Naledi Pandor condemns violent protests at universities

Pandor agreed more work needs to be done to increase black student enrollment and improve financial aid.

Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor has condemned violent protests that have marred some universities in recent weeks.

Last night, she addressed a South African Student Congress meeting at Stellenbosch University.

Last month, a science lab and administration building at North West University were torched in a demonstration.

In a lecture hall packed with students and university staff, Pandor conceded that more work needs to be done to increase black student enrollment and improve financial assistance.

"And of course the transformation agenda is one that is desperately in need of our attention. Our student, particularly black students and women, feel excluded. Our institutions need to do much more to create a culture that is welcoming."

She added universities should also move away from trying to mirror American and European institutions in order to transform.

"Too few black academics are in the system at the moment. We need well-crafted programmes that are designed to attract black post-graduates."

Pandor has also called on universities to do more to acknowledge the diverse cultures of the student body.