Students Focus: Some of the students who gathered at Univen’s Freedom Square

The latest update from NSFAS is that 99% of qualifying students have received their allowances through the SBUX system. This information was relayed to students at a mass meeting at the Freedom square on Tuesday 11th April 2017 by a delegation that had travelled to the Cape Town NSFAS offices. The delegation was composed of representatives from the Finance Department, Student Affairs Directorate and SRC.

The student leadership used the occasion to further submit a memorandum of grievances to the University Management on a range of other issues that impact on the quality of their lives such as shortage of critical infrastructure including student residences and lecture hall facilities. This meeting was held on the second day after resumption of classes on Monday 09 April 2017.

L-R: SRC President Mandla Shikwambana, Prof Jan Crafford, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Tshilidzi Mashau, Minister of Legal Policies and Constitutional Affairs and Prof Peter Mbati, Vice-Chancellor and Principal

During this meeting, the Student Representative Council (SRC) President, Mandla Shikwambana, gave a brief overview about their meeting with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) at their Offices in Cape Town recently. During the student protest action recently, the University sent a delegation comprising staff and student leadership to NSFAS Offices in Cape Town from 31 March 2017 for the purpose of providing the necessary support in an endeavor to speed up the process of disbursing student allowances. A technical Team from NSFAS visited the University of Venda on Monday 09 April 2017 to attend to outstanding issues. As of Tuesday 11 April 2017, 99% of Univen students had already received their allowances.

Acknowledgement of Memorandum of Demands: SRC President, Mandla Shikwambana and Univen Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Peter Mbati signing the memorandum of demands during the mass meeting

The memorandum of grievances received by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal contained amongst others; call to discontinue the S-Bux, insufficient student accommodation on Campus, completion of student residences that are under construction, construction of more lecture halls, intensifying of security at both on and off Campus residences, renovation of prefab student residences, better customer care from departments that deal directly with students, insourcing of workers as well as operating hours of the library and the installation of air conditioners in the library.

The SRC President pleaded with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof Jan Crafford to ensure that lecturers post on black board teaching material covering all the days when students were not in classes during the past two weeks.

The Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Peter Mbati addressing the students

The Univen Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Peter Mbati, signed the memorandum and promised to attend to the students’ grievances as soon as possible. Following the mass meeting, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Mbati convened a meeting with relevant members of Executive and Senior Management for amongst others creating a working committee to address outstanding issues. During this meeting an action plan with timelines was developed to immediately commence the implementation of the issues raised in the memorandum of grievances. According to the year plan, the academic programme will be in recess from 14 to 21 April 2017. This implies that classes will resume on 24 April 2017.

Issued by: Department of Communications and Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525

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