Fees Must Fall: Lessons learned two years on

Fees Must Fall is a student led protest movement that began in mid October 2015 in response to an increase in fees at South African universities.

Kamil Ali, Secretary General of the Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) spoke with 702 host Phemelo Motene about what the #FeesMustFall movement has achieved to date.

Ali says when the movement began many of the students had no idea what they were doing or taking on.

During the planning phases, it was us as young people, under the leadership of the President of the SRC, Shaeera Kalla who said 'enough is enough' and we need to make a statement on the increase of university fees, explains Ali.

At the beginning we had an idea of what we wanted. Conversations of what was likely to happen realistically only took place once inroads were made with the protests, once we realised our bargaining power.

Kamil Ali, Secretary General of the Wits Student Representative Council (SRC)

Ali says the protests were a monumental occasion for all young people in the country.

Ali adds that there were periods during the movement where the students felt misunderstood by the media and society.

What disappointed me with #FeesMustFall with the manner in which the struggle was conducted. The students took a position where they thought the only view that mattered was what mattered. Hence why they violently shut down views from progressive academics operating with limiting spaces.

What horrified me was the destroying of property. To this day, I am horrified.

Linda, caller

In hindsight there were things we could have done differently and we take the criticism explains Ali adding that they aren't trained protestors and aren't trained in art of war.

Take a listen:


This article first appeared on 702 : Fees Must Fall: Lessons learned two years on


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