SASCO YEAR-END STATEMENT: 2020 A TROUBLED ACADEMIC YEAR

Thursday, 24 December 2020

“Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future.” Paulo Freire

As we mark the end of the vicious 2020 we can only take lessons and prepare for 2021 better, 2020 a troublesome year for the student activism in general and the children of the working class in particular.

On 2020 SRC Elections

The South African Students Congress (SASCO) welcomes and celebrates the Student Representative Council (SRC) Elections held during the year 2020 under uncharted territories for the student movement. These elections demonstrated the absolute confidence South African students have in SASCO and the entire mass democratic movement through which SASCO is part of. As an organisation we are humbled by the historic victories we have scored in these elections and don’t take this for granted.

In majority of institutions, the historically disadvantaged institutions in particular, that went to SRC elections this year it was their first time conducting elections online. This meant that the organisation had to conduct virtual elections campaigns to avoid mass gatherings as guided by the South African cabinet on saving lives.
These outcomes are also a positive building block for renewal, modernisation, unity and cohesion process the organisation is currently going through. We take these elections outcomes as a measure of how hegemonic our ideas are to the general South African populace.
 
SASCO retained five institutions, lost three institutions, and won five new institutions back from opposition across the country.
 
The organisation will offer its full support all these SASCO led SRCs and is confident that will continue to serve students with selfless dedication in keeping with the congress culture and tradition. We applaud all students that participated in these elections and take the message they have sent through polls very serious.
As an organisation we are disappointed and annoyed by the undemocratic Vice Chancellor in collaboration with the UNIZULU council that’s waging consistent onslaught on student activism and want to silence the voice of all students there. We are disappointed in them because they have rejected the outcomes of the elections without any logical reasoning but hell-bent on ensuring that they appoint their stooges into offices.

The organisation has also experienced blatant rigging of elections by Elangeni TVET College where the voting process was not credible and its outcomes. As we march forward to the SRC elections of TVET Colleges in the first quarter of 2021 academic year, we shall be more vigilant of such acts by college managers who seek to rig elections for their selfish ends.
 
Completion of the academic year and RTLC

As an organisation we have always maintained that this academic year would not be easily completed if the means to enable the virtual teaching and learning are not availed and as such we would risk leaving behind thousands and thousands of poor students from working class background. The call for the delivery of gadgets, zero-rating of academic sites and timeous delivery of data and allowances remain amongst the key interventions we called for to swiftly complete the 2020 academic year.
These fell on deaf ears because as we prepare for Christmas celebrations government has not delivered laptops as promised, some students don’t receive data timeously and allowances have even sparked student unrests amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
The organisation reiterates its call for the extension of disbursement of allowances where the academic year has been extended and we hereby instruct our deployees to SRC and our activists on the ground to go to all strategic statutory bodies and lobby for an anti-exclusion policy to be adopted for the academic year 2021. This view is informed by the challenges brought by the noble virus that has distracted the normal teaching and learning and imposed more mental problems unto students to cope under these new circumstances.

TVET Sector

SASCO is still aggrieved by the response by minister Blade after our national day of action calling for the transformation of TVET sector to systematically respond to our nation’s challenges. We view this sector to be strategic people’s centre of skills for people’s revolution and must be transformed with agency from the glorified high schools that they are currently.

In 2021 the organisation working with SATVETSA will heighten its call for the transformation of this sector, as our call remains that TVETs should be institutions of choice in South Africa.

Class of 2020

SASCO congratulates matric class of 2020 for completing the academic year and wishes them to approach higher institutions of learning to further their studies. The resilience they have shown in completing academic year under the 2020 conditions are inspiring and deserve a standing ovation by our nation. SASCO will wait for them in the doors of higher institutions of learning to assist them enrol for the instructional offerings of their choice.
 
We wish to conclude by firstly paying respect to all the frontline workers who continue to be at the forefront on the fight against the COVID-19. We would like to send our heartfelt condolences to all the families that have lost their loved ones and we wish a speedy recovery to all the infected ones.

“Unless we do things differently, this will be the last Christmas for some!” President Cyril Ramaphosa

It is for this reason that we call on our members, supporters and the general student populace to be responsible as they head back to their respective homes. Always wear your masks, constantly wash your hands and avoid mass gatherings.
We wish you peaceful holidays together with your loved ones.

Issued on behalf of SASCO NEC

Bamanye Matiwane
President
079 026 5759
president@sasco.co.za

Buthanani Thobela
Secretary General
073 257 5677
sg@sasco.co.za

For Enquiries:

Luvuyo Barnes
Media and Communication Liaison
079 393 7131

FB: SASCO National | T: SASCO_Jikelele | IG: SASCO_National | www.sasco.co.za

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