Load shedding exemption for higher learning institutions? Nzimande says it may be needed during exams

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says higher learning institutions are under financial strain from load shedding.
  • He says the department is considering putting forward a proposal for load shedding exemption during examinations.
  • Nzimande adds institutions had approached the department to lament the high cost of running universities and colleges during rotational power outages.

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande says higher learning institutions are counting the cost of load shedding, which disrupts teaching, learning, and the smooth running of exams. 

He said institutions have backup generators that kicked in during scheduled blackouts, increasing running costs due to extra diesel and petrol prices.

Speaking during a NSFAS applications briefing on Tuesday, Nzimande added the higher education department would deliberate on proposing an exemption for universities and TVET colleges during load shedding, particularly during examinations, although he could foresee challenges with this. 

"We don't know how this would work because other institutions may come up and say, 'we also want to be exempted', which, in essence, means the lights must be on for 24 hours.

ROLLING COVERAGE | Eskom and load shedding news as it happens

"That is the most immediate challenge facing the government, but it doesn't mean we will not look into it. Some institutions [are reporting that load shedding] is putting pressure on budgets," he said. 

The minister, who had earlier praised efforts towards fixing Eskom, added it needed a permanent plan to address load shedding. 

He said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's announcement of restructuring the Eskom board was one of the positive steps taken by the government "to make sure that load shedding becomes something of the past".

"In every district, there is an educational system. For us, there would be few districts where there isn't either a TVET college campus or community education or learning centre. Our footprint is in the whole country, but we have to try by all means to protect examinations, teaching, and learning in our institutions."

Nzimande's remarks come amid continued power outages, which have seen South Africans experience the longest stretch of load shedding, which has intensified to Stage 6. 


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Gauteng DA leader Solly Msimanga says the party's voters want it to explore conditional coalition talks with the ANC. 
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It's a step in the right direction. An ANC-DA coalition would be the most stable option for SA
32% - 3232 votes
The DA should focus on working with all opposition parties, including the EFF, to unseat the ANC
14% - 1438 votes
The DA should rather remain in opposition than form a coalition with the ANC or the EFF
53% - 5289 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.14
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
20.55
+0.9%
Rand - Euro
17.76
+0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.43
+0.9%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.1%
Gold
1,741.80
-0.9%
Silver
20.96
-2.3%
Palladium
1,847.00
-0.5%
Platinum
992.00
+0.8%
Brent Crude
83.63
-2.0%
Top 40
66,994
+0.4%
All Share
73,368
+0.3%
Resource 10
70,795
-0.9%
Industrial 25
88,376
+1.2%
Financial 15
16,389
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE