Nzimande: Higher education sector can't afford more protests

The minister says while he hopes there are no protests & unrest at universities this year, the department is prepared to ensure there is ongoing dialogue if this occurs.

FILE: Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

PRETORIA - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says while he hopes there are no protests and unrest at universities this academic year, the department is prepared to ensure there is ongoing dialogue if this occurs.

The minister was speaking in Pretoria on the state of readiness to start the 2017 academic year, following meetings with the sector.

Nzimande says he hopes 2017 is characterised by stability on university campuses.

"This is the year in which we hope that this issue of fees will be addressed. The Fees Commission will be reporting this year."

He says the sector can simply not afford more disruptions.

"That have the potential of causing fatal damage to our public higher education systems. Already we are told that applications to these institutions have increased."

The minister says he recognises everyone’s right to protest but urged them to do so within the confines of the law.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)