Never in living memory have citizens of South Africa ever stormed the precinct of parliament in such an unruly manner as the students protests have. This grotesque conduct must be condemned, even though the constant increase in education cost is absurd. Not in the worse years of Apartheid was such disrespect articulated as youths violated a hallowed and noble institution that is our parliament.
While we may not always agree with the politics of the day, it is respect for elected authority and discipline that separates a constitutional democracy from a “banana republic”. As South African citizens we have witnessed the chaos unfold in Africa and Middle East where a few angry people create chaos. We cannot allow anarchy in our society as the results which will certainly arrive later, is far worse. Example in Kenya, because of workers’ demands, the electricity and water in the Kenyan parliament has been turned off. Also 700 000 state workers have been payed half salaries this month.
Without proper fiscal planning chaos will inevitably arise. What kind of doctors or lawyers or teachers can we expect from protesters who behave like savages threatening the police and parliament itself? If students and other South Africans are unhappy with our democracy there is a municipal election coming soon. This election is the correct time and place to display anger, resentment and so on by voting those who offend you, out of power.
Also, please note, if you vote for a different but similarly useless political leadership, then you will have to wait a few more years to remove those reps. In the meantime you have to bite the proverbial bullet for the decisions that you made a few years ago. Also, if you decide not to vote, then you have no right to an opinion as the opportunity was given.
Students like society must accept that we are not all the same no matter what you may think or are told. Some mothers tell their daughters that they are the prettiest girls in the world. When they get to university and the boys are not attracted they cannot understand why. Some fathers tell their sons that they can achieve anything. When the son fails statistics at university he blames Apartheid, the lecturer, the exam, transformation, Cecil John Rhodes and who knows what else -but not himself.
In the 1990’s I gave-up pursuing of a post-graduate degree at the University of Cape Town because I did not have money. Though I was academically astute, this was irrelevant. On weekends and holidays I worked as a labourer on building sites where I learned about brickwork, tiling, painting and so on. How many of the protesting students have a useful skill where they actually use their hands?
Consider this; recently a handful of residents objected to a MyCiti bus route and the process is delayed. Tenants living in costly municipal properties object to market related rental. Students want free education and government has limited sources of revenue, mainly taxes and levies.
In the words of the wise, who do you think is paying for everything when a few people refuse?
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress