#feesmustfall: What I want from SONA 2016.

I was astounded at JZ’s offer to pay the back part of the money. My immediate question is ‘where the hell is he going to find that sort of money?

A plus R2 million a year presidential package and a state pension won’t even pay for the fore hydrant at the swimming pool.

Zuma is naïve if he thinks anything can be settled amicably in SA politics. Our leaders have perfected the ancient martial art of FUKU…. kicking someone in the nuts when they are already groveling in the floor. Apparently it was developed in the Scottish pubs and brought to SA by the 1820 settlers.

In 2007 there was talk that Mbeki would seek a third term as president. Then suddenly his loyal supporters all ran away faster than an Italian tank column.

Maybe the end would be here already if it were not for the looming municipal elections. Or is it that there is no worthy successor? Or is there just too much money involved for to many supporters? I don’t know.

So now the EFF has lost their trump card to disrupt SONA 2016. I am sure they will find another point of order. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this stuff extends into the national budget speech on 24 February.

Some people ask ‘what do you want from SONA 2016 and the national budget speech?’ And usually the answer has something to do with tax. But not this year.

The biggest step forward would be to address the issue of #feesmustfall. And we are unlikely to see much because Zuma has kicked for touch by appointing a commission of enquiry into education. Students are unlikely to wait that long. We need something to show that there is progress.

Why is #feesmustfall so important? Some think it’s about a minority of SA’s one million students.  ‘ What about the rest of SA?’ they say.

There is far more to #feesmustfall than the payment or non-payment of university fees. SA’s students have walked into what will be the biggest debate for the next 10 years….. Inequality.

Just 3 years ago the work of Thomas Pikkety was hardly noticed. It was almost universally accepted that economic growth was the universal answer in securing a better lot for all. It seems that we were wrong and thought is changing quickly.

It has been quite fascinating to watch Bernie Sanders make enormous gains on Hillary Clinton in the race for the Whitehouse. Why? He is talking inequality and young people are listening.

If there is one thing we all seem to agree on it is that education is the most effective weapon in the war against inequality. And we have got education all wrong in SA while we have a gini co-efficient of between 77 and 59 depending on how you measure it.

I will accept a tax increase in the budget, its almost inevitable anyway. What I want is some intelligent move that will make see progress on #feesmustfall during 2016. And that’s not another student fee freeze that will see the rich benefitting by far more than the poor.

 

 

 


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