Univer­sity hon­ours Modise


The New Age (Western Cape) - - Front Page - NA­DINE FORD-KRITZINGER nadinef@the­newage.co.za

CHAIR­PER­SON of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces Thandi Modise was yes­ter­day in­stalled as the vice-chan­cel­lor of the Cape Penin­sula Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (CPUT) in Bel­lville amid threats and dis­rup­tions by protest­ing stu­dents.

“If it is sim­ply to con­firm that women are ca­pa­ble, it is also a lit­tle bit of an awe­some task,” Modise said.

“I will be tak­ing up the chal­lenge and I am very hon­oured.”

Modise took over the po­si­tion from the for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter Trevor Manuel at the higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tion which has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing protest ac­tion and vi­o­lent clashes be­tween stu­dents and se­cu­rity forces since Mon­day.

Speak­ing af­ter the cer­e­mony, Modise said: “I am hon­oured. I will not say over­whelmed be­cause it is a chal­lenge and I am al­ways get­ting into dif­fi­cult spa­ces.”

She also lamented the slow economy in the coun­try that was im­pact­ing on the higher ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

“With the economy slow­ing down, it means that some of the is­sues that are be­dev­illing CPUT, is­sues of high salaries, is­sues of prop­erly cater­ing for stu­dents, are go­ing to take a lit­tle bit longer to ad­dress be­cause the fis­cus is a lit­tle bit strained.

“But I want to say that even though the job of a chan­cel­lor is very cer­e­mo­nial, I am tak­ing the chal­lenge to try and help en­gage and find labour peace in the in­sti­tu­tion to try and me­di­ate the space be­tween the stu­dents and the man­age­ment of the univer­sity.

“It is im­por­tant for me be­cause the only way you can make for­ward move­ment is if there is sta­bil­ity and sta­bil­ity is what we need.

“The chal­lenges that we are fac­ing with uni­ver­si­ties like this one which are tech­no­log­i­cal, are that we must act fast to mit­i­gate the risks.”

While the cer­e­mony was tak­ing place at the Bel­lville cam­pus where se­cu­rity was tight, protest­ing stu­dents had to duck and dive as shots were fired by se­cu­rity guards yes­ter­day.

One protest­ing stu­dent who did not want to be iden­ti­fied, said: “I don’t know why these guards are fir­ing shots at the stu­dents. We are protest­ing peace­fully. There hasn’t been any dam­age to this cam­pus not even a win­dow was bro­ken here.

“We have asked man­age­ment to deal with our is­sues and post­pone to­day’s event.”

The stu­dent said their lead­ers were be­ing sus­pended and ex­pelled for speak­ing the truth about man­age­ment and work­ers were be­ing ex­ploited.

“The stu­dents ques­tion cer­tain things and in re­turn they are made out to be trou­ble mak­ers. They get sus­pended and ex­pelled for ask­ing the right ques­tions.

“Some work­ers have now been of­fered new con­tracts and paid a mere R3 500 a month.

“This in­sti­tu­tion has em­ployed se­cu­rity guards who are for­eign na­tion­als and are be­ing paid R800 a day.”


HON­OURED: Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces chair­per­son Thandi Modise was yes­ter­day in­au­gu­rated as the vicechan­cel­lor of CPUT.

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