Minister Pandor calls for calm at the University of Johannesburg
10 October 2007
The Minister of Education, Mrs Naledi Pandor, has expressed grave concern at the reports of violence associated with the student protests at the University of Johannesburg.
The Minister has also appealed to university leadership to pay due regard to the economic hardship faced by many of the families that fund student fees when considering fee increments.
"NSFAS provides valuable support, but does not address all needs. Universities must meet us halfway," Minister Pandor said.
Minister Pandor added, "While students and student organizations have a democratic right to protest, this right should never prevent other students from going about their normal university business or damage university property."
The Minister said it was important that impending examinations were not disrupted.
She has directed departmental officials to monitor closely any ongoing protests at the University of Johannesburg and also to meet with the leadership of the institution in order to assist in bringing about a speedy resolution of the disputes.
Minister Pandor also referred to her concern at the hardship that students face if fee increases are set above inflation. She repeated her call to Vice Chancellors and Councils to curb fee increases, especially given the improved financing of higher education that was a result of this year's budget.
The Minister said she was still hopeful that the disputes would be resolved through internal university processes.
Issued by the Ministry of Education
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