The Pan Africanist Congress on Monday said it welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s decision to declare a fee-free education.
The President on Saturday declared that government will subsidise free higher education for poor and working class students, with this referring to "currently enrolled TVET Colleges or university students from South African households with a combined annual income of up to R350 000" by the 2018 academic year.
The decision has also raised severe critique from significant roleplayers in the country.
“This is a milestone achievement not only to PAC and the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania, but the entire country. We are happy to see President opening gates of higher education and training,” the party said in a statement.
It added that the “struggle for free education” was not an easy achievement. “We have students who were killed and those who committed suicide due to depression related to [their] academic [performance]. Many student leaders across the country were suspended and expelled for fighting noble cause. We have many thousands of students who dropped their studies due to being unable to pay their tuition fees. All students have undergone a serious patch and pain from government,” they said.
The PAC further called on all universities and institutions to scrap historic debts, as well as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, adding that universities should not withhold certificates or results owing to debt.