Student safety a concern for Nzimande

Student safety a concern for Nzimande.
Student safety a concern for Nzimande.
Image: 123rf

Minister of higher education and training Blade Nzimande has voiced out concerns about campus safety, particularly what seems to be increased incidents of gender-based violence.

Nzimande said his first intervention has focused on tightening the policy framework to enable the department to deal more effectively with gender-based and other forms of violence on campuses.

“Our institutions are places of teaching, learning and positive socialisation and should therefore be safe spaces,” Nzimande said.

Since the beginning of this academic year, three student were stabbed to death.

Fort Hare University lost two students Yonela Boli, 24, who was allegedly stabbed to death by his girlfriend and two weeks later his friend Olwethu Tshefu, 30, was also stabbed to death.

In another incident, Tshidi Mocheko, 27, a TVET college student, died after being stabbed multiple times in Limpopo.  A female student at Ehlanzeni TVET college, Mthimba campus in Mpumalanga, was allegedly raped by seven men who broke into the student’s off-campus residence.

“To ensure students safety, we require multiple levels of intervention involving not only the ministry, but institutions, students, staff, community stakeholders and other government departments,” Nzimande said.

He said the department have finalised the policy framework on gender-based violence for the post-school sector and will shortly be tabling it before cabinet for final approval.

“The policy will guide the whole sector in its management of and response to gender-based violence,” Nzimande said.

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