Buti call as as­pir­ing stu­dents hurt in stam­pede

Pretoria News - - NEWS -

THE Deputy Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, Buti Manamela, yes­ter­day urged prospec­tive ter­tiary stu­dents to co-op­er­ate with in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing in their reg­is­tra­tion process as thou­sands were flock­ing to se­cure the limited places.

Six peo­ple were in­jured at Capricorn Tech­ni­cal Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing (TVET) col­lege in Polokwane, in the Lim­popo prov­ince, dur­ing a stam­pede when hope­ful ap­pli­cants rushed through the gate yes­ter­day morn­ing, and a fur­ther two prospec­tive stu­dents were struck by a ve­hi­cle.

Capricorn TVET col­lege was forced to sus­pend reg­is­tra­tion for the 2018 aca­demic year un­til Mon­day fol­low­ing the stam­pede. The sit­u­a­tion later calmed down af­ter po­lice and paramedics came on the scene and trans­ported the in­jured to var­i­ous health­care cen­tres.

Manamela met the prin­ci­pals of all TVET col­leges at the Ekurhu­leni West TVET Col­lege in Ger­mis­ton where he was also briefed on the sit­u­a­tion at the Polokwane and Seshego cam­puses of the Capricorn TVET Col­lege in Lim­popo.

“We ap­peal to all prospec­tive stu­dents to en­sure that they have all the nec­es­sary doc­u­ments to en­able the col­leges to han­dle their ap­pli­ca­tions and reg­is­tra­tion swiftly. I urge all stu­dents to fol­low the pro­ce­dures for ap­pli­ca­tion and reg­is­tra­tion so that we can re­sume learn­ing and teach­ing on Mon­day,” Manamela said.

“We re­main grate­ful for the out­stand­ing work by our se­cu­rity per­son­nel, the po­lice and the paramedics in the man­ner in which they man­aged the sit­u­a­tion.”

Manamela said that dis­cus­sions were cur­rently un­der way be­tween col­lege man­age­ment, the city coun­cil of Polokwane and po­lice to iden­tify an al­ter­na­tive and more suit­able venue for reg­is­tra­tions.

The EFF has de­manded that in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing al­low walk-in reg­is­tra­tions for those who did not meet the dead­line for on­line ap­pli­ca­tions. The party also in­structed prospec­tive stu­dents to re­port to these in­sti­tu­tions fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s an­nounce­ment of free higher ed­u­ca­tion last month.

But Manamela re­it­er­ated that the on­line ap­pli­ca­tions re­mained the pri­mary method for ap­pli­ca­tions, say­ing that univer­si­ties and col­leges are en­cour­aged to as­sist and set up mech­a­nisms in an­tic­i­pa­tion of any late walk-in ap­pli­ca­tions as a pre­cau­tion.

Mean­while, the EFF called for bet­ter crowd man­age­ment by higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a high vol­ume of prospec­tive stu­dents.

“We call on (col­leges) to ap­ply ba­sic crowd con­trol mech­a­nisms like bar­ri­cades, mar­shals etc,” said the EFF.

“We ad­mit it is a prob­lem, but one we must be eter­nally proud of be­cause in­stead, we could be deal­ing with scores of youth dy­ing on the lines of beer halls and drugs.”

The DA blamed the EFF for the stam­pede, say­ing that the party must take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the in­juries be­cause of its call to “storm” in­sti­tu­tions.

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