Saturday, October 24, 2015

Still Sick Saturday: South African Classroom

"Poverty at root of South Africa student protests" by Mike Cohen and Rene Vollgraaff Bloomberg News  October 23, 2015

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The biggest protests by South African university students in the post-apartheid era were fueled by mounting anger over the widespread poverty and inequality that persists since the country’s first multiracial elections in 1994.

A week of demonstrations at universities against plans to raise tuition peaked on Wednesday, when several thousand students stormed into the parliamentary precinct in Cape Town as Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene presented a gloomy picture of the economy in his midterm budget speech. Riot police used batons and stun grenades to disperse them and arrested six people.

‘‘The fees-must-fall campaign is not about fees,’’ Aubrey Matshiqi, a research fellow at the Johannesburg-based Helen Suzman Foundation said at a conference in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town on Thursday. ‘‘I do believe South Africa is sliding inexorably toward a perfect storm of discontent, the discontent of the poor, the working class, and the middle class.’’

While South Africa’s economy has more than doubled in size since the African National Congress took power in 1994, the benefits haven’t been shared equitably. A quarter of the workforce is unemployed, income inequality levels are among the highest in the world, and white households on average earn six times more than their black counterparts, government data shows.

The police documented 2,289 violent demonstrations demanding better housing, education, and other services in the year through March, up from 1,907 the year before.

President Jacob Zuma, who secured a second five-year term last year after the ANC won its fifth election with 62 percent of the vote, is due to meet universities’ management and student leaders on Friday to discuss the fees crisis.

Yeah, $cum Zuma will fix everything.


Related: South Africa to freeze tuitions at public colleges after protests

There was a photograph in my printed Globe the day before.

Also see: South Africa's New Apartheid 

I think the kids have learned that le$$on.