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The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, is planning to meet, urgently, both the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and Universities South Africa (USAF) to discuss steps to be taken to deal with violence at institutions of higher education and training across the country.

This follows reports of several violent incidents that include the deaths of students at University of Zululand and University of KwaZulu-Natal, over the weekend. Both incidents are alleged to involve fatal assaults.

Minister Pandor said the role of alcohol and other substances in such events should be investigated and urged peaceful resolution of conflicts and improved security at functions and residences.

Minister Pandor further directed her Department to expedite the finalisation of the Draft Policy and Strategy on Gender-Based Violence in the Post-School Education and Training Sector. This will assist institutions of higher education and training to be proactive in dealing with campus and residence violence.

Expressing her condolences to the families of the students who died, Minister Pandor said she was extremely saddened and concerned about these incidents of violence in institutions.

“I call on Vice Chancellors to prioritise their institutional protocols on student safety and I intend to meet the Vice Chancellors as soon as possible to develop a sector approach to confront this scourge,” Minister said.

Issued by the Ministry of Higher Education and Training

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