The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) have issued a call for the country’s universities to be nationalised.
The ANCYL believe that institutional autonomy was one of the barriers to free education, as individual institutions are allowed to determine their own costs, which results in the commodification of education. They called for legislation to be passed that would make education a national asset and prevent institutions from setting their own costs.
ANCYL Secretary-General Njabulo Nzuza made the comments while addressing the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (Fees Commission) being held in Centurion, Pretoria.
“Some institutions make management decisions that exclude other students. They control access by using financial means. As a result, even those who could initially afford fees can’t afford them,” Nzuza said.
Nzuza also pointed the Commission to examine the education model used by Cuba for solutions to funding higher education.
“We must not view education as wasteful spending. We must view it as an investment into the future, something which will spark innovation in the long run,” he said.
Nzuza also said that education should only be free to those unable to afford it. Those in a position to pay, should pay.