‘The Bold & the Beautiful’ - Nzimande likens student protests to soapie

'Every year, it’s like a soapie now, 'The Bold and the Beautiful', every beginning of the year there is instability,' Minister Nzimande said.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande at a media briefing on 18 January 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Tuesday likened the ongoing student protests to a soap opera and said this latest shutdown needed to end to prevent any further loss of lecture time.

Students at a number of universities have been protesting in response to the call by the South African Union of Students (SAUS), which has accused the government of failing to meet its demands, including writing off billions in student debt that has accumulated over the years.

Nzimande held an online meeting with the SAUS and members of Parliament on Tuesday.

“Every year, it’s like a soapie now, _ The Bold and the Beautiful_, every beginning of the year there is instability.”

The minister told the meeting that he wanted the nationwide protests by students demanding free education to be called off, saying the academic year had already been shortened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a third wave of infections on the horizon, Nzimande is worried: “I hope that this time around that if we can settle the issue of the missing middle, then we should go a long way in ensuring that the year starts peacefully and with focus on teaching and learning rather than focusing on other things.”

WATCH: Portfolio committee on higher education meeting with Nzimande, students

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