The University of South Africa (Unisa) EFF Student Command (EFFSC) said it is planning to fully shut down the Unisa Johannesburg Regional Services Centre on Wednesday, 23 August. Classes and operations were suspended on Tuesday following disruptions by the EFFSC.
Victor Phenyo, the EFFSC deputy chair at the Unisa Joburg branch, told The Daily Vox that they’re calling for a shutdown until their demands have been met.
Phenyo said that they were also demanding that the university fund students who qualified for the university’s Council Bursary. “There was a Council Bursary of R99 million; students applied for the bursary but most were rejected, because the bursary did not have funds,” Phenyo said that they’re demanding that the university looks into reinstating academically deserving students who have been financially excluded and establishing National Student Financial Aid Scheme personnel at the branch. “Currently there is no NSFAS personnel here and students have to be transferred to another branch if they want to resolve any NSFAS issues,” he added. Unisa media spokesperson, Martin Ramotshela, said that matters relating to NSFAS funding must be resolved by the financial aid scheme and the students.
Students also demanded that student card stations be fixed, and claim they have not been working since the previous semester.
The EFFSC claims over 30 000 students across all its campuses have not received their reading material. Psychology student Palesa Diale said, “study material has been either delayed or there are problems with connecting to the internet. They have to rely on hard copies which are difficult to find,” she said.
Ramotshele said that some students did not receive reading material as a result of “[an] unforeseen increase in registration in certain modules,” but disputed that 30 000 students have not received reading material.
Phenyo told The Daily Vox that they have tried communicating with management to find a way forward and are still waiting for a response. “We spoke to them [management] this morning and we told them what we want. If management does not cooperate, we are going to consult all Unisa branches in the country to shut down. We are going to hinder the university from registering new students up until our demands have been met,” he said.