SASCO tables no confidence vote in DA-run NMMU SRC

FEBRUARY 10, 2016

The South African Students Congress Organisation (SASCO) at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NNMU) handed over a memorandum of demands to university management on Wednesday afternoon, calling for, amongst others, better student accommodation as well as a meeting to discuss a vote of no confidence in the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led Student Representative Council (SRC).

In statement on its Facebook page this past Saturday, the organisation said the housing department of the university had been unwilling to assist cash-strapped students, and that it had been employing a “first come first serve” system to the detriment of those unable to afford accommodation.

“The exclusion of students at residences has a face of poverty, we are yet to see students with money being rejected or refused a place in rooms,” Deputy Provincial Chairman Lufefe Mkutu said at the time.

Addressing a small group of supporters, who took part in a peaceful march from North Campus to the Embizweni entrance of South Campus, SASCO student representative activist, Siviwe Ngaba, said it wants the housing department to do away with “first come first serve” system, and that the university must make more funds available through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to help those unable to pay.

Taking a swipe at the SRC leadership, Ngaba said it has seen little involvement from council since the #FeesMustFall campaign in October last year.

“They (SRC) were found defending the management of university and its bureaucratic ways of leadership, and we feel that they have lost their sense of direction and lack the capacity to provide solutions to the challenges faced by the students of NMMU,” Ngaba said.

“We are having difficulty identifying with the leadership of the SRC and feel the time has come to voice a vote of no confidence in the SRC”.

Referring to a visit by DA Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip to the university on Tuesday afternoon, Ngaba said it would not allow students to be influenced in the run-up to the local government elections.

“We are for the students and say those who want to campaign for the elections from now on, must do so in the communities”.

The organisation has given the university ten days to respond to the demands of the petition, which was signed and accepted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Denise Zamm in the absence of Prof. Derrick Swartz.