 1000 learners to participate in the march which will take place at the St George’s hotel in Centurion where the ANC’s NEC meeting is taking place.
Cosas national spokesperson, Penuel Maduna on Friday morning said that they were concerned that the NEC was planning to suspend the implementation of free education until next year.
“We are saying that we are the ones who demanded free tertiary education as young people. We are the ones who took to the streets during the fees must fall protests. We are sad that the NEC ANC meeting, is attempting to suspending free tertiary education until 2019. As Cosas, we are that we can longer allow free tertiary education to be postponed. We’ve been fighting for it for a very long time. Free education is a policy of the ANC, but every time, they are supposed to implement the policy, they want to postponed it. Today, we are saying that NEC meeting is not going to sit until President Cyril Ramaphosa commits that free tertiary education will be implemented in 2018,” Maduna said.
Maduna further said that students who had already paid registration fees should be refunded.
“All students who have paid registration fees should be refunded. All those who were denied access because they did not have registration fees must be allowed to study at any university of their choice. We are the ones who continuously vote for the ANC and we must continue holding the party accountable,” he said.
In December, Since President Jacob Zuma announced that students from poor families will be funded to study free at institutions of higher learning starting in 2018. Zuma said that the implementation of free education would be phased in over a five – year period, however, Finance Minister Maklusi Gigiba recently said that it would be phased -in over eight years.