Close to a million matriculants could lose their placements in universities and colleges should the academic year not be concluded, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe warned yesterday.
Briefing journalists from Pretoria, Radebe said the #FeesMustFall protests which have shut down universities will have a dire effect on matriculants, students and ultimately the economy.
“If the academic year is lost and the universities and colleges do not reach a finality this year, almost a million matriculants will not be admitted into higher education,” he said.
The ripple effect is such that all students from first to final year would be affected and the economy, as no new skilled graduates will enter the job market.
Radebe reiterated government’s call that students’ talk to authorities about their demands and cease the protests to allow the academic programme to continue.
Meanwhile, the University of the Western Cape has joined the University of Cape Town in cancelling face-face classes, with 35 protesters due to appear in court today.
Exams are expected to begin on November 7.
Yesterday the university resembled a ghost town.
UWC’s Luthando Tyhalibongo said damage includes the looting of the student centre shop, and fire damage to several buildings.
“More than 10 petrol bombs found on campus,” he adds.
UCT’s Elijah Moholola says cops are probing charges of assault after two security guards were attacked on Wednesday.
“One was beaten up by a group of protesters near the food court, the other had a rock dropped on his head from an upper storey of Steve Biko Student’s Union building,” he says.