Dear members of the UCT community
The work of the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) Steering Committee is progressing very well. Thank you for your continued interest and valued input through your representatives and in other ways. We have already reached important milestones in this process. This now enables us to proceed with the identification and appointment of the commissioners who will assist us with this historic project. In doing so, we count on you sharing your ideas with us about who might be ideal to undertake this important work.
As communicated on 9 June 2017, the steering committee has now finalised the terms of reference and the criteria for selecting commissioners. Everyone at UCT has a chance to participate in the nomination of the IRTC commissioners. It is a great opportunity to be part of this process. I want to remind you, therefore, to familiarise yourself with the selection criteria and nominate commissioners via your constituency representative, if you have not yet done so. Please remember that nominations close on 25 June.
You will no doubt recall that towards the end of 2016 the executive signed an agreement with Shackville TRC that addressed a range of student concerns. This paved the way for the establishment of the IRTC, which will not only probe what is now referred to as the Shackville protests of February 2016, but will also make recommendations on institutional culture and transformation.
Subsequent to the signing of the agreement, a steering committee was established that comprises all stakeholders at UCT: students, academics, workers, staff, alumni, the executive and Council. The steering committee was established in recognition of the fact that the IRTC process must be one that is inclusive and should maximise participation in, and support for, the outcomes of the commission.
Over the last four months, the members of the steering committee have shown utmost dedication in their participation in what has been a time-consuming and complex process. Conversations have been robust and often quite fierce. There can be no doubt that we are a community that is able to have constructive and honest dialogue and at the same time make the kind of decisions that ultimately move the institution forward.
Remember that with the appointment of the IRTC commissioners, a facilitated institutional conversation will begin in earnest. I urge you to be part of a constructive dialogue as we reshape our future together.
Mr Sipho M Pityana
Chair of the IRTC Steering Committee
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The Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) Steering Committee was established as a result of a period of unprecedented tension at the University of Cape Town (UCT) at the end of 2016. The creation of the multi-stakeholder steering committee that will oversee the proposed IRTC was one of the resolutions made in the 6 November 2016 agreement, which effectively brought the waves of continuing protest at the university to a halt.
The agreement, which was signed between the UCT executive and protesting student groups, paved the way for the establishment of the IRTC, whose aims are to
The IRTC’s objective is to map an inclusive and fair course for the university as it tackles the legacy of the so-called Shackville protests and to focus on the issues that have caused division on our university campus.
Read IRTC documents:
Feedback and responses to the IRTC report: