Update on Mafeje occupation and other updates

03 March 2017
Campus announcement
30 March 2017

Dear students and colleagues

This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town community about:

1. Update on Mafeje occupation

Yesterday afternoon, the UCT executive had a lengthy meeting with a group of about 100 students to discuss academic exclusions and, to a lesser extent, financial exclusion issues. There was agreement on the need to review all academic exclusions and to alert the students to apply individually to initiate the review process, but at the end of the meeting a group of about 30 people decided to occupy the Mafeje Room in the Bremner building. Details of the meeting have been provided in a DVC Desk by Professor Loretta Feris this morning. Since then the group in Mafeje has forwarded an additional set of demands to the executive. As expressed in the DVC desk the executive believe that over months we have resolved many matters and have made substantial and significant progress. Whilst some of the demands on the new lists are aligned with what we are already working on, there are other demands (specifically demand 1) that goes far beyond the agreement and is not a demand that UCT can ever meet. The executive has now started a legal process to remove the group from Mafeje. They have been served official instructions to leave the building or face the consequences. They have to evacuate by 17:00 today. The executive is considering applying for a high court interdict if the instruction is not adhered to. The executive is committed to continue with the review of RAC decisions and other commitments made as per the DVC Desk email distributed this morning.

2. We mourn the passing of Dr Kathrada

UCT mourns the passing of anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Dr Ahmed Kathrada, who will be remembered for his unyielding commitment to a free, non-racial, democratic South Africa. The university conferred an honorary doctorate on Dr Kathrada in 2015. UCT expresses sincere condolences to his partner, Barbara Hogan, as well as his family and friends.

3. SRC elections update

Nominations for the Students? Representative Council (SRC) elections are open. The closing date is 4 April 2017 at 16:00. You can collect forms from Edwina Brooks in Office 6.02.1, Level 6, Steve Biko Students? Union, Upper Campus.

4. Chair of Council warns against racial chauvinism

UCT?s Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) has the potential to feed into the national transformation project, said Sipho Pityana, who chairs the IRTC?s steering committee. In a broad-ranging interview with the UCT newsroom, Pityana, who also chairs UCT?s Council, touched on what the IRTC?s goals are, what it might take to achieve them and why it could be decisive in setting up new, fair power relations in post-apartheid South Africa.

5. New smoking policy comes into effect on 30 June 2017

The UCT Council has approved a new smoking policy in line with the Tobacco Products Control Act of 1993. The policy will come into effect on 30 June 2017. The aim is to encourage a healthier, more productive living and learning environment for all members of the campus community. The policy is applicable to all members of UCT: students, academic staff, PASS staff, vendors operating on university grounds, visiting workers, contractors, sub-contractors and their employees, visitors and anyone else entering the university grounds. Details will be communicated over the coming weeks so that you can become familiar with the policy ahead of its implementation.

6. Agreement with Nehawu

UCT leadership and representatives of different employee unions have been in ongoing negotiations, as explained in the announcement sent by acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Francis Petersen on 7 February 2017. As a result of these engagements, university leadership and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers? Union (Nehawu) signed an agreement on 20 March 2017 for a salary increase of 7.5 % for pay class 3, and 7 % for payclasses 4 and 5. This will be implemented in the April pay run and the percentage difference (above the 6 % already implemented) will be backdated to 1 January 2017.


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