Pandor seeks to resolve impasse of students blocked from registering

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Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor has directed the department to identify students who are blocked from registering for their final year due to outstanding debt.

Pandor instructed her department to work with institutions and ensure they can register and complete their studies. She addressed the media on 12 demands made by the South African Student’s Union.

Pandor says they are addressing the matter of historic debt of  National Student Financial Aid Scheme-qualifying students.

“We are not able as government to immediately resolve the full debt of all studying in the university system. We just don’t have the money. We have decided to prioritise students from poor and working class backgrounds. However, we are developing a policy framework for the regulation of university fees from 2020 onward, in order to ensure that fees are kept at affordable levels for all families that need assistance.”

Pandor says she is dismayed that educational establishments are being shut down due to labour action. Several Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges in Johannesburg were shut down on Friday by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union.

Disgruntled workers are calling for a pay hike, better salaries and they want members to be given permanent teaching posts. Pandor says she hopes the labour disputes can be amicably resolved.

“I think workers have a right to protest on any matter affecting their particular status, but I’m dismayed at the call to close down educational establishments. I don’t think that should happen. I think it’s important for us as a country and all structures to work hard to support young people to succeed.”

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