University of Zululand (UNIZULU) hosted the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe recently when he delivered a public lecture on “Access to Justice”.
Speaking at the lecture held at UNIZULU’s KwaDlangezwa Campus, Radebe said: “I am happy to be here in this institution because it was here back in the 1970’s that I first cut my teeth into higher education. And I am certain you will therefore appreciate that this institution remains an important part of my making as an individual.”
The minister emphasised the significance of access to justice for everyone. He said: “Merely a few months away from April 2014, we will be celebrating 20 years of our democracy.”
The context of his address was to ensure that access to justice is underpinned by the quest for a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
The minister also highlighted the successes made by government since 1994.
“In 1994 there were only 5.5 million households that had electricity. In 2012 over 10 million houses are electrified. Before 1994 less than 5 million people had access to water, but today about 20 million have access to water infrastructure, with the indigent group getting 6 000 kilolitres of free water every month,” he said.
“In 1994 there were only 150 000 students at universities. Today there are over 750 000 students at the different universities.”
He said in 1994 the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa (TEFSA), as it was then known, only provided R120 million to needy students. By 2012, R7.7 billion had been allocated to NASFAS and in this financial year it is about R8bn.
Welcoming the minister, Vice-Chancellor, Prof Fikile NM Mazibuko said: “You come back to your alma mater minister when it has a vibrant student population of 16 000 students, young men and women who quest for knowledge and skill – a long way from our days when the student population was about 3 000. UNIZULU is now a two-campus South African comprehensive university.”
Prof Mazibuko also alluded to the completion of the Law Review Report. “The University has just completed the Law Review Report – an important milestone in the study of Law in the 21st Century – for UNIZULU and South Africa,” she said.
Prof Mazibuko said the university felt honoured and humbled by his visit, presence and magnanimity of spirit. “We are very cognisant of the nature and magnitude of his schedule. His presence here today speaks volumes about his abiding interest, faith and love for this transforming institution.”
Pictured. From left to right: Executive Director: Richards Bay Campus, Dr Isaac Machi; Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Prof Chandru Kistan; Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fikile NM Mazibuko; Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Jeff Radebe; Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Rob Midgley and Interim Dean: Commerce, Administration and Law, Prof Francois de Villiers.
MACK MAKHATHINI and SPHAMANDLA GUMEDE