Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor. File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Parliament - Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor has called for the peaceful resolutions of problems between students and universities.

This followed the death of a student at the Durban University of Technology.

Pandor told Parliament during the debate on the State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Tuesday that government was spending billions of rands to support thousands of students at universities.

She said the ongoing student protests have to be resolved by all parties concerned.

She said over the last few years the government has substantially increased financial support to poor students.

Pandor said in 2016 the government provided R12.4 billion to students.

However, this year government had provided R30.8bn to more than 750 000 students from poor families.

The costs of higher education was increasing every year, but the government was doing its best to meet the demands of students, said Pandor.

Pandor also took a swipe at DA leader Mmusi Maimane for his attack on President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier in the debate.

Maimane had told MPs that Ramaphosa was not in charge of the ANC.

But Pandor said it was Maimane who was not in charge of his own party.

“Mr president, honourable Maimane asked you if you are in charge. We want to tell him you are in charge. We want to know if he is in charge of his party. From the reports we read he is not in charge,” said Pandor.

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