The DA strongly condemns the vandalism, violence and intimidation being carried out by a small handful of individuals across several of our country’s university campuses over the last few days.
The DA fully respects and upholds the constitutional right to protest.
But this must be done lawfully and, importantly, should not limit the rights of others.
Violence is not the solution and must be stopped.
The DA understands the frustration of young South Africans who have been ignored for many years by Jacob Zuma’s government.
More than R10 billion has been spent on bailing out SAA, since Dudu Myeni was appointed chairperson, while the higher education sector has been chronically underfunded.
The DA has proposed a clear plan to address this funding crisis, so that no student is denied an education simply because they are poor.
The poorest students need the most comprehensive financial support possible;
The “missing middle” students should also receive financial support, proportional to their financial standing, with those most in need receiving the most support;
Better-off students should not receive financial support for fees, as they are able to pay for their studies themselves.
To make this happen, university subsidies from government have to be increased.
The DA’s position is that this must move towards the level of 50% of costs so both quality education and support to poor students and the “missing middle” can be provided for.
There is still so much more to do to ensure that we build inclusive campuses, where the circumstances of your birth do not determine your academic outcomes.
This will not be solved by violence and intimidation, but through resolving the funding crisis, once and for all.