When poverty is expensive!

With the outrage on varsities seeking scrapping of fees countrywide, our columnist Maruping Phepheng, invokes whether poverty is expensive at the behest of white capitalist?

“All students will be required to make a first payment of R9900 before registration in order to gain access to the University.” I picked this up from Wits University website. R9900!

Very funny. Preposterous, actually.

Look, three years ago when parents of the students were now expected to pay R9900 just to access university demanded R12500 in return for their slavery, a lot of us felt they were unreasonable. We felt that they wanted to collapse the economy. We felt that they should accept the meagre R5000 or so, that the greedy multinationals worth billions paid them. You and I wanted them to keep quiet and go to work, and when they didn’t, we opened fire and killed them because f!ck, how can they be threatening white capital like that!

We did the same to the farm workers in De Doorns a few years ago, remember?

Buoyed by the Marikana Massacre, parents of the children were now expected to pay R9900 to access higher education then demanded a wage hike from R69 to R150.

As usual we called the cops in to discipline them into subservience.

Now the children of the poor miners and exploited farm workers are up in arms in universities waging a struggle against exorbitant fees. They want education, but the anti-black system wants them out.

I invoke black parents into this whole thing because this is simply a black people matter.

Maybe economists can explain this to me because frankly, I don’t understand. published a story at the end of July 2015 about the unemployment rate in South Africa.

I picked up from that article that “According to the Quality Labour Force Survey (QLFS), South Africa’s working age population was at 36 million, with 15.7 million being employed, 5.2 million being unemployed and 15.1 million being not economically active.”

Of the 15.7 million people employed, you can for instance start subtracting hundreds if not thousands of workers in the steel making industry alone. They are being retrenched as we speak. Government knows this. Research arms of universities charging thousands just to register with them know this. So where exactly is a child of a retrenched steel industry labourer supposed get money to register and stay enrolled at university?

Where, really, do we expect the dependants of the 20.3 million economically inactive and unemployed to find the R9900 just to register?

It’s preposterous!

I applaud the young people who took and continue to take decisive action indicative of their determination to achieve their academic objectives. Unlike many of us who came before them, they will stop at nothing to be empowered.

Our government – a black led government, is being exposed pretty badly here.

Think about this. It’s 2015, twenty one years after the ‘one man vote’ in a country with a population made up of an overwhelming black majority. These blacks have since 1994 voted for and retained a black government, but they remain so poor that they have to literally fight and destroy property and be jailed just to attain education.

So what must happen?

As I argued elsewhere now the other day, it is difficult not to locate the responsibility squarely on government and business.

The government of the day must quite simply find money to enable young people to achieve their academic aspirations. The people’s government must necessarily find ways to avoid punishing black people simply because they are poor. We after all have the amazing appetite to build one man – a man who is supposed to be our chief servant, a house worth a quarter of a billion.

Do we not also have the undying craving to bail out the badly managed parastatals?

Remember Eskom? SAA? Well, find the money to bail students out too!

Business, which in general terms is white but sustained by blacks (both in terms of patronage and crucially in terms of continued exploitation of black labour), must stop channelling billions out of this country and invest in the education of the youth. It makes no sense to want to grow their capitalistic girth without supporting the mechanisms, like universities, that are meant to generate their most important resource – human capital.

And oh, I nearly forgot the individual white people who, as parties like the EFF would say, have amassed wealth ‘through theft of land and mineral resources.’

I would like to ask them why they are so hell-bent on such gratuitous greed. I would like to hear how they feel being the only ones who eat at night when everyone else is starving; how they feel when only their children are able to afford the exorbitant fees these anti-black universities are asking. What kind of a human being are you, seriously?

In the final analysis, these outrageously high fees are meant to cripple blacks so that they are ultimately incapable of managing affairs of the country. In other words, for as long as universities are an exclusive realm of the rich who are overwhelmingly white, blacks in this country will be told forever and ever that they cannot run mines, banks, even government.

I support the student radicals. Fees must fall. Wipe out exclusionary fees and allow blacks to be educated.

Do that and Peace will return!

Related posts

Vote ANC out -says erstwhile Dr Makhosi Khoza


Nothing ain’t right Minister Gigaba, who is in hot water for R800m bill


Perhaps whites were right to defend apartheid?


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.