A weak education system is creating a culture of entitlement, human rights activist Rhoda Kadalie said on Thursday.
“When I was a student, I worked to pay for my own admission fees,” she said referring to the Fees Must Fall protests.
“But because our education system is so pathetic we compensate for what is going on at universities and breeding a culture of entitlement.”
Kadalie was speaking at a seminar hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School and the Institute for Future Research at the Medical Research Council in Parow.
She said if she was a vice-chancellor she would have told protesting students to go study.
“The year has hardly started and the students are marching about admission fees.”
Kadalie said uneducated parents were adding to the problem.
“Too many parents can’t help their children with homework because they are illiterate.”
Many could not parent properly because they were too poor and had to struggle to find work.
On the economy, Kadalie said that after 22 years of running the country the ANC had wrecked the economy.
There were high unemployment rates but the majority of young people were too uneducated to be employed, she said.
“We also have a culture of political intolerance. People are being fired left right and centre for expressing their opinions.
“President [Jacob] Zuma’s contempt for us was demonstrated by the unceremonious way he got rid of Minister Nene,” Kadalie said.
After the Nkandla saga, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, the proposed nuclear deal with Russia and SA Airways, it became evident that Zuma was “impervious to criticism and an accountable government”.
But Kadalie said there were many reasons to remain optimistic and South Africa was worth saving.
It was up to the country’s civil society and watchdog institutions to do this.