#FeesMustFall Reading List: 9 Important Reads on South Africa’s Student Protests
We rounded up some of the most important articles to surface since South Africa's #FeesMustFall protests emerged last October.
As we head into a second week of shutdowns at universities across South Africa, we thought we’d take a look at some of the most important articles to surface since #FeesMustFall emerged last October in response to a proposed 10.5 percent in tuition fees. Below are nine reads that offer essential insight into the student-led movement.
By Nwabisa Masiza, Babalwa Quma, Anam Joseph, Lucille Dyosi, Bulemko Gana
Live Mag SA, 26 October 2015
I am one of the many students who are fighting for free education. I know the struggle. I have my reasons for joining the protest, and so do the University of Cape Town students highlighted in this Live Mag article from the start of the protests.
By Pierre De Vos
Daily Maverick, 26 October 2015
“We live in a violent society. This is not surprising as violence was one of the main instruments through which the colonisers subjugated South Africa’s indigenous population,” writes De Vos in this reflection on the tactics used by the state in its handling of the student protests. It’s a statement that hits home to many black South Africans during apartheid, whose children are being treated in a similar manner 22 years into democracy.
By Pakama Ngceni
Vanguard, 5 November 2015
Activist Pakama Ngceni discusses what the #FeesMustFall movement teaches us about racism in this insightful article for Vanguard Magazine. “Racism in this country determines who has a voice, and who is otherwise constructed as the ‘angry black rabble.’ There is always the perception that protests led by only black activists are essentially violent, and this perception dehumanises them,” writes Ngceni.
By Lizeka Maduna
The Daily Vox, 9 November 2015
Last November, The Daily Vox’s Lizeka Maduna spoke with former Durban University of Technology student, Sibongile Cele, who was financially excluded in her second year of studies. The resulting interview sheds unique insight into the motivations behind the #FeesMustFall movement and the need for change in our system. Cele’s story is the reality of thousands of young South Africans who are forced to drop out of university due to lack of funds.
By Tshireletso Mati
Media for Justice, 2 February 2016
Media for Justice’s Tshireletso Mati offers readers the history behind some of South Africa’s most famous protest songs, such as “Solomon” and “Elilizwe lo khokho bethu, elilizwe la bantu aba mnyama,” and tips on sharpening your singing and pronunciation skills. It’s a great read that may even prove helpful next time you’re part of a protest.
By Onele Liwani
Live Mag SA, 3 March 2016
Tuition fees aren’t the only issue faced by South Africa’s student communities. Accommodation remains a challenge in universities across the country.
By Matthew Piper
Student Investor, 25 April 2016
Former Wits SRC presidents Shaeera Kalla and Nompendulo Mkhatshwa emerged as the faces of the #FeesMustFall movement last October. In an interview with Destiny Magazine, Mkhatshwa said the #FeesMustFall movement was actually Kalla’s idea. Here, we get to know this courageous young woman.
By Ari Sitas
The Daily Vox, 19 September 2016
In this eye-opening read, Professor Ari Sitas responds to some of the key questions about how free education can in fact be implemented by 2019.
By Leigh-Ann Naidoo, Mondli Hlatswayo, Rasigan Maharajh, Zolisa Marawu.
Mail & Guardian, 21 September 2016
Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande’s nonchalant response to the call for free education has been evident since day one. This article from Mail & Guardian looks closely at Nzimande’s lack of concern towards the realisation of free education. The authors also point to the fee commission's shortcomings and accuse it of being sluggish and unfocused.
Thabang Buthelezi is a Johannesburg-based writer, communication science student and art and food enthusiasts.