In South Africa University #FeesMustFall

This is a letter written by my Computer Science lecturer, Craig Reynolds. He was an academic for most of the time that I knew him and at some point moved into the business world, first working for Sun Microsystems and later Oracle Corporation in Dubai. He also graciously wrote a recommendation, which helped me to receive a full scholarship from the Chinese government for my MBA degree.

You were surprised at my views on supporting the student protest, especially as I’m an ex-academic and solicited further explanation. Here goes:

I am of the option that education (at all levels) should be heavily subsidised by government. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that education, including tertiary, should be free.

Yes, free!

An educated society is a strong society and this is particularly true for societies with high levels of educated women (but that is a discussion for another day.)

For the good of society as a whole I don’t understand why capable people should be excluded simply because they are not able to pay. The whole point of education is to lift those people from poverty, not so? Likewise I don’t understand why you should spend years recovering from debt which has been forced upon you in order to educate yourself.

So, I agree with the students that there should be no fee increases, I’d say they need to take it further and demand no fees at all.

But they are protesting to the wrong people, it is not the universities that are at fault. In my view it is the South African government, and in particular the ANC, that is the guilty party. They have stolen, squandered and mismanaged the country’s resources for their own gain and so have not provided the universities with appropriate funding, hence the universities have not choice but to raise fees to keep the the lights on.

The protesters should be barricading Luthuli House and Parliament. They should be demanding explanations from Blade Nzimande, not vice-chancellors. They should be preventing ANC members-of-parliament from leaving/entering, not their fellow students and their lecturers.

The fact that SASCO leaders are wearing ANC colours when it’s the fault of the ANC that the fees are a) very high and b) increasing says one of the following: The students don’t understand that universities are reliant on government for funding, or they are being orchestrated to target university management, probably because they are white and so an easy target.

In addition, I am deeply suspicious that this is being orchestrated by the ANC itself to direct attention away from their own failings. I’m also wondering if this isn’t part of of the wider ANC/SACP strategy (going back to 1976) to keep supporters out of education to ensure that the population remains uneducated. An uneducated populace is easily controlled, educated people ask too many uncomfortable questions. This is a typical communist strategy and I would not be surprised to find Cronin & Nzimande, die hard communist dinosaurs, at the bottom of it all. If so, I hope it bites them in the ass.

So, in short: I support the protests. I don’t support the violence. The protesters are protesting to and about the wrong people.


Top 10 Motivational Speakers on Twitter

Top 10 South African motivational speakers on TwitterThere is one sure way to get people attention, and that is to compare them to others in their industry or sector. A recent controversy spawned this list. In 2011 I experimented with various SEO techniques. SEO is the science of optimising web pages to rank higher in search engines like Google or Bing.

For the last 15 years on the Web, this was the best way people found your website. The growing influence of social media is shifting the local of control from Google and Yahoo as sources of traffic.

Anyway, we present here the Top 10 South African Motivational Speakers on Twitter:




Vusi Thembekwayo 6608 Vusi Thembekwayo #1 SA Speaker on TwitterVusi is a Speaker, Venture Capitalist, Entrepreneur and Father. Ranked 10th in ‘Johannesburg’ on twitaholic I do not understand why his tweets are currently protected.After 10667 tweets, and a new Facebook campaign to “Stop NYDA” it’s clear that Mr Thembekwayo values this particular social media platform highly.
Estienne de Beer 1590 Estienne de Beer is a Wildlife Motivational Speaker to corporate companies with his 1 hour inspirational talk = Meerkat Motivation for the Marketplace. After 201 tweets it seems mostly like self promotion and no real conversations. Low frequency twitter users are unable to leverage social media influence. Therefore they’re ranked 154th in their ‘South Africa’ on twitaholic!
Guy Lundy 1550 Guy broke into the public consciousness because of his book “South Africa: The Good News.” As CEO of Accelerate Cape Town, he is a well-respected futurist, strategist, writer, speaker and seems like Clem Sunter’s heir apparent in my view.
Douglas Kruger 1301 Douglas is an acquaintance and fellow Toastmasters member. Professional Speaker, Author, and Trainer with several books under his belt. He speaks on expert-positioning and hamster-thinking. He reached 2nd place at Toastmasters global speaking competition in 2004. His tweets are informative, funny and personal.
Michael Jackson 1057 Mr Jackson is a worldwide professional speaker on global business trends & change. With 1834 tweets he is reasonable active and tweeting Zwelinzima Vavi and other high profile people. He is ranked 1st in the location ‘Usually on an aircraft’ and has a great sense of humour.
Wolfgang Riebe 1015 Wolfgang is an established International Inspirational Keynote Speaker, Mind Shift Guru, MC & Comedy Corporate Illusionist. My friend and UFOlogist Cristo Louw brought him to my attention a few years ago. He’s also the most recent President of the Professional Speakers Association
Jono Quail 963 Jono came to my attention because of his run in with the law regarding his car number plate. He is founder & CEO, & Inspirational Speaker, Trainer, Values & Transformation Expert, Business Consultant, Life & Success Coach & Spiritual Teacher. After 1657 tweets he is active.
Robin Banks 578 Robin is the official trainer of John Kehoe’s MindPower seminars in South Africa. He’s an international Motivational Speaker and Mind Power Coach in his own right now. With only 25 tweets he is clearly lacking a strategy or a PA savvy enough to update his Twitter.
Andrew Horton 426 Business and Success Coach, Key Note Speaker,;
Billy Selekane 228 The Professional Speakers Association award him with special recognition in Durban earlier this year. I am an Author , Inspirational Keynote Speaker, Facilitator and Businessman. I am Executive Chairman of The Billy Selekane Group

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