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Pandor denounces call for university walk-in registrations

South Africa’s minister of higher education and training has issued a statement denouncing calls for young people to disrupt the start of the 2019 academic year by walking onto campuses, demanding university entry.

In her statement, released on 9 January, Naledi Pandor said she had noted “with distress” the “irresponsible and dangerous calls” for young people to “flock to universities and demand entry”.

On 7 January student representatives of the Economic Freedom Fighters told a media briefing in Johannesburg that the country’s youth should stage walk-in registrations en masse.

Pandor said such calls were “unwarranted and without justification and [had] the potential to disrupt the system and deny deserving students their right to higher education and training."

She said that prospective students had been “well informed” of the deadlines for applying to university places in 2019, and for financial support. “Institutions cannot take more students than there is space to accommodate,” she said.

Students qualifying for tertiary education who had failed to secure a place could turn to the government’s Central Applications Clearing House for assistance, she said. “Use these mechanisms rather than creating chaos at institutions when there is no need.”

However, EFF Student Command says that the current system of online applications disadvantaged rural students who lack internet access.