Many students from Stellenbosch University do not view protests as a viable means to solve issues on campus.
Nghifikepunye Shaetonhodi thinks “protests just lead to more conflict”.
Odelia Mills reasons that social media is a more suited and powerful tool to inform and mobilise students.
Emmanuel Munjeri would rather “take the issue to student parliament”.
Claudette Mills argues that “mass petitions might be the way to go; it’s just more…civil than throwing rocks at cars”.
Yet when students found out about the shortage in National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funds at the start of this year, it sparked countrywide student protests.
One of the most significant of these protests was led by the DA Youth Chairperson, which took place outside Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande’s office in Tshwane.
This very DA Youth Chairperson said on Wednesday that “under a DA government every qualifying matriculant will have guaranteed access to tertiary education”.
Yusuf Cassim (23) addressed students at Stellenbosch University’s Tienie Louw hall on the DA’s Higher Education offer. He stated that a DA government will provide adequate financial support to ensure that no matriculants that meet the requirements to study after grade 12 are prevented from studying, because they cannot afford it.
“Research has shown that the best investment a country can make is in its students.”
“For every one rand put into higher education, government gets back almost double that in revenue and the economy grows by R11.”
Currently about R9.8 billion is injected into NSFAS scheme, where “the supply is heavily outweighed by the demand”.
The shortage in financial aid for further studies shows that “the ANC no longer cares about the future of young people in South-Africa”. It also shows that “the government is incapable of planning and allocating”.
“Once we get into power the DA will inject R16 billion into the NSFAS scheme”, Cassim said.
“By cutting corruption and wasteful expenditure we will already be saving R30 billion”
He went on to say that “the DA is the only viable alternative for South African students, as a vote for the DA is an investment in the future of all students.”
Seth Motswaledi, chairperson of the South African Student Congress (SASCO) branch in Stellenbosch, “the biggest student movement in Africa, which seeks to ensure access and success in these institutions”, says that our universities are already filled to capacity.
“This shows that this is pure hogwash from the DA. Pure lies, they are just trying to get votes.”
Sherine Barends, vice-principle at Lückhoff Senior Secondary School, stated that though “funding is made available, students need to be supported holistically to ensure their success”.