South African students have disapproved of the 2021 national budget presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday, saying the government has failed to address the prospects of marginalised children of the working class.
On social development, Mboweni allocated R6.3 billion to cushion the COVID-19 social relief of distress grant until the end of April 2021.
Regular social assistance grants increased with R30 for the elderly, those with a disability, and care dependency, R30 for war veterans grant R10 in the child support and R10 increase for the foster care.
“Government remains committed to ensuring that deserving students are supported through higher education”, said Mboweni.
In a statement, South African Students Congress (SASCO) said the organisation rejected the budget with contempt as has failed to fulfill the commitments made by the African National Congress in its manifesto during the 2019 National General Elections.
The manifesto prioritized education and invest more in skills development.
“The South African Students Congress (SASCO) notes and rejects the deliberate and concomitant intentions and actions by the South African government to reverse the #FeesMustFall campaign victories”, the statement read in part.
“The budget speech has failed to rise to the expectations of the marginalised children of the working class”.
“The student struggles of 2015/6 relentlessly waged by South African students against decommodification of higher education in our country is currently being undermined and spitted against by the Treasury”, the statement continued.
Consequently, SASCO has called for a Special Executive Committee meeting on March 2 to reflect and decide on the future of the Higher Education Sector in South Africa.
SASCO Secretary-General Buthanani Thobela told Transcontinental Times that they will conduct a comprehensive consultative process with all Progressive Forces across the country to support our actions beyond the Special National Executive Committee meeting.
“We will stop at nothing but fight the austerity measures and stop the Neo-Liberal Agenda that is championed by Cyril Ramaphosa and his National Executive Committee under the 6th Administration”.
“We are fully convinced that the African National Congress as led by Cyril Ramaphosa has no other obsession but to marginalize the already marginalized African people in particular”, he said.
SASCO is the biggest student movement in Africa that organizes students in institutions of higher learning striving for the transformation in order to achieve a non-sexist, non-racial, working class biased, and democratic education system.