Leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Bantu Holomisa, expects a crisis to unfold at South African universities and colleges when they open this year.
Holomisa, who has been particularly vocal in his criticism of the Jacob Zuma administration, said the President had been most irresponsible in his handling of the announcement on fee-free education for deserving students from poor homes.
It is said the devil is in the detail and opposition parties generally feel that Zuma has not provided sufficient clarity on how fee-free tertiary education would be implemented. Holomisa wants to avoid disaster.
“President Zuma and his cabinet must urgently spell out this plan in detail to avoid a commotion at registration,” said Holomisa this week.
There have already been reports that universities will not be accepting any walk-in applications, which could definitely provide complications as prospective students simply do not have sufficient information on what to do and how to do it.
“Universities have issued statements saying they will not accept walk-in registrations. We certainly do not want to see another situation where police resources are stretched to handle disgruntled students should this promise not materialise,” said a concerned Holomisa.
“Surely the president must realise that it will be too late to wait for the Finance Minister [Malusi Gigaba] to spell out where the money will come from in February. To compound matters, university capacity must be respected in service of effective and efficient education for the greater good,” added Holomisa.