A total of 23 staff members from SA’s 50 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, and four from community education colleges, died of Covid-related complications between December 15 and January 11.
Up to November 13 last year, 48 staff members and 10 students from the country’s 26 universities also died after contracting the virus.
These figures were released by the minister of higher education, science and innovation, Blade Nzimande, on Monday during a briefing on plans for the reopening of the post-school education and training sector.
He said there were 146 staff infections at TVET colleges and 123 recoveries, and 98 infections and 85 recoveries at the community education colleges.
His department will be receiving updated reports on Covid-19 infections and fatalities at higher education institutions on January 20.
“But we want to make it clear that if we identify that there is a rapid increase in particularly institutions or campuses of infections, we will close those institutions. If we identify cluster infections of a serious nature we will close down immediately,” he said.