Mayor Trollip and NMMU SRC sign memorandum of support during impasse
In light of the ongoing #FeesMustFall protests, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, on Thursday signed a memorandum of agreement with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Student Representative Council (SRC) leadership, outlining a number of support services and systems that will assist all students during the current closure impasse and beyond.
"We are the first municipality to come to the table in terms of directly assisting students and aim to set the standard of coordination with our youth in Higher Education institutions. This is in the interest of ensuring that our young people are able to access education so that they can reach their dreams," said the Mayor.
"We support the reopening of our universities and a staggered tiering system for fees that seeks to take the financial burden off middle- and lower-income students.
"Although local government has no Higher Education mandate, we wish to assist our student residents in whatever way we can within our sphere of government, to alleviate the pressure felt by NMMU and all registered students."
Trollip said that some items of assistance will provide long term support that will extend beyond the timeframe of this closure, while others will be in place to assist during this period of negotiation.
"We will make available any municipal community hall or facility free of charge for the purpose of examinations and/or study.
"Additionally, we have committed to expediting the promulgation of the Student Accommodation Policy and Problem Buildings By-Law both of which seek to enforce standards for housing in respect of building standards, facilities, overcrowding and illegal alterations," he said.
"We will also begin negotiations to set up a forum with a link to Home Affairs to assist students facing cancellation of visas due to the possible extension of the academic year.
"Lastly, we aim to improve security presence and lighting in the inner city area where many students currently reside and roll out the IPTS in 2017 with subsidised fares for students.
"This ground-breaking agreement between the NMMU SRC and the Municipality is in line with our commitment to usher in a political era of freedom and fairness for all, especially in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality.
"We stand with residents, young and old, as we forge a new legacy that will take this Metro forward."
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