YCLSA Open Letter to President Jacob Zuma by the National Secretary of the Young Communist League in response to an opportunistic open letter by the SG of the ANCYL!
By Mluleki Dlelanga
TO: THE PRESIDENT OF THE ANC AND SOUTH AFRICA
CC: THE ANCYL OF THE ANC
RE: OPEN LETTER ON FREE QUALITY EDUCATION FOR THE POOR
DATE: 7TH SEPTEMBER 2016
Dear President Zuma,
Receive revolutionary greetings from the YCLSA, a component of the PYA which the ANCYL is part of. We write this open letter to address you President Zuma but also to respond to the opportunistic open letter of the SG of the ANCYL which he wrote to Comrade Blade Nzimande the GS of SACP and an NWC member of the ANC who serves as Minister of Higher Education. The SG we believe chose to isolate Comrade Blade Nzimande because he does not believe in collective responsibility when it suits him. This is seen in his selection of words where he continuously uses ''I'' but at the same time writing his letter on Logos of the ANCYL. We will however not dwell much on him but address the question of
Free Quality higher education for the Poor.
President Zuma, you were elected in the watershed Congress of 2007 which resolved on free quality education for the poor. You became President of the Country and until today your collective has not been able to deliver on the mandate given to them by Congress. We will remember you as a President who failed to deliver free quality education. Therefore, if there is anyone to blame it must be yourself, Comrade President, together with your collective, not an isolated Minister of Higher Education alone as if he is a door bouncer of Free Quality Education. You need to be honest President and clarify your ANCYL on this fact.
President Zuma, in terms of the South African Constitution, the President is the executive authority of the State. Unless the President in his capacity ensures that sufficient resources are made available to the department of higher education, the department will continue to be constrained. As a matter of fact, state subsidy to universities has declined substantially over the years. To personalise this and try and make it a problem of Minister Nzimande is to be factional. The factional agenda that is calculated to exploit the situation in higher education and isolate Nzimande will not succeed because the South African youth and students are not fools.
President Zuma, we will tell the South African youth that Comrade Nzuza, the Secretary General of the ANCYL of the ANC, a party which has failed to deliver free education to the poor is an excited factional proxy who wants to advance factional battles against Nzimande using a genuine call of students for no fee increment for 2017 and free education for the poor. We will not allow your Nzuza, Comrade Presiudent, to hijack our struggle for free education like the third forces did during the fees must fall protests.
President Zuma, Nzuza should have written to you if he cares about our poor students because it is you who established the Presidential Commission on Fees instead of declaring free education. Our call has been clear as the YCLSA that money must be made available through fiscus adjustments to fund no fee increment for the 2017 academic year. This call needs you as the head of state and all your departments to make the necessary adjustments. It cannot be a burden of Minister Nzimande alone. Comrade Blade Nzimande as the leader of the SACP is not opposed to the zero fee increment. He is in fact for the progressive implementation of free quality education for the poor and the children of the working class.
President Zuma, in the meetings of your ANC NEC Subcommittee on Education convened, of which you were part of, we made it clear as the YCLSA in those meetings that we need changes in taxation and repriotisation of funds to finance social transformation in the form of a progressive rollout of free education for the poor, comprehensive social security and so on. We insisted on the urgent need to make private sector to cover the cost of education for the coming academic year.
We need decisive action driven from the centre of state authority, by your esteemed leadership, to introduce these changes and ensure radical economic transformation and free quality education. What we need right now is principled and not factionally selective shouldering of collective responsibility when we are cost votes by a leader's recklessness in cases such as Nkandla.
The YCLSA invites the ANCYL of the ANC to join the Minister's call to parliament that South Africa must tax the rich and the wealthy to fund education for the poor. We as the YCLSA are inviting the clueless open-letter-writing SG of your league, President, to join us in mobilizing the private sector and stop being factional.
The private sector consumes the education and skills produced by our education and training system but it is not prepared to come on board and very little is seen visible from the centre of the state authority to bring the private sector on board through a graduated wealth tax. So if there is anyone who is gatekeeping and delaying the implementation of free quality higher education, it is yourself, President Zuma, and we are sad that your ANCYL is blind to these facts. The YCLSA says stop the tricks, don't play and gamble with the future of our students through factional point scoring and implement free quality education for the poor.
BY THE YCLSA
NS MLULEKI DLELANGA