The ongoing destruction and intimidation by small groups at universities must stop, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Monday.
He warned students that failure to complete the academic year on schedule would mean poverty for many who would not get their degrees.
“At some universities there have been attempts to disrupt those who are at work,” he said at a summit on higher education, held in Kempton Park.
“But here is the point: at one university the disruption has been the work of a total of 30 people. Nobody even knows whether they are genuine students,” he said.
Student Representative Council leaders of different universities attended the event.
He assured students that government had heard their calls for free tertiary education “loud and clear,” but asked for time to discuss it.
“We have heard the student leadership telling us about the pressures they are facing. We have heard the pleas from across our society that the coming weeks and months should remain peaceful and focused.
“We all agree that there is a genuine issue around the affordability of higher education and training, as we strive to sustain the ability of our institutions to hold their weight as places of learning, teaching, and research in the international arena,” he said.[Source: News24]