NMMU says it has addressed immediate issues that led to Monday's shutdown

JULY 12, 2016

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on Tuesday said that it has addressed the immediate issues and is addressing a wide-range of medium to long-term issues raised by the SRC and various student groupings at the institution.

"Furthermore, the University is actively engaged in resolving the unprotected strike by its new protection service employees in order to restore normalcy on its Port Elizabeth campuses as soon as possible," the university said.

"Yesterday’s protest and strike was unexpected at the start of the second semester, and the University immediately engaged the various parties to seek solutions. 

"As a result of the various student demands relating to access, concessions, finance and accommodation challenges, NMMU can assure that the following has already been undertaken:  

  • Exam results are being released to all students.
  • Zero EFC (Expected Family Contribution) students will be allowed to register for second semester modules with outstanding debt if academically deserving.
  • Students who are registering for the first time in the second semester may apply for exemption of down payment relief as was the process in the first semester.
  • Management will seek approval for further NMMU loan funding in the second semester to assist those students (Zero EFC) who are academically deserving with social assistance, similar to that which was put in place at the beginning of the year.
  • The Library will immediately purchase more prescribed books for large classes."

The University is confident that the various outstanding student issues can be resolved as discussions are ongoing. Its main concern at present lies with the unprotected strike, since the safety and security of staff and students remains paramount.

"It is presently engaged with unions and worker representatives to resolve these issues," the institution said.

"The NMMU Council made a decision in November 2015 to reintegrate its outsourced workers for ethical reasons. We have pursued this course in good faith ensuring that our new employees are better off than they were before joining us.

"NMMU is not in favour of postponing examinations again. Students have spent time, effort and personal resources to attend these examinations. They were initially postponed because of a province-wide taxi and public transport strike on 10 June."

Some 4 200 students are due to write exams at 4.30pm today and tomorrow. Given the circumstances, management has put the following arrangements in place:

  • Exams today and tomorrow will continue in all instances where it is safe to do so.
  • Port Elizabeth-based students also have the option of writing today or Saturday.

"However, the safety of staff, students and property remains our priority. Between 1pm and 2pm NMMU will issue a statement around safety on campus," the university said, adding "Once again, we apologise for the inconvenience caused. Thank you for your ongoing patience and support."