The Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA) sympathises with all students and staff involved in the FeesMustFall protest across the country. IFAA will continue to support this movement in its commitment to realize the founding ideals of our democracy as enshrined in the Freedom Charter.
In our previous statement we warned against the criminalisation of this protest (https://instituteforafricanalternativescapetown.com/2015/10/20/ifaa-statement-on-student-fees-protest). Resorting to the courts and SAPS inevitably escalates a dispute into a confrontation. We are dismayed at some of the police activities and call for a cessation of the use of force. We congratulate the students on their restraint in the face of intense provocation. It is clear that they have on the whole conducted themselves in a peaceful manner. This should be greeted in kind.
It is clear that we are in a national crisis and government and universities should respond appropriately. We are concerned with the way in which the students have been received thus far.
As in our previous statement we call for an immediate freeze of all fee hikes. Universities must do all they can to meet the funding needs and may need to draw on reserves and financial assets. Government should respond similarly. What is needed is an emergency allocation outside of the fiscus so that no fee increases are needed next year.
IFAA calls on all members of civil society to come out in support of the students. We call on university administrators and staff to stand in support of their students.
This country has a legacy of apartheid, colonialism, poverty and inequality. These protests must be seen in that context.