NSFAS developments and other updates

22 August 2018 | Campus Announcement

Please note: This campus announcement has been delayed by unforeseen technical difficulties.

Dear students and colleagues

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

1. NSFAS developments

The University of Cape Town (UCT) welcomes last week’s announcement by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, on the appointment of Dr Randall Carolissen as the administrator for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). UCT has always been committed to supporting NSFAS and will continue to be available to assist the administrator.

UCT emphasises that no UCT students have been affected as a result of the current challenges facing NSFAS in respect of making payments for students awarded funding for 2017 and 2018. The university has avoided this by providing the funding to the students concerned itself, on the understanding that NSFAS will make all the necessary payments in due course. All UCT students awarded funding have therefore received their book allowances on time and will continue to get monthly living allowances.

The university has also taken note of the issue of student hunger on university campuses. While this is a deeper social issue not limited to only UCT, the executive recently established a task team made up of different representatives, including the Students’ Representative Council (SRC), to better understand the extent and scope of food insecurity at UCT and to develop appropriate interventions. The university already provides financial support to a number of students on campus, but is aware that the need is always far greater than the available resources.

2. SRC picket to parliament

The UCT SRC urges students to support the national call for the state president to grant amnesty to student activists for their participation in fee-related protests. The SRC calls on students, subject to their timetables and other commitments, to join all students of the Western Cape in a picket outside parliament at 12:00 today, Wednesday, 22 August 2018. Students wishing to join are requested to meet at 12:00 at the Jammie Shuttle stop on lower campus.

3. IRTC concludes engagements with UCT community

The members of the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) convey their appreciation to the UCT community following the IRTC assembly and road show across the university faculties and departments last week. The IRTC encourages written submissions to be made and has extended the deadline to 31 August 2018. Submissions can be forwarded to Candice Amon (Candice.Amon@uct.ac.za).

4. WOAC planning the Sarah Baartman exhibition

The UCT Works of Art Committee (WOAC) will host an exhibition titled “Sarah Baartman – a Call to Respond” at the Ritchie Gallery from 20 September to 4 October. In preparation, the sculpture has been moved from its position at the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library.

The Sarah Baartman sculpture by Willie Bester will be exhibited with a sound installation featuring a poem by Diane Ferris that inspired the work. Also on exhibition will be images of the work when it was robed while still on display at the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library on upper campus. Together with these will be other artworks that foreground continued vulnerabilities around black women.

The WOAC is continuing with its programme, which includes public debates about the display of artworks; engagements with staff, student representatives, artists and members of the public; acquiring new work; and curating new collections in the various university spaces.


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