South Africa

Corporate SA must support #FeesMustFall movement: ANCYL

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) wants companies such as Standard Bank to get involved in the #FeesMustFall movement by committing to assisting government in helping students fund their tertiary studies.

“We noted the silence of corporate South Africa on various societal struggles, where they can play a role; notably on the ‘Fees Must Fall’,” said spokesperson for the ANCYL in Gauteng, Mbali Hlophe.

Hlophe said that during a meeting with Standard Bank executives, the financial institution had committed to helping the development of South Africa and its youth.

She said the bank had agreed it could play a greater role. “As far as the ‘Fees Must Fall’ is concerned, the bank is committed to aid government in ensuring its objectives of free education are realised and will make a financial contribution to that effect,” Hlophe said.

The meeting on Tuesday took place after the ANCYL Gauteng marched to the bank’s head offices in the Johannesburg CBD last week to protest against a tweet by economist Chris Hart, which was considered racist.

Standard Bank suspended Hart after he tweeted on January 3, “More than 25 years after apartheid ended, the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities.”

During the march on Thursday, the ANCYL made a number of demands including that Hart be fired and be replaced with a black economist.

“Whilst we acknowledge that he is suspended and there is currently a process taking place. We call for the outcomes of that DC to be his dismissal and his replacement with a black economist and nothing less.”

If Standard Bank failed to do this, the ANCYL would call on government and black business to close its accounts with the bank, it said.

The ANCYL said it would take on other “critical sectors of the economy to ensure that they too transform and actively participate in building South Africa”.

“Corporate South Africa must play a role and the Youth League will ensure such happens,” Hlophe said.