Student Spring

The dust has settled, the flames have died and once again the air is sweet. The heat seems to be paying homage to the fiery nature of the students and those who have supported. #FeesMustFall.

Phones and streets were a blaze for nine days from our students protesting against exorbitant fee increases across South African universities. Ministers and Chancellors chose to make light of the situation initially which gave the #FeesMustFall movement more traction and spread it across the country having started at Wits.

But this is not the first time the modern South African youth has shook the core of our democracy in this way.

2015 has proven to be a ground breaking year in democratic South Africa. Revolution and transformation have been the call by students, from the removal of the Rhodes statue, to the documentary highlighting exclusionary language barriers in Stellenbosh and now the freaze on fee increases on university fees. Could this be the Student Spring?

The revolution will not be televised but it will be tweeted.

Gwede Mantashe made a joke of this in that the youth took to tweeting griviences and that he is being told to “watch for the hashtag”. Yes, this is the modern youth that will use modern platforms to highlight modern issues and mobilise other modern youths. We saw this with the Arab spring where the youth, once again, took to Facebook to bring attention to protests, unjust imprisonment and social injustices that were being faced. Why would we as the South African youth reject the mediums that are presented to us?

Despite the contempt from external parties, this year has seen the unrelenting spirit of the South African student. Is there more? Will this create our new potential political leaders? In short we need and applaud and need these strong minds.


One thought on “Student Spring

  1. Absolutely right on……you must follow what has worked for others in facing up to their governments and spread a movement that really can’t be stopped by it’s immediacy. A fine description of what is working for you in your movement……I wish we in the US would move to a #FeesMustFall movement. And I also got the idea that why shouldn’t students be in a union—–they pay for everything and could use bargaining power on all that affects them. Keep up the good work, Window Seat Woman!


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