Letter: High threshold set for ‘no increase’ parents

Thank you minister, I’m happy to accept the zero increase in fees for next year. I thought you were joking when you said you would exempt all parents who collectively earned less than R600 000 from the proposed 8% fee increase.

I’ve never earned that kind of money and tried to think who earns that kind of income in Port Elizabeth in a regular job. I’m sure a diligent journalist could use Stats SA to glean this information.

If the minister is to be believed, he puts the figure of people earning more than R600 000 a year at 25% of the population and my guess is that not many will be found in the Eastern Cape. The politicians and tender benders excluded will leave a meager number from which our local universities will be able to add 8% to their income.

This begs the question: who are the protesters? Hooligans upset about the proposed fee increase.

Are they admitting that their parents earn more than R600 000 annually? It would pay SARS to do a roll call and check on tax returns as these people are probably not paying the correct taxes.

Alternatively is this protest about paying no fees at all? This is a completely more complex scenario and won’t be solved through protest.

It will need the budget of South Africa to be completely rewritten. It is probably possible to reduce the fees payable drastically, but the drastic realignment of the budget will never happen under the current ANC regime, as it has a vested interest in maintaining the Gupta status quo.

The better way to go would, in my opinion, be to shift the emphasis more to purpose-based education. This is where industry, commerce and the government identify their employment needs in the short, medium and long term, and purposeeducate people to fill these requirements.

By purpose I mean subsidise and employ these graduates in the fields and sectors of the economy they are trained for. An example is the untapped aquaculture industries – who is studying to fill our needs over the next 20 years, not to mention the industries of the future?

Our metro reportedly currently has one engineer in its employ. Are there plans or are there any students studying with bursaries to fill our needs over the next 50 years?

The same goes for plumbers, electricians, etc – this is what I mean by purpose-built education.

Mr Mayor, your proposed jobs desk hopefully will do exactly this: sit with business, industry and the government and plan our needs in the short, medium and long term. You have the opportunity to rewrite the history books, do the right thing!

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