This serves to inform the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) stakeholders and the broader community on developments since my last communique.
Firstly, with regard to the zero percent fee increase, it has become evident that the University will, as its contribution to the zero percent fee increase, be required to cut back significantly on plans and expenditure for 2016. The planned fee increase for 2016 totaled just below R200M, and the zero percent fee increase means that our cost cuts will be in the order of R60M. Cost-cutting measures are being considered for the following items: travel, functions and entertainment, capital expenditure for items below R15, 000 and performance bonuses. Every effort will be made to ensure that key operations, academic and otherwise, are sustained at the levels that we have come to expect.
Secondly, in the matter of outsourcing of services: UJ was the first to announce its intention to end all outsourcing arrangements. Since this announcement we have established a Task Team to develop a plan to enable us to insource service staff at the very earliest opportunity, and work has begun. I believe that this statement responds to any outstanding queries as to the University’s intentions and plan. Any further concerns should be addressed with the University’s Management through due process.
Thirdly, efforts from a small group of ‘independents’ to undermine the authority of the freely elected UJSRC and the agreements reached with the UJSRC continues. This cannot be tolerated. The UJSRC is the duly elected and statutory student body, and will remain our point of reference with regards to students concerns. Again, though I note that in our extensive consultations with the UJSRC at the end of October, we also included representatives from this group of ‘independents’.
Fourthly, University Management has the responsibility to ensure that all of our campuses provide a safe and secure environment for our staff, students and visitors, one that is conducive to what we expect of a University. In particular at this time, we expect everyone to contribute to creating a climate for the successful preparations and staging of examinations. We will therefore undertake all that is necessary to establish conditions conducive for effective learning, teaching and research.
I wish all of our students all of the very best during these examinations.
Prof Ihron Rensburg