13 July 2023 - NW2473
Ngcobo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
(1) Considering the rising levels of gender-based violence and other crimes in institutions of higher learning and training, what are the reasons that his department is deferring the full implementation of the Safety and Security Minimum Norms and Standards to the 2024-25 financial year; (2) what steps is his department currently taking to ensure the safety and security of students and staff in institutions of higher learning and training across the Republic?
The Department of Higher Education and Training (the Department) has been working towards finding mechanisms to address the scourge of violence on campuses. The work on the development of safety and security blueprint for universities which will serve as a framework for universities to have minimum norms and standards on the provision of safety and security measures at the universities is underway. The department is prioritising this project as soon the framework is adopted by all stakeholders it will be implemented even before the 2024-25 financial year.
In addition, there has been continuous engagements with universities to assess and understand the different threats experienced by universities and identify urgent matters that need to be addressed at institutions, including the need to improve protection of staff members and students. Funds have been made available in the Infrastructure Efficiency Grant (IEG) for safety and security projects submitted by universities to the Department. These include upgrading of universities security systems.
I also committed to establish a National Task Force (NTF) which will assist in the development of intervention strategies to assist with campus safety and security measures.