MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Protests have continued at TUT. Lectures were scheduled to start on 1 February but due to the strike opposing outsourcing, EWN reports that students on the West campus had to be turned away because of the continued disruptions. The strike against outsourcing ensued after the workers and the EFFSC rejected the proposed R5000 monthly salary, with the gradual absorption of workers into the workforce. Although there have been reports that say a deal has been agreed upon, the Citizen reports that a small group continues to protest in rejection of the deal. Leadership spearheading the battle against outsourcing stated that the agreement must be modified to their satisfaction or the university might see a more intensified protest. Management, however, said that academic activities should return to normal by the end of 2 February. The university’s spokesperson spoke to ENCA and said, “We are an institution of learning and cannot let the academic year continue being disrupted.” Registration has been extended to 19 February. The university has received a court order barring protesters from accessing the universities premises.
University of Cape Town (UCT) EWN reports that yet another student was raped near campus “while walking in the Rhodes Memorial.” This is the second reported case of rape within the space of just five weeks. The incident that occurred on 19 January saw the student approached by two unknown men who followed her. “The institution’s management has urged students to avoid the area, especially at night,” EWN reports. Both women have been offered counselling by the university.
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
On 17 January, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) SRC launched a fundraising initiative for its needy students called #enablingDREAMS. According to their Facebook page, this campaign was catapulted by “over 1600 students at NMMU alone [who] are at risk of being excluded from higher education because the government does not want to prioritise a brighter future”. The movement seeks to raise funds to establish a food bank and a book collection programme to support students in need.
University of Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch University’s (Maties) SRC has launched a campaign dubbed “Register All” to assist its needy students after realising the financial plight that many Maties students faced through awareness raised by the #FeesMustFall campaign. “We have seen a need to assist students that come to this university from various rural areas. They are unable to pay registration fees [upfront],” James de Villiers from Maties’ SRC told Eyewitness News.
The pre-summit dialogue on transformation in higher education was held on 5 October at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). It was organised as a buildup to the second National Higher Education Transformation Summit.
The pre-summit was hosted by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with Independent Media Group and UJ. The dialogue was facilitated by a seven-member panel that consisted of three vice-chancellors, namely Prof. Ihron Rensburg from UJ, Prof. Dan Kgwadi from the North- West University and Dr Sizwe Mabizela from Rhodes University, and four student leaders and representatives, including Jody Williams from the Open Stellenbosch Movement.
BUSISIWE BEJE AND SHAMMAH BOTERERE
University of Witwatersrand
On 14 October the University of the Witwatersrand was brought to a halt due to protests on most of the university’s campuses. Students protested against the proposed tuition fees for 2016.
The protest #WitsFeesMustFall, which is currently still protesting, saw the closure of the university’s campuses as university management feared for the safety of both students and lecturers.
According to reports, the university had proposed to increase the tuition fees by 10.5%, which sparked a fierce protest from already discontent students.
On 20 October the university postponed exams for medical students and, at the time of going to print, it was a possibility that more exams and classes will be cancelled as the issues have yet to be fully resolved.
University of Witwatersrand (Wits)
MJL Electrical workers marched to the Wits Senate Hall on 14 May, making an impassioned plea to the Wits vice-chancellor, Prof. Adam Habib, and management. They handed in a petition and letter to the Wits management. In the letter they accuse the university of not doing enough to help them. MJL workers have been in a salary dispute with the company’s owner, George Cresswold, since last year. Wits management has responded to the situation by stating that it is not the university’s responsibility to ensure jobs for workers but added that it was ready to support the workers with their legal battle against Cresswold.
Wits students have given vice-chancellor Prof. Adam Habib 48 hours to reinstate ousted Wits president Mcebo Dlamini. Dlamini was removed from office as SRC president last week after being found guilty of misconduct. Wits student and political parties have added that the university will become ungovernable if their demands are not met by Friday 15 May.
Dlamini also voiced his opinion on the matter with several Facebook posts. Among others, Dlamini added that failure to meet the demands of students will bring Wits to a standstill.