IRTC foundations being laid

24 February 2017 | Story by Yusuf Omar. Photo by Robyn Walker.
This was the second sitting of the IRTC Steering Committee, which is setting up the mechanisms through which the IRTC will operate when the commission kicks off. Prof Loretta Feris, DVC for Transformation and Student Affairs and a member of the IRTC Steering Committee, addresses the meeting on 23 February 2017.
This was the second sitting of the IRTC Steering Committee, which is setting up the mechanisms through which the IRTC will operate when the commission kicks off. Prof Loretta Feris, DVC for Transformation and Student Affairs and a member of the IRTC Steering Committee, addresses the meeting on 23 February 2017.

It was an evening of housekeeping when the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) Steering Committee met on 23 February 2017.

Back-end issues such as representation, terms of reference and “unfinished business” outside of the steering committee’s work, such as clemency for students who were involved in protests at UCT in 2016, as Professor Jeremy Seekings put it, were on the table.

The steering committee is laying the groundwork for the IRTC to function smoothly once commissioners are appointed and the process begins in earnest. One such piece of groundwork that the meeting focused on was a gap in representation: staff members in pay classes 1 and 2 – part of the newly insourced cohort – are not yet represented by a recognised union. With the negotiation for recognition to be concluded in April, the question was how to include representation from this constituency in the interim, and then on the IRTC itself.

Chair Sipho Pityana called on the committee to apply their minds to the proposals that emanated from around the room.

Update on terms of reference

Not all IRTC Steering Committee representatives had time to consult their constituencies on the terms of reference – the next PASS Forum, for instance, only happens on 2 March. As such, the committee members have been given until 31 March to do so and to submit amendments to the IRTC terms of reference.

The next meeting will take place two weeks after submissions are made, by which time a team of volunteers from the steering committee will have consolidated the feedback.

What of clemency and exclusion?

Questions about the clemency and exclusion processes for students involved in protests last year also surfaced. Some of these students face exclusion on either financial or academic grounds, with suspended students, some of whom were funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, being unable to write exams and therefore unable to apply for funding again this year.

University management expressed its wish, in principle, that the affected students return to UCT and that their records be cleaned so that they may register in 2017. The steering committee requested UCT management to return with details of the specific measures that this process will entail.

Student representatives were concerned about the discussion of the IRTC terms of reference and criteria for nomination of commissioners before students got clarity on the clemency process and the Readmission Appeal Committee (RAC). The student representatives wanted assurances that the RAC would not exclude any student who had made a clemency application while those clemency application outcomes were unknown.

Management has committed to delivering a report on the status of the clemency process on 3 March 2017.

Pityana reminded the committee to stick to the IRTC’s mandate and not to bring issues to the IRTC table that were technically on UCT’s Rapid Response Task Team’s agenda.


Watch the recording of the proceedings of the meeting of 23 February 2017.


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Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC)

 

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

  • consider all Shackville-related protests of 2016, including disciplinary procedures and interdicts
  • invite submissions from all constituencies on clemencies that were granted and decide whether clemency should be turned into amnesty
  • make recommendations on how the university should deal with pending cases and other such matters in the future
  • make recommendations on institutional culture, transformation, decolonisation, discrimination, identity, disability and any other matters that the university community has raised over the past 18 months, or may wish to raise in the future.

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.

IRTC Final Report



Statement of Council on the Report of the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) UCT Council has released a statement regarding the Report of the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC). 28 Jun 2019
IRTC Steering Committee meeting of Monday, 3 June 2019 On Monday, 3 June 2019, the IRTC Steering Committee met to discuss feedback from the various constituencies with a view to making recommendations to Council. 03 Jun 2019
Engagement with the IRTC report Chair of Council, Sipho M Pityana, writes to the campus community about the recommendations put forward in the IRTC report. 03 May 2019
IRTC Steering Committee meeting of Friday, 22 March 2019 On Friday, 22 March 2019, the IRTC Steering Committee met to discuss the recommendations made in the IRTC’s final report. 22 Mar 2019
IRTC final report released Chair of Council, Sipho M Pityana, writes to the campus community about the release of the IRTC’s final report. 20 Mar 2019
IRTC and IRTC Steering Committee meet for the release of the IRTC’s final report On Monday night, 18 March 2019, the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) met with the IRTC Steering Committee and released its final report. 18 Mar 2019

Statements by the IRTC



 

Latest news




 

Reports from the Steering Committee Chair




2018 IRTC Steering Committee meetings

 


 

2017 IRTC Steering Committee meetings

Minutes of Steering Committee meetings



 


 

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