AS IT HAPPENED: Calm restored after registration chaos at UNISA

2018-01-15 12:06

Calm has been restored to UNISA's Sunnyside campus following a chaotic outbreak as prospective students started climbing over the gates to get into the university grounds to register for the 2018 academic year.

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Last Updated at 11:10
15 Jan 15:00

Higher Education Deputy Minister Buti Manamela says the increased demand for vocational education and training is a call for government to direct more resources towards expanding the sector.

Manamela was speaking at Capricorn Technical Vocational Education and Training College's application centre on Monday.

His visit comes after six prospective students were injured during a stampede as dozens tried to force themselves into the college last week.

Manamela said statistics showed that student enrollments at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges had increased from 350 000 to at least 750 000 nationally over the past four years.

He said it was inspiring to see the increase in demand.

Manamela visited the college's application centre at the Peter Mokaba Stadium as part of an inspection of the ongoing application process. 

"We are very excited that there is a huge demand for TVET education, this means that as government we need to invest more in expanding the sector," he said.

Manamela said all prospective students would receive assistance.Hoping to secure a place at the institution that has already indicated that it would only cater for 1 200, scores of prospective students started queuing from Sunday afternoon with some spending the night at the local sports facility.

Calvin Thobejane, from Burgersfort, said even though he had submitted his application he remained in the dark about whether he would realise his dream of studying further. "I submitted my application but my name was above the limit.

They said they are looking for 1 200, and I don't know. I am still waiting for Tshwane University of Technology," said Thobejane.

In December President Jacob Zuma announced that free education for students who come from households that have a total annual income of less than R350 000 would be phased in starting this year.

But Manamela appealed to prospective students to consider Waterberg and Lephalale TVET colleges where there was still space available.

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The University of South Africa (Unisa) has cautioned students against forcing their way on to campus, saying that they are meeting with various stakeholders to address the chaos that erupted at the long-distance learning institution on Monday.

The Sunnyside campus in Pretoria was rocked by many prospective students attempting to make their way onto the campus by jumping over fences, and attempting to break locks to gain access to the campus.

Spokesperson for the university, Martin Ramotshela, told News24 that although they announced that late applications would be allowed, they did not anticipate having so many students responding to the call.

Ramotshela, however, said that he was not certain if those who were jumping the fence were prospective students who were there as late walk-in applicants or those who were there to register.

Second flare up

He strongly discouraged the actions of the students, calling for calm."There is a power struggle between two student formations. Management is trying to calm the situation down, they are also meeting with unions," Ramotshela said.

This is the second flare up of chaos on campus during registration with Capricorn's Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college in Limpopo suffering a similar, more serious consequence.

Registration week was reopened on Monday, after the college had suspended it last week following the injury of six people during a stampede and two others who were hit by a car during the rush to go and register.

Back in Pretoria, Ramotshela said that no one was able to access campus. "Some people may have come from far, so we have to resolve this today. No one can access campus at this stage.

We discourage the forceful entry by prospective students, because even if they make it in to the buildings, there is no one there to service them," Ramotshela said.

Ramotshela said that police would be on the scene until the situation was pacified.

He added that registration ends on January 26.

15 Jan 12:50

15 Jan 12:47

DA Youth in Limpopo to visit TVET colleges in Vhembe

Tomorrow, 16 January 2018 , the DA Youth in Limpopo will visit Vhembe TVET College in Thengwe and Makwarela Campuses in Vhembe to assess the registration processes and help students to register.

The visit comes after several applicants were injured in the stampede at Capricorn TVET College last week.

They will further take note of all the challenges being encountered during the registration process and engage the TVET management to resolve them to avoid another stampede in these campuses.

The DA Youth Structure will also visit more Universities and TVET Colleges across the province this week.

The oversight visit will be led the DA Youth Provincial Chairperson, Aluwani Raphalalani , DA Councillors and activists.

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I am aware of the long queues at Peter Mokaba Stadium and have asked the Principal to go and speak to them and allay their fears.

There is no need to be in the queues overnight as all students will be allowed to apply for available spaces tomorrow from 6am.

I am pleased at the demand for education by our youth, and excited that we are indeed making education fashionable.

I also advise that those who can, should consider approaching Waterberg and Lephalale TVET who still have spaces available.

@HigherEduGovZA will do everything in its power to ensure that we assist the colleges to run a smooth registration system.

This also shows that TVET colleges should invest in better IT systems to ensure smooth and hassle free registration process.

I will be visiting the pop-up registration Centre at the Peter Mokaba Stadium this morning to monitor the registration process.

I urge students to cooperate with staff and management of the institution so that we conclude the registration process quickly.

I also urge political parties to exercise restraint in their communications and not heighten tensions in an already volatile and emotional situation. At the end of the day, the education of the African Child remains our priority.

We should not prey on the anxiety of poor and working class young people whose only interest is to access free education. Let’s all work together to achieve this and build a better South Africa. 

15 Jan 12:09

15 Jan 12:09

Chaos erupts at Unisa campus as students climb over gates to register

Chaos erupted outside of the University of South Africa's Sunnyside campus as prospective students started climbing over the gates to get into the university grounds to register.

Hundreds of students gathered at the campus on Monday morning. The university kept the gates closed, only allowing entry to 20 students at a time in order to prevent a stampede.

Students became restless and started jumping over the gates and proceeded to run into the university grounds as security looked on.

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