Following a meeting between the Vice-Chancellor and the Management Executive Committee of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the leadership of the University’s Student Representative Council (SRC) as well as leaders of the protesting students, to discuss the students’ concerns, the following was the response of the University Management:
- Suspended Students: The University Management will engage with the suspended students on the possibility of uplifting the suspensions. The conditions associated with the lifting of the suspensions shall be agreed on with each student.
- Examinations: Students who could not write examinations due to the student protest should approach the Registrar with written requests for consideration to be granted an opportunity to write the examinations. Each case will be considered on merit.
- Victimisation of workers: The University will further discuss with the respective employers of the affected workers the conditions for the workers to return to work. The employers will be engaged to ensure that no worker who participated in the protest is intimidated, no worker shall be retrenched as a result of the protest, no worker shall be redeployed outside of UJ and that no worker shall be disciplined on account of the protest.
- Insourcing of workers: The University is committed to insource workers. The existing outsourced contracts shall not be renewed once it expire. A Task Team to develop a plan for insourcing the affected workers has been established and two representatives each from the students and outsourced workers will participate in the Task Team. The University Management will meet with the outsourced workers to discuss their matters of concern. The children of the outsourced workers who are admitted to the University will be exempted from payment of tuition fee in 2016.
- Financial matters affecting registration and access to academic records: A task team of UJ Management and student representatives will be established to consider the following matters:
a. The minimum initial payment
b. Financial aid for 2nd tier students who do not qualify for NSFAS but cannot afford to pay
c. Access to academic records for students with financial debt
d. How to incentivize students to pay their fees
e. Management of the SRC Trust Fund
f. How UJ can ensure that NSFAS is allocated to deserving students
- Accredited Off-Campus Accommodation matters of NSFAS funded students: Accredited Off-Campus accommodation matters including the monitoring of transport provision and the accommodation fees charged by off-campus service providers shall be addressed by the University Management.
- Austerity measures: The financial allocation to student support programmes that UJ offers will not be affected by austerity measures. There will be no cuts in the following for 2016:
a. SRC Trust Fund – the fund will be expanded to cover a total of 5000 deserving students with the minimum initial payment
b. Student meal assistance programme
c. Intercampus bus service
d. R25 million top-up to NSFAS
e. Additional student printing allowance
- Campus Clinic: The concerns raised of students required to make appointments for consultations at campus clinics as well as the availability of doctors to service each campus will be addressed.
- Court order: UJ’s Management has taken note of students’ demand that the court order be lifted, however was not in a position to do so, since while it was the duty of Management to enable peaceful protests, it was equally its duty to guarantee the safety of students, staff and visitors, to safeguard University property and to ensure that the academic programme continues uninterrupted.
- Removal of crowd controllers: UJ’s Management has taken note of students’ demand to remove crowd controllers, however the University employed the services of the crowd controllers to ensure that the normal academic business of the university continues.
Prof Ihron Rensburg
Vice-Chancellor and Principal