University honours Modise
CPUT INSTALLS CHAIR OF NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES AS ITS VICE-CHANCELLOR
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.