The acting premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, has called all MECs and university stakeholders to a meeting this week, after the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the Durban University of Technology suspended all lectures indefinitely after student protests broke out in four universities in the province.
“Although the provincial government has no direct oversight role to play over the institutions of higher education, it was agreed in a meeting held on the 7th of February 2017 that the provincial government must be part of efforts aimed at ensuring a disruption free academic year. This meeting was convened by the KZN Human Resource Development Council and attended by vice-chancellors, rectos and students leadership and was chaired by Premier Willies Mchunu,” said Zikalala in a statement to The Citizen.
The KZN government said they expected young people to exercise revolutionary discipline and isolate criminal elements who abused the constitution to peacefully protest, by destroying public property and endangering lives of others.
“The burning of vehicles and buildings leaves a bitter taste and should be condemned by all the people of KwaZulu-Natal. We wish to state categorically that we fully understand and sympathise with the plight of poor students who find it impossible to meet rising education cost,” he added.
“As the KZN government, we also support the Education Minister, Naledi Pandor, who announced that she had directed the director-general of the department to ensure the necessary support,” the premier concluded.