Blade's university plan is stillborn
HIGHER Education Minister Blade Nzimande has failed to keep his promise to implement a central application system for next year, that will eliminate walk-in registrations at universities.
Nzimande made the promise early this year following a stampede at the University of Johannesburg, where a mother was killed and 22 people injured while students were trying to enrol.
Nzimande then promised the country that his department would discontinue walk-in registrations and centralise all applications by 2013.
"Our aim for a centralised application office is to be operational in 2013,"Nzimande said at the time.
The delay could result in long queues by walk-in students desperate to be enrolled at various universities around the country next year.
The SA Students Congress has claimed it did not know anything about the progress of this new system.
Nzimande's spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga said yesterday that while the first phase of the intervention, called the "clearing house" system, would be rolled out during the application season through October, applications for 2013 would still be done through institutions, with the exception of KwaZulu-Natal.
Qinga insisted that the clearing house system, as the first phase of a fully-fledged central application system, would help to ensure the smooth running of the application process. The process would be the first step towards totally eliminating walk-ins.
"This would be in the form of a database, in which all rejected and late applications will be channelled and will also help in giving them the options still open to them. This will include a callcentre," she said.
A full-scale campaign will kick-start at the end of October but Qinga could not say when the central application system would be rolled out.
Sasco's general secretary Themba Masondo said a meeting would be set up with the ministry to discuss the issue and other concerns. -email@example.com