22 August 2017

South Africa: EFF Shuts Down Unisa's Gandhi Square Campus

The EFF student command at the Unisa's Gandhi Square campus, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday locked down management offices, saying their demands must be met within seven days.

According to the students, a number of issues have not been addressed since a mass meeting on April 6, where it was resolved that all grievances raised would be addressed within a week.

Acting spokesperson for the EFF student command at the Gandhi Square branch, Palesa Diale, told News24 that they still had not received their study material even though examinations were only three weeks away.

They demanded that Unisa students be employed in administrative jobs during registration instead of using outsourced staff.

They also want a two-day turnaround time in the delivery of study material after registration, and an end to academic exclusion at the university, calling it irrational and suppressive.

"The university cannot be academically excluding students when they are failing to provide service to students properly, with resources for them to academically excel," they said in their memorandum.

The building was not conducive to students, especially those with disabilities, the students said. They said the building was close to a noisy restaurant that used the student parking for their VIP guests.

The EFF said that the application process should be reopened and extended for a week, as students had not been assisted when the administration staff were on strike. This was made worse by the fact that the card station was not working, meaning those who were registered could not get access cards for the building.

Furthermore, the six cleaners employed were not enough to maintain the campus, as there were two buildings with nine floors. They demanded an additional 15 cleaners - to be chosen from those who were laid off, instead of outsourced staff - and 15 more security personnel, also from those who were laid off.

The EFF students want the NSFAS offices to be decentralised and moved back to the campuses. They also demanded an audit of how much of the R99m - set aside for bursaries - had been paid to students, and how much was left.

Police made their presence felt after campus property was damaged when students tried to barricade the entrance. A tyre was burnt outside the building and a glass door at the entrance was cracked.


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