Thursday, January 27, 2011

University Management and Student Organisations Locked in Meetings over Looming Strike

Pearl Nicodemus

It seems normal that students in many South African universities strike for the same reasons at the beginning of each academic year. Some student political parties would demand free education, housing for all those who apply for it and for many other changes in the current education system.

The Tshwane University of Technology banned all political organisations after a long strike interrupted learning at the university in 2010. When they were allowed back on campus students thought they would avoid strikes by all means, but learning hasn’t even started yet and there is already much uncertainty about whether most classes will resume next week as scheduled.

Many students are currently registering on campus and some are finalizing fees left over from 2010, but with all this running around the Pan Africans Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) and the South African Students Congress (SASCO) have been locked in meetings with management to discuss certain grievances in the Soshanguve campus. The meetings were called to avert a strike that was supposed to break out on Thursday.

SASCO President Absalom Nkosi says they are still negotiating with other political structures and the SRC. “Nothing has been confirmed yet” he says.

However a certain PASMA member says the strike has to go ahead. He says the strike is about the “grievances of the students”. There is no official word on what the strike is about this time however some students have listed issues such as academic exclusion, the discontinuation of busses from the Pretoria campus to Soshanguve and residences.

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