Johannesburg – Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Buti Manamela has advised management at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges to have plans in place to deal with late walk-in applicants.
While he emphasised that online applications remain the primary method for applications at higher education institutions, management must, in any event, be ready for those who seek placement outside of the set registration dates.
“You need to allow as many students as possible, with obvious consideration to enrolment plans and available resources. It is clear that some people would like to take advantage of the situation by festering confusion and distortion in order to achieve political goals,” the Deputy Minister said.
He held a meeting with the principals of all TVET colleges at Ekurhuleni West TVET College in Germiston on Thursday. It was an opportunity for the Deputy Minister to get an update on the registration processes and challenges that TVET colleges are experiencing.
TVET colleges – previously known as further education and training (FET) colleges – provide theoretical and practical training for graduates to help the country close the skills gap in certain major sectors.
Capricon college “stable”
Deputy Minister Manamela was also briefed on the situation at the Polokwane campus of Capricorn TVET college in Limpopo.
A stampede broke out when the students were queueing for admission for the 2018 academic year at the campus, leaving several students injured.
College principal Amos Tema informed the Deputy Minister that the situation has now stabilised.
Following a thorough risk assessment of the Polokwane campus facilities, a decision has been taken by college management to suspend registration at the institution until Monday.
“We appeal to all prospective students to ensure that they have all the necessary documents to enable the colleges to handle their applications and registration swiftly. I urge all students to follow the procedures for application and registration so that we can [start] learning and teaching on Monday.
“We remain grateful for the outstanding work by our security personnel, the police and paramedics in the manner in which they managed the situation,” Deputy Minister Manamela said.
Discussions are underway between college management, the city council of Polokwane and the South African Police Service to identify an alternative and more suitable venue for registration.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Deputy Minister is scheduled to visit the Walter Sisulu University East London Postdam Campus and Buffalo City TVET College East London Campus. These visits as part of the ongoing effort to ensure that the implementation of fee-free higher education for poor and working-class students runs smoothly across institutions of higher learning, together with the admissions and registration process that go with it.