The Congress of South African Students held a successful 19th National Congress from the 27th to the 30th of September 2019 at Living Waters Conference centre in Tshwane. The national congress was attended by more than 700 delegates, representing learners from schools across the length and breadth of the 9 South African provinces.
The congress was held amidst various challenges and developments affecting the basic education terrain of struggle. These challenges include the crisis of crime and safety in schools, Racism in former and current model C school, Learner support, Learner absorption in institutions of higher learning and the recent developments including the proposal of legislating Grade 9 as an exit point in basic education.
Congress deliberated on these challenges and developments resolving in practical workable solutions for South African learners especially those coming from working class and poor backgrounds. Amongst the resolutions, are the following: (1). Nationalization of all private schools to allow for Free, Dynamic and Equal education for all; (2). Move for abolition of PGCE program in order to promote production of quality over quantity matric results – to improve pass rate of matriculants admitted to pursue Bachelors degree in institutions of higher learning; (3) Call for safety in schools through the deployment of properly trained personnel and securities. Other important resolutions will be communicated to structures, authorities and other stakeholders upon consolidation by the Congress secretariat in due course.
The National Congress reaffirmed the centrality of the Congress of South African Students in resolving challenges in the basic education sector. As such congress resolved on strengthening political relations with structures of the mass democratic movement organizing in the education sector particularly SADTU and the Progressive Youth Alliance in order to make sure that we collectively confront our challenges and pursue the goals of the movement as a united education front.
On organizational matters, the National Congress expressed its disappointment at the level of factionalism, patronage, ill discipline that has seemingly engulfed COSAS and the broader movement. The National Congress mandated the newly elected leadership to put up efforts of bringing back stability in our organization, reaching out to those who had different leadership preferences and ultimately uniting learners because they have nobody but themselves.
Despite some logistical nightmares and delays the national congress was graced by the Presence of the deployee from the ANC, Cde Malusi Gigaba and other notable guests. In his address to Congress, cde Gigaba emphasized the important role to be played by the youth especially our generation. He further encouraged COSAS to learn and teach each other about the importance of gender equality and being each other’s keepers.
The national congress appointed Cde Malusi Gigaba and Cde Wesley KGang, our former president together with 5 others to lead the IEC and election proceedings.
The following leadership was elected into office for the next two years:
President General: Itumeleng Vutha Ntsube
Deputy President: Mandisa Dhlamini
Secretary General: Teboho Magafane
1st Deputy Secretary General: Xola Booi
2nd Deputy Secretary General: Sifiso Dlamini
Treasurer General: Sanele Nxili
The National congress elected 25 other members of the NEC as dictated to by the Constitution of COSAS.
The mandate is clear, we wish to thank all convocants and other invited guests who graced our congress. Most importantly we wish to thank all delegates who participated in congress with patience despite serious provocation and wish they travel well back to their respective provinces.
The final schooling term for 2019 has begun, we wish all learners all the best in their preparations for examinations. We are grateful for the opportunity to lead all learners of South Africa, we will do our best for the organization and our learners. Where we make mistakes our slogan “each one, teach one” will help us.
Issued by: COSAS HQ
President General: Itumeleng “Vutha” Ntsube
067 7265 686
Secretary General: Teboho Magafane
062 1177 877