Written by on April 19, 2024

Written by: Tlotlego Ranchu


Since the dawn of democracy, significant changes in the country’s education landscape can be seen, however the country is still struggling to achieve a higher quality education. As the national elections approach, VOWFM’s ‘Breaking Ground’ invited young leaders the top six’s  in thr City of Johannesburg – the African National Congress Youth League, Democratic Alliance, ActionSA, Inkatha Freedom Party, Economic Freedom Fighters and the Patriotic Alliance to unpack and discuss their manifestos and policies.

All manifestos recognise the importance of early childhood development, quality basic education and leading the country to a place of providing a free quality education throughout. ActionSA in particular aims for the country to have one single department, as opposed to the current two departments of basic education and higher education and training, to work hand-in-hand to fast track what the ruling party has been trying to implement – the policy for free and quality education for all.

“It’s wasteful expenditure to us, that’s why we want to cut it aside”, stated the ActionSA Zark Lebatlong.

The party says the policies of the two departments don’t align, noting the literacy rates in the country in the foundation phase of education affecting students’ ability to navigate their higher learning journey.

At a tertiary level, the ANCYL has for years promised free education and the implementation of it still continues, with many considering this a ploy in electioneering for a vote. However Ashley Mabasa, head of the ANCYL’S policy and Development, did not fail to mention how the National Student Financial Aid Scheme morphed from a loan to a bursary scheme in 2015, in a bid to demonstrate the improvements of higher education learning. A problem he cited is capacity, saying the NSFAS budget cannot compete with the intake capacity but remains confident that the scheme will improve.

The IFP’s Siyathenjwa Dyantyi reiterated the party’s point of restructuring the NSFAS board, and called for the resignation of the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Ndzimande, with the DA and the Patriotic Alliance chiming in to support this call.

“With all those qualifications, there is no testament,” the PA’s representative added.

The ANCYL’s counterpart defended its minister though, stating that funding remains a problem, however past successful and ongoing programs done by the minister should not be overlooked.

The EFF responded to the handling of the fiscal aspect of providing free education through the three phases of learning, with Mangaliso Sambo expressing that the funds from existing companies made to assist and support the education sector, such as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, National Research Fund and the National Skills Fund, will be allocated accordingly to carry their policies, with no added tax burden to the average taxpayer.

The Patriotic Alliance brought ‘Brain drain’ to the spotlight, a phenomenon of highly educated individuals from developing countries emigrating to seek employment opportunities. To combat this, the party mention offering global competitive salaries and employee benefits. The PA’s Jodi Petersen did not fail to refer to an increased cultivation of the country’s natural resources to assist with the fiscal aspect of retaining skilled individuals.

Ultimately, the DA’s Obakeng Kamela made remarks on the lack of performance indicators for teachers with no governing body to scrutinize the competency and quality of education they provide citing it as the reason for the shortage of quality education.

In the end, the efficient implementation process of each party’s policies remains minimalistic, the manifestos in terms of education seem promising.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current track