By Dion Chang and Raleen Bagg
D – Diplomacy (politics)
Waves of militant student protest propel civil ripple effect.
The #feesmustfall protests were not merely a symptom of angry students: they were a sign of a much larger economic catastrophe. Waiting for change is no longer an option. The bomb has been detonated and the effects are rippling throughout civil society in different ways. Protests have expanded from the townships to the suburbs There’s warning of a possible tax revolt; fuelled by mismanagement of tax payers’ money. The suburbs are gleaning courage and motivation from the students’ protests and are becoming aware of the power of a collective voice, as evidenced by the e-tolls disobedience.
The current South African Black Consciousness Movement is a considerably more militant youth who are activating significant change: University fee increases for 2016 will not be implemented. The issue of outsourcing WITS campus workers was achieved in one week, versus laboured campaigning via political channels. The Black youth are no longer referencing Mandela. They’re propelled by the more militant, anti-colonialism ideologies of struggle heroes like Robert Sobukwe, founder of the Pan Africanist Congress, and Steven Biko, a student leader who founded the Black Consciousness Movement. Militant or not, South Africans have reached a tipping point. The student protests have buoyed, inspired, and galvanised all citizens to take a firm stand and communicate that enough is enough.
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Image credit: Paul Saad