In South Africa, the month of June is very special. 40 years ago, students took to the streets of Johannesburg to protest against the Use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. The University of Johannesburg, together with the South African Research Chair Council, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, and the Student Representative Council gathered for a cross generational dialogue this year in commemoration of June 16, 1976.
They broke down some of the pointers today’s young people can learn from the 1976 Student Movements with deep analysis of some of the most recent student movements: #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall.
The youth of 1976 did not just protest against Afrikaans. They also protested against the Education system which was not favorable for blacks. The SRC noted that the Higher learning system of South Africa was designed in favor of white apartheid, hence #RhodesMustFall . The University of Johannesburg SRC President Mr. Lubhelwana said the Apartheid symbols in the universities are a symbol of oppression that hinders growth.
The fight for Equality and Free Education in higher learning is still going on in South Africa. The Student representative council said they will not stop until the fight by the youth of 1976 is won.
The Minister in the Presidency Mr. Bhuti Manamela in response, said the government is working towards achieving the goal of free Higher Learning Education and it views the #FeesMustFall grievances for free education as a possibility in the future.