NEWS & ANALYSIS

Zuma must release fees report - COSATU

Federation says issue of free education for the poor cannot be postponed indefinitely

COSATU demands that President Jacob Zuma releases the Heher Commission report into higher education funding

The Congress of South African Trade Unions demands that President Jacob Zuma releases the Heher Commission report on the feasibility of free higher education in the country with immediate effect. Four months after receiving the report the president has no reason not to release this report. We do not want this report to be just another exercise in futility by the fifth administration.

The issue of free education for the poor cannot be postponed indefinitely and young people have proven that they are no longer prepared to be pacified with empty speeches. We do not want to see the disruption of the academic work early next year because students still remain in the dark about the findings of the Fees Commission and the way forward.

COSATU has made it very clear that education is not only a socio-economic matter but is also a human rights issue. The federation regards Nedlac as a platform, where society can engage in sound dialogue to find a sustainable solution to the current impasse on education funding; we therefore expect the Heher Commission Report to be tabled at Nedlac for discussion. Our failure to find a sustainable solution on time will have a huge negative socio-economic impact on our society.

The current huge unemployment is caused by the skills deficit as a result of inadequate investment in education and skills by both government and the private sector. The legacy of discrimination has continued to exist with mainly black and coloured workers being restricted to manual labour because of lack of training and education.

Statement issued by Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu National Spokesperson, 7 November 2017