The African National Congress Youth League wishes to applaud government’s pronouncements on the establishment of universities in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape. The pending establishment of these institutions of higher learning is a victory for the unemployed, marginalised, homeless, the economically downtrodden Economic Freedom Fighters who marched to the Union Buildings in October 2012, to demand amongst others the establishment of these institutions and greater access to Education. Led by the African National Congress Youth League, young people from all walks of life bravely confronted the seat of executive power and communicated the resolution of the ANCYL 24th National Congress to establish these universities as part of giving effect to the Freedom Charter demand that the doors of learning and culture shall be opened.
We have welcomed the decision announced by President Zuma that these institutions would be located in the provincial capital cities of Kimberly and Nelspruit. Our further call is for the Northern Cape University to become a centre of excellence in Information and Communication Technology. We trust that government will not miss a golden opportunity to realise free education in South Africa by ensuring that at the very least, the first level degree is indeed free at these institutions and compulsory youth service undertaken at completion of the junior degree.
We further urge government to ensure that the horrific scenes experienced at the beginning of this academic year do not recur in the coming year by putting in place comprehensive action plans to manage the still limited access of tertiary education and universities in particular and juxtaposed against the demand thereof.