Committee Calls For Stricter Policies Regulating Sexual Conduct At Tertiary Institutions

PICTURE: Aneca

JOHANNESBURG- The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has on Wednesday called on all institutions of higher learning to introduce stern policies on sexual conduct.

Following a case of Sexual harassment at the University of South Africa (Unisa), when a women was raped by a senior staff member at Early childhood Development Centre.

The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Connie September, said the committee is very concerned about the increase in reports of sexual misconduct.

“This condemnable behaviour of forced sexual favours is unacceptable. Institutions need to start developing tough policy that will not only deal with sexual offences, but also serve as a deterrent,” she said.

She called on the University of South Africa (Unisa) to provide counselling services expeditiously to the victim of sexual violence at the institution.

Reports on Tuesday indicated that a Unisa employee violated a female colleague and asked for sexual favours. The university said the alleged perpetrator has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation, which is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the committee applauds the tough sentence given to the former Walter Sisulu University student accused of rape. “Institutions are places of learning, teaching and skills enhancement, not places of fear,” she added.

The committee will write to tertiary institutions to ascertain their policies regulating sexual conduct.