The DA wishes all the applicants injured in the stampede this morning at Capricorn TVET college a speedy recovery. Six were injured when hopeful applicants rushed through the gate, and a further two prospective students were struck by a vehicle.
This incident further highlights how irresponsible the call by the EFF to ‘storm’ institutions is – some institutions specifically avoid walk-in registrations in order to prevent harm coming to any applicants and accepted students. The DA had previously warned that this would place people’s safety at risk.
The call illustrates the party’s willingness to selfishly exploit the hopes of a desperate youth, simply to further their own political goals. The responsibility for these injuries lies squarely at the EFF’s door.
We urge institutions to take action to ensure the safety of students, and to suspend walk-in applications if necessary. Ultimately, this situation has arisen because of the Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET) continued failure to provide clarity of policy after the President’s populist December announcement.
Institutions – most notably TVETs – as well as students and parents are still largely in the dark as to what and how new policies are to be implemented this year. Until the Minister steps up to the plate and provides detailed guidance, we are likely to see more incidents like this as the registration process continues.
While the DA believes all deserving students should be able to further their studies and that poorer ones should be financially supported, we urge them to refrain from participating in activities that contravene the policies of higher learning institutions and that put other prospective students at risk.