The Oversight Committee for Transformation in Public Universities, as appointed by the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, is a one-sided institution which will lead to racial bias and discrimination, AfriForum Youth said.
The Committee was announced on 23 January after a report on transformation in public universities was submitted by Prof Crain Soudien and his committee, wherein it was concluded that transformation was not taking place fast enough.
“There is a fine line between working towards a non-racial society and redressing injustices of the past, and to propagate new forms of discrimination by steamrolling the cultures of minorities in public institutions with African nationalism,” Charl Oberholzer, National Chairperson of AfriForum Youth, said today.
The mandate of the Committee includes, inter alia, recommendations to the Minister regarding university residences and practices, student and other management structures, institutional culture of students and personnel, as well as social cohesion in universities. The Minister indicated that the Committee will work with a “narrower definition of transformation”.
“The Minister’s speech is loaded with political buzzwords, and it is clear that the Committee, which is chaired by Prof Malegapuru Makgoba, Vice-Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, aims to marginalise minority groups under the guise of a fight against racism,” Oberholzer said.
AfriForum Youth also believes that the Committee is too biased to make recommendations regarding systems that will eliminate all kinds of racism. AfriForum Youth wants a society where race is not used to allocate opportunities, and where discrimination and racism will be replaced by a culture of respect for other groups.