Crisis at tertiary institutions - ANCYL
Johannesburg - The department of higher education must acknowledge that there is a critical lack of space in tertiary institutions, the ANC Youth League said on Thursday.
"The department of higher education should not be trapped in denying the reality that there are fewer spaces in institutions of higher learning... because such will deny the department an opportunity to come with urgent solutions to the crisis," suspended ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said.
He said the tertiary education organisation, Higher Education South Africa (Hesa), admitted that the growing demand for education had severely stretched the capacities of the country's universities.
"Now that Hesa has admitted this reality, the ANCYL calls on all South Africans, in particular the South African government and the department of higher education to acknowledge this crisis," Shivambu said.
"The ANCYL has verified through research that not all students who passed matric will be absorbed into institutions of higher learning, simply because there are no spaces available."
He said the ANCYL would meet Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and would emphasise the need to build reputable universities in Mpumalanga and in the Northern Cape.
"[We will] also propose a national summit to discuss and come up with solutions on how best South Africa addresses the reality of many students and fewer spaces and opportunities at post-secondary level," Shivambu said.
Gloria Sekwena died in a stampede at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday morning while accompanying her son Kgositsile to apply for a place. More than 20 people were injured.
After the incident, Nzimande told journalists that crowds descending on universities for late applications was a nationwide problem every year, but that the University of Johannesburg seemed to attract a lot more people.
He said the department was hoping to have centralised applications in place by next year and would provide more information at schools on the applications process.