News & Events

Gauteng student leadership off to a great start

The student leadership of the Gauteng Region attended induction workshops on both the Unisa Science Campus in Florida and the Sunnyside Campus. The workshops, which were attended by all newly elected student leaders of the Gauteng and Johannesburg Regional Students Representative Council (RSRCs), were coordinated by the Student Development Directorate in collaboration with the Gauteng regional management, and facilitated by Bheki Tshabangu (Training, Research, and Capacity-Building Specialist).

The student leadership were given an introduction to what being RSRC members entails, and what is expected of them. Gauteng Regional Director Moipone Masalesa stated that the region is excited to welcome the new leadership, and emphasised that the region is always ready to support students and take cognizance of their needs to help ensure that they succeed in their studies. She further acknowledged the vital role played by the RSRC and other student governance structures in the life of the university, and the amount of work and sacrifices involved. 

Social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols were strictly observed during the workshop

Deputy Director Erin Naudé congratulated the new RSRC leaders and offered insight into the Gauteng Region, explaining that the region is one of the largest in terms of student numbers. She further stated that the region continues to do its best despite the difficulties associated with leading at a time when the country is battling to contain the number of Covid-19 infections. 

Student leadership from both Florida and Tshwane responded by welcoming what a number of speakers had said regarding the ‘new normal’ and indicating that in as much as they accepted the new reality, they have a responsibility to serve the student body with dedication.

Tshwane Chairperson Inganathi Ketwa stressed how important it is for student leaders to have an unbiased view of what is important to all students in order for all views and opinions to be represented. “The best way to do this is to constantly consult students on what action they would like to see taken in our institution, and bring this to meetings of the RSRC,” he said. He further emphasised that being a representative is not always easy, but that there is always someone to help if you look hard enough. He further encouraged all members of the RSRC to familiarise themselves with the SRC constitution as well as the policies of the university, saying. “I would like to plead with all members that we dare not fail the student population because we carry the dreams and aspirations of this nation.”

Johannesburg Chairperson Siyabonga Lushaba identified their main objective as being the bridge between students and management and building good and healthy relationships for years to come, and he encouraged the RSRC at Unisa to champion the interests of students and deal comprehensively with their enquiries. He further appealed to management to walk with the student leadership on this journey. In his own words, “Yes, it won’t always be smooth sailing and we will step on each other’s toes. We might at some point not see eye to eye, but that should not be taken personally, as you all know we are here to serve the students.” 

The induction sessions were also addressed by all heads of departments with staff and offices in the region, and information about available services and assistance to the RSRC and students at large was shared. Managers all pledged their support to the new leadership. The Student Governance team present, Acting Manager: Student Governance, Tshepo Neito, and Manakeng Mmako, took the RSRC members through the university's student governance structure, processes, and procedures so as to enable student leaders to start functioning immediately. Acting Deputy Director of Student Development Lizette le Roux provided an overall picture of the relationship between the RSRC, regional management, and the Student Affairs Department. Votes of thanks were given by the speakers of the regional SRC parliaments, who pledged themselves to working with both university management and SRC members.

 

* By Thembeka Mpapama, Manager: Communications, Gauteng Region

 

Publish date: 2021/07/08