CAPE TOWN, October 31 – The planned march on Parliament by the South African Students Congress (Sasco) failed to materialise on Tuesday as organisers decided to pull the plug.
Sasco had earlier on Tuesday still announced that it was getting ready for the march to demand the release of the report into higher education fees. The organisation has called for the progressive implementation of free education for the poor, which it said has been delayed since 2012.
Sasco provincial secretary Buyile Matiwane told the African News Agency (ANA) that the march was cancelled due a small number of members who had turned up.
“We expected to see about 300 members to the march, but we had only less than 100 people. Our members were obstructed by the private security at the CPUT Bellville campus who prevented them to attending the march,” said Matiwane.
“The University of Cape Town (UCT) is currently hosting SRC elections which had been one of the reasons our members could not come out in numbers.”
He further said that the Sasco was planning on writing a memorandum to the ministry of higher education and that it expected the report to be released by President Jacob Zuma by Friday. “Should the report not come out by Friday, then we will be preparing ourselves for action.”
The march comes a week after the tabling of the Mid-term Budget speech by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, who, according to Sasco, had not reflected on issues relating to students’ requests and concerns around higher education costs.
On 14 January 2016 Zuma established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the feasibility of making higher education and training fee-free in South Africa.
The commission was chaired by Justice Arthur Heher who delivered a final report to the President on 30 August 2017.