Update on Exams and Campus activities

09 November 2015 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

Following the update the Vice-Chancellor sent yesterday, I write to let you know that campus activities are proceeding as scheduled today at the University of Cape Town. A small number of students attempted this morning to barricade certain entrances and exits to the campus, but we removed these using the University's usual campus protection officers. This morning's exams have proceeded without incident. The students who had been meeting and remaining in the Bremner building vacated it when instructed to do so.

The Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors are engaged in several meetings with faculties and other stakeholders today. We have teams in place who are continuing to work on all plans necessary to ensure that exams proceed uninterrupted.

It is apparent that those students or workers who continue to threaten or attempt to disrupt university activities are mobilising or making statements about the insourcing issue that are untrue. We will continue to put out the correct information, but the key facts on insourcing are worth restating. They are:

  1. We have concluded a binding agreement with recognised trade union NEHAWU, the effect of which is that all outsourced workers who are dedicated to serving the University in the key identified outsourcing services will be insourced.
  2. That agreement recognises that transitional arrangements and timeframes are necessary and these will be the subject of ongoing engagement with recognised worker structures.
  3. There is no risk to job security caused by the decision to insource. On the contrary, insourcing has been a long-standing demand of workers precisely because of the improved job security that it offers.
  4. Some of the details around insourcing, including wage levels and other conditions, have not been finalised and will only be resolved through proper processes internal to the University and involving engagement with worker representatives in the usual way. Workers cannot be worse off after insourcing and in all probability will be substantially better off in all respects following insourcing.

Statements suggesting the contrary, or suggesting that there is uncertainty about these matters, are simply untrue. We have clarified questions raised as far as we reasonably can, but have noticed that there continue to be untruths or misrepresentations placed on social media in particular.

It may be that we will continue to experience some form of protest action over the next few days, but we have the necessary plans in place to deal with this. We are optimistic that students and workers will recommit themselves to the University's academic activities and programme until the end of the year.

We urge you to visit the UCT homepage for the most accurate and updated information. You will find a recent statement from the Vice-Chancellor, the Chair of Council and the six most important things about exams here. Please feel free to use any official statements on the homepage to answer questions you may face or disseminate to your stakeholders.


Gerda Kruger
Executive Director
Communication and Marketing Department

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