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‘Destructive student protests cannot be allowed to continue’

Mantashe says the fact that over 800,000 black students are currently in SA universities is a success.

FILE: ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the fact that more than 800,000 black students are currently in South African universities should be seen as a success.

Mantashe says the ruling party initially came up with the intention to provide free undergraduate tuition for the poor, but many refuse to acknowledge strides made in bringing this to fruition.



The secretary general is the keynote speaker at the 7th annual Big Five Investor Conference in Cape Town.

Mantashe says he is sticking to his statement, that he would close universities in an attempt to bring an end to student protests, even though it got him in trouble.

He says destructive protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal cannot be allowed to continue.

"Today, black students in our universities are just over 800,000 - that is a success story. It's the result of the government increasing the funding for higher education from R21 million to over R10 billion."

Meanwhile, Mantashe adds the decline in support for the ruling party during the local government elections cannot be linked to service delivery.

He says instead it directly speaks to the trust deficit between ANC leadership and the electorate.



LISTEN: ANC at loggerheads with IEC?