Student protest action and Management interventions to resolve matters

The University Management has been engaging with representatives of students, including members of the National Student Representative Council (NSRC) and the Regional Student Representative Council (RSRC), following the disruption of activities at the Sunnyside Hub. Chief amongst student concerns was the early start of the semester one examinations, NSFAS-related challenges and the issue of student laptops.

On Tuesday 12 March 2019, student leaders met with the Management Committee (MANCOM) where the issue of the early start of the semester one examinations was resolved as follows:

  1. Examinations in April will be moved to the latter part of June 2019.
  2. This means that the remaining sessions of the examinations will commence on 2 and 3 May and on 13 May 2019, and will continue to 19 June 2019 (this will result in a six-week examination period).
  3. The University will have to remain open during the shutdown in the first two weeks of July 2019 in order to give students their results.
  4. The University will be responsible for the logistical arrangements and ensure that examination venues are available in the latter part of June 2019.

On Wednesday 13 March 2019, University Management met with representatives of students, with a view to dealing with the outstanding matters, namely, NSFAS-related challenges and the issue of student laptops. At this meeting, further issues were added and discussed. Since most of the issues required further engagements with responsible departments/divisions, a commitment was made by Management representatives to either provide feedback or resolution to the student concerns.

With respect to NSFAS-related challenges, the Division: Student Funding has committed to ensuring that all allowances will have been paid to qualifying students by Wednesday 20 March 2019.

Regarding student laptops, the last day for students to make a choice of either a laptop or textbooks was Wednesday 13 March 2019. The final list of students who have chosen and qualify for a laptop will be sent to the University’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) on 14 March 2019 in order for them to provide quantities and a regional breakdown to suppliers who will then begin the process of providing laptops to qualifying students (it is expected that once the lists have been received by suppliers, they will be in a position to provide the timelines for the provision of laptops, which will be communicated to students by no later than 19 March 2019).

University Management remains committed to finding sustainable resolutions to student concerns and urges all students to allow for processes aimed at finalising the outstanding matters to unfold. Students are also urged to allow the University activities to continue unabated—including allowing students to continue with their academic activities—which will, inter alia, expedite the finalisation of all outstanding matters.

Publish date: 2019/03/14