Xhariep Dam Resort (Free State): 30 September 2016
Ill-discipline by South Africa’s youth at the country’s educational institutions involving wanton violence and destruction of property is a serious threat to many gains made to improve the socio economic conditions of South Africa’s people, Free State MEC for Transport, Bhutana Khompela has warned.
The warning came during celebration of World Maritime Day 2016 held this year at the Xhariep (Gariep) Dam in the Free State. The national Department of Transport driven annual event’s proceedings incorporate a Careers Expo during which foundational students (Grade 10-12) are taken through an exposition of a variety of careers in the country’s maritime sector.
Speaking during the main event on Thursday, Mr Khompela said the Free State Province regarded education as top priority and that it led the country’s other eight provincial governments in spending the most on bursaries to support tertiary level students with their studies in South Africa and abroad.
However, he said he noted with sadness and frustration that the country’s universities had been forcibly closed down by violent students for what he described as no sensible reason.
“When we fought for the liberation of this country, we said ‘liberation first and education last’. We achieved liberation and now it is time for education. Education must come first and nothing else!” said Mr Khompela
He warned that the notion of a free education was a misnomer South Africa’s youth at universities were using based on ignorance bothering on malice, and that their violent actions to demand free education were both unreasonable and a serious threat to socio economic development gains made since 1994.
He said in full recognition of the fact that education was not free, a total 8000 bursaries were awarded students in the province by the provincial government with the ultimate objective of producing highly educated youths who would in turn contribute even better to the development of the country’s economy in a whole range of sectors inclusive maritime.
Mr Khompela said at the end of the current year, the province would be welcoming back a total 400 doctors who have completed their medical studies through support by the province and who would now contribute to uplifting the health standards of people in the province’s rural communities.
He pledged that the Free State provincial government would extend the the same financial support also to students keen on pursuing careers in the country’s maritime sector.
However, he said; those efforts would all be in vain if wayward youth at the country’s tertiary level education institutions demanding free education and bent on violence and destruction of valuable property solely to force their way, were allowed to get away with it.
“We never received free education. We were oppressed, yet we did everything possible to obtain education under the most difficult conditions. There is no such thing as free education. There is no country anywhere in the world that offers free education. Even Cuba, does not offer free education,” said Mr Khompela.
For his full speech (Audio Only) Click Here