“Did you hear? Students are protesting at WITS University in Johannesburg. They will probably begin protesting at our campuses in about two weeks.” Leon and I had this discussion on Friday afternoon, 16 October. By Monday, 19 October, UCT students were protesting and by the end of the week all of our campuses were protesting proposed tuition rate increase as high as 11%, and campuses were closed. #feesmustfall campaign was a great reminder of how university students spark movements of political and social change, but it also serves as a telling reminder of the desperate need to raise up a generation of leaders who know the Lord and are committed to living their lives for Him. Students across South Africa joined together to stand up for their right to access higher education. Many of their families don’t earn enough money to save or pay for tuition. Due to wasteful government spending and economic injustice, students struggle to keep up with the rising costs of higher education.
As we read reports of students’ reactions to the decisions of the Minister of Education, we sensed God confirming the need for our new initiative to raise up potential laborers and help students with paying for expenses. Batho Pele Project (BPP) mobilizes current university students to work with their local campuses by launching movements of evangelism and discipleship through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ South Africa (CCCSA). In return for hours participated in the project, the students receive tuition assistance. We invited students in September and October to consider partnering with us through BPP in 2016. We have two potential candidates, which are involved leaders at UCT and UWC. Our team is excited about our prospects; two young men! Pray for us as we review their applications, and continue to secure funds for growing this program.
Some of the protesting has subsided because the government has agreed not increase fees for 2016. On some campuses, for qualifying, financially stressed final year students in 2015 who owe under R 15,000 (approximately $ 1,200) or less, will not be required to pay this amount in order to graduate, as this may prevent them from finding a job. The most exciting reports we have heard is students are coming together to pray for peaceful resolution and for God to open doors for them to finance their tuition. Our teams have been praying and God is making a way. Thank you so much for your partnership.
Praising God for your partnership,