Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, said representatives from his party would be at the gates of tertiary institutions around the country at the start of the 2018 academic year.
The goal is to ensure that all deserving students are not turned away because they cannot afford to pay for their studies. His comments come in the wake of the announcement by President Jacob Zuma, late in 2017, that poor South Africans would now have access to fully subsidized tertiary education.
The phasing in of that programme is expected to start in 2018, but naturally the expectations are very high, especially from the EFF. The jury is out on whether government will be able to manage this change.
“We must make sure that in 2018 all academically deserving students are admitted freely in South African universities and FET colleges,” said Malema.
“We call upon all those who passed Matric extremely well in the past and found themselves as petrol attendants, retail or security workers because they couldn’t afford university fees to report at the academic institution of their choice next year,” added Malema.
“The EFF will be at the gates of all learning institutions to ensure that priority is not only given to those who can afford to pay.”
There is a great deal of skepticism about the implementation of this government programme, with government capacity and the availability of financial resources being called into question. However, the EFF expects government to deliver on this mandate.