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NUM calls on big businesses to fund student tuition

By Staff Writer
“Those who own the means of production should take responsibility to funding our higher education as they own the country’s economy and they [benefit most from our education],” the National Union of Mineworkers Youth Structure (NUM YS) reportedly said.

NUM YS has gotten behind the students of South African as they continue to protest against the suggested fee increment of six percent, by appealing to major companies like Lonmin, Sasol, Anglo Platinum and Harmony Gold, to name a few.

While Sasol have refrained from commenting on whether or not the company is looking into this as a feasible option, the head of group media relations, group communication and brand management, Alex Anderson has said: “Sasol invests significantly in education and skills development. Sasol spent R441.7 million during 2015 on education and skills development, which includes the Sasol Inzalo Foundation (that) spends of R71.6 million, with a focus on developing skills and providing resources for schools, with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

“Since the Sasol Inzalo Foundation’s first programmes started running in 2010…we have supported a significant number of graduates in attaining graduate and post graduate degrees, including PhDs in the STEM disciplines.”

Thursday marked the eighth day into the protest that has seen students engaging in various forms of defiance, including storming parliament during the delivery of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s medium term budget speech.  

The Union also expressed their disappointment in the way the police have reacted to the protest action, drawing attention to the vast number of injured students at the hands of tear gas and stun grenades, and in some cases alleged assault.

According to a report, NUM YS national secretary, Sabelo Mgotywa, has also made a national call for students to "march to the Chamber of Mines and other major business institutions” in hopes of further appealing to businesses to fund education.

Anglo American were given the opportunity to comment but failed to do so at the time of publication. 

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