Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said he is concerned that the lootings and burning of shopping malls and centers will affect the price of food which will impact students.
Nzimande was speaking at Soshanguve Crossing in Pretoria this week as part of governments clean-up operations.
There has been unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal where residents have been looting shopping malls and centers.
“Of course, students are part of the community, I am very much concerned about the threat of food security for instance, that is being posed by the malls that have been destroyed,” said Nzimande.
Students across the country are currently not attending class following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that all schooling activity be stopped as the country stays on alert level 4.
The president’s decision was based on how the number of Covid-19 cases in the country continue rising as the country has entered the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday the President addressed the nation regarding the unrest that has been happening in both provinces, calling for calm.
“We are called upon, wherever we may be, to remain calm, to exercise restraint, and to resist any attempts to incite violence, create panic or fuel divisions among us,” said Ramaphosa.
The president said people should rather join those individuals and communities who are working with the police to prevent looting, and those members of the public who have provided tip-offs and information about instances of criminality.
The shopping mall Nzimande visited is one of the biggest malls in Gauteng and employs over 1300 workers and some students from surrounding schools either work there or shop for food there.
“People would have lost jobs or would be unable to shop for food if the mall was looted so we thank the Soshanguve community,” said Nzimande.
The Minister said however, in KwaZulu Natal, things are not the same.
“In places like eThekwini and Pietermaritzburg students are going hungry like other members of the community,” said Nzimande.
The Minister said what is worse is that the prices of things like bread have gone up and there are people who are exploiting the fact that there is a shortage.
“We are glad that there have not been any reports of damaged university or residence buildings during the unrests in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal,” said Nzimande.