All SA Universities Shut

Ongoing black “student” violence and rioting has shut all South African universities and it is now doubtful that there will be any 2016 graduates this year.

The violence has caused more than R600 million ($44 million) damage to buildings and vehicles so far, and the rioting shows no sign of ending soon.

Black police and black students clash at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

The University of the Witwatersrand tried to resume lectures on October 10, but had to call classes off once again after police officers and protestors engaged in violent clashes throughout the campus and the streets outside.

The black protesters, whose principle demand is free tuition—despite almost all of them failing their exams—threw rocks at the police, who fired rubber-coated bullets and used tear gas and stun grenades to control the crowds.

Such scenes, when they occurred under the previous white-run government of South Africa, were always given great prominence in the controlled media as evidence of “white racism”—but nowadays the media has largely ignored the events which have had a cataclysmic effect on higher education in the country.

A bus burned by rioting "students" in central Johannesburg.

Even when the violence is covered—such as a recent article in Newsweek—the blame for the unrest is still laughably blamed on “inequalities” resulting from white rule, claiming that the “protests highlight an ingrained frustration at enduring inequalities more than two decades after the end of apartheid.”

In reality, the cause for the 80 percent increase in university fees in South Africa since 2008 is purely because the country’s economy is collapsing under black rule.

The nation’s currency, the Rand, has crashed on the financial markets, losing more than two-thirds of its value against the dollar in the past five years alone.
In addition, less than 5 percent of the South African labor force pay more than 50 percent of all personal income tax—and these are mostly extracted from the dwindling white population. This means that less than 1.75 percent of the country’s entire population pays more than 50 percent of personal income tax, and a substantial portion of VAT, excise duties, import duties, and the fuel levy.

No economy can continue to successfully function on this basis, and as a result, the infrastructure is buckling through a combination of lack of funds and typical Third World neglect.

Blacks—some of them not even students—around the country launched fresh demonstrations under the banner #FeesMustFall after South Africa’s minister of higher education Blade Nzimande said on September 19 that universities would be allowed to raise their fees by a maximum of 8 percent.

They have been demanding free higher education, a promise made by the African National Congress (ANC) when it came to power in 1994, and similar protests were held in 2015, forcing President Jacob Zuma to freeze planned fee hikes.

The extent of the problem for completing academic studies has been admitted by Dr. Max Price, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, in a letter to students published on the university’s official website.

“The suspension of the academic program has understandably caused much anxiety across the University of Cape Town. The executive and I fully understand the damaging impact of not completing the academic year—on students, parents, staff, society, and the university itself.

“We appreciate, in addition, that for final year students and international students the consequences are even more severe. The economic consequences will also be far-reaching,” Price wrote.

“Unfortunately this is an unavoidable consequence of the current approach that links the successful completion of the academic year to an engagement process with protest leaders.

“We are focusing all of our energy on finding pathways to concluding the 2016 academic year successfully. While there is even a small possibility of breaking the impasse, it is an outcome worth pursuing rather than closing for an extended period, or trying to work in a hostile securitized environment given what is at stake.”