In his recent SONA address President Cyril Ramaphosa said and I quote "The young people who are at university and TVET Colleges face serious accommodation challenges. Some don’t even have places to sleep after lectures and resort to sleeping in libraries.
We are going to spend R64 billion over the next years in student accommodation and will leverage at least another R64 billion in private investment."
And this doesn't even ring any bell in Derek Hanekom's mind, indeed as South African young black students we are still going far.
The financial exclusion has led to this country being congested by the TVETs and Universities drop outs, some are drug addicts and others sell their bodies on the streets as we speak, most are sick because they had to sleep with older sick people to be able to get money and pay for their studies. Some of them are pregnant with children of this oldies because of the same process.
Financial exclusion in our Institutions of Higher Learning is a serious problem, because of the only mechanism of NSFAS used to fund the needy students, it makes it even harder for students when it has one centralised office in Cape Town to cater for more than 53 TVET Colleges and 23 Universities around the country and with incompetent staff members who sometimes would mistake R1 400 of food allowance with R14 Million.
South African singer - rapper AKA has launched a music tour to raise money to assist financially excluded students. Another singer, Cassper Nyovest in 2017 also donated R150 000 to assist students in similar circumstances. In a recent incident, a student wrote on Twitter that she was going to pack her bags and head home because she couldn't register for this year to finish her studies as she owed R37 000 in fees and another singer, Zonke donated money to help that student.
The above incidents happened right in the front of the South African people and things were normal, why are questions like, "Where does he take such money from?" asked today because it is Duduzane by the likes of Derek Hanekom?
For many years I heard that Duduzane was corrupt and was associated with the Guptas in corrupt activities during his father's tenure as President of the country. But till date no court of law has found him guilty of any wrongdoing.
I'm not condoning or praising corruption but if the money can help the poor students who have been crying all this years, some are in jails, other have been killed through this struggle, then I would say let me also be arrested for helping out those students if I were Duduzane.
The R2 million that Duduzane donated for students, on an average can help 52 students through university for a programme worth an estimated R38 000.
Since the Finance Minister Cde Tito Mboweni will be tabling his Budget Speech also today, I challenge him to take this matter into consideration and pledge certain money aside for Financially Excluded Students as this seems to be difficult for Higher Education Minister Cde Blade Nzimande to do.
When a black child needs help, we don't need POLITICS! People must stop judging Duduzane based on their anger and hatred towards his father Cde President Zuma.
I hail Duduzane for the wonderful job he does and encourage him to do more, I also urge fellow South Africans to follow suit and help struggling students.
Their struggle is not limited to financial exclusion but also accommodation, books, food and transport.
A student’s life should not be the way it is in our country, after 65 years since the adoption of Freedom Charter, it means those more than 3000 people who participated in the charter did that for nothing.
"The Doors Of Learning And Of Culture Shall Be Opened!
►The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life;
►All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands;
►The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace;
►Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children;
►Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit;
►Adult illiteracy shall be ended by a mass state education plan;
►Teachers shall have all the rights of other citizens;
The colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be abolished."
. Edgar Curtis Legoale is an ANC, ANCYL Member and Youth Activist writing on his personal capacity.