IFP: Zuma silence on free education a ticking time bomb


President Jacob Zuma’s promise of fee-free tertiary education has the potential to create chaos when tertiary institutions open this year, given that there has been little information on how this will be implemented.

National Chairman of the IFP Youth Brigade, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said it was incumbent upon President Zuma to take the nation into his confidence and create much needed clarity on what will be done, as government works on the phasing in of this programme.

Zuma announced, late last year, that there would be fee-free tertiary education for deserving students from poor households. Some believe that was just a reckless ploy to try and influence the voting at the 54th National Conference of the ANC and that the President never had any real intentions of delivering on this policy directive.

Hlengwa’s comments come in the wake of the release of the IEB matric results on Wednesday. Government schools will release their matric results later this week.

“This confusion is bound to cause damage, stampedes and loss of life as students rightly flock to institutions of higher learning to claim their right: access to education, which for time immemorial has been the commodified persevere of the few,” said Hlengwa on Wednesday.

The IFP Youth Chair does not take issue with fee-free tertiary education, he takes issue with the manner in which government has handled the delivery of it so far.

“Mr Zuma cannot now vanish into a sabbatical of silence when the Nation needs answers, information and details. The 2017 matric results are due to be released tomorrow and surely learning and teaching cannot be successfully achieved in the absence of relevant details,” added Hlengwa.

“It is both reckless and irresponsible of Mr Zuma to throw the cat amongst the pigeons only for him to then run away. Mr Zuma must address the Nation on his Free Education Plan and provide much needed certainty because the devil is in the detail.”