Hon Speaker, the Minister of Higher Education and Training is fast building a questionable reputation as a person who craves authority and ignores the law and sound independent advice. He was recently lambasted in the Bloemfontein High Court for relying on an untested letter that prompted him to place the Central University of Technology, CUT, in the Free State under administration. Needless to say, the court ruled against his plans to erode CUT's autonomy. What is of great concern was his reaction to the judgment. Like an apartheid-style Minister, he threatened to change the law in order to do what he wants; taking total control of tertiary institutions.
This is part of the Minister's master plan to purge all institutions of higher learning from the independent thinkers and to erode the autonomy of these institutions with impunity. He now forges ahead with plans to build a full-scale university campus in Kimberley, against the sound advice of the Council for Higher Education. The council warned that the low student enrolment numbers, limited course offerings, and the difficulty of attracting top academics to Kimberley will make this unviable. Instead of heeding their advice to start with a satellite campus in Kimberley, which could later be expanded into a full-scale university, he is forging ahead with his plan at a cost of R12 billion. South Africa cannot afford to make irrational decisions Cope calls for the Minister to put an end to his dictatorial tendencies and to address higher education needs with key role- players. Thank you. [Applause.]