President Jacob Zuma has established a Ministerial Task Team that would be responsible for fixing the problems between students and tertiary institutions.
This was done following growing calls by concerned members of the public for the president to intervene in the on-going protest which has turned violent giving room for a second Marikana in the country.
The President, Zuma is also concerned that the on-going student protest against fee hike for the next academic session could derail academic activities across the country, especially as most universities across the country have shut down academic activities.
The Ministerial Task Team are to assist the Minister of Higher Education and Training to normalize the situation at higher education institutions across South Africa, working with all stakeholders.
According to the statement, the following ministers are among the members of the Ministerial Task Team:
- he Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Jeff Radebe as Convenor,
- Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Bonginkosi “Blade” Nzimande
- Minister of Science and Technology, Ms. Naledi Pandor
- Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha
- Minister of Police, Mr. Nathi Nhleko
- Minister of State Security, Mr. David Mahlobo
- Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and
- Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. Malusi Gigaba.
“We urge all stakeholders including students, university management, parents and religious leaders to cooperate with the Ministerial Task Team to ensure that the future of our children is not jeopardized,” Zuma said.
The presidency also reiterated its commitment the welfare of youth and to promoting access to higher education for the children of the poor and the working class.
Zuma however, condemned acts of violence and the destruction of government property and urged all students to return to class while solutions are collectively sought to the challenges of higher education in the country.
Meanwhile, some universities across the country have remained opened despite disruptions and other institutions have suspended academic activities as students across the country have been protesting for months over free, decolonized education for all at universities and the scrapping of fee increments which have been capped at 8%.