Students petition mayor’s support
SCORES of Nelson Mandela University (NMU) students marched to the office of Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip yesterday.
This follows a two-day shutdown of NMU by protesting students earlier this week. The university was open yesterday.
While the off-campus march was not authorised, police and the metro police diverted traffic and followed the marching students.
When the students arrived at the Port Elizabeth City Hall from the Pier 14 Shopping Centre, there was no one available from Trollip’s office to receive their petition.
Students wanted to put pressure on Trollip to intervene in the negotiations. Instead, UDM Councillor Mongameli Bobani accepted the petition.
Mayoral spokesman Sibongile Dimbaza said the acceptance of a petition was dependent on someone being available.
“People should understand that the availability of human resources in that office dictates whether we’re in a position to receive the petition or not,” he said.
NMU spokeswoman Zandile Mbabela said: “The university received a formal petition from the protesting students, which outlined all the demands.
“There have been numerous engagements between the students and management and some immediate interventions were put forward towards meeting the demands. These include resolutions to:
● Provide emergency financial support for qualifying and NSFAS funded students who are still waiting for the funds to flow from NSFAS to enable them to purchase food and books.
● Adjust the test and assignment programme impacted by this week’s student protest and offer the neces- sary support to ensure missed tests and assignments are duly concluded. Other student demands include:
● The university put pressure on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to make the delayed payments for student accommodation, meals, textbooks, transport and other relevant support material; ý Security is beefed up;
● The university gets more shuttles for students living off campus; and
● The admission point score (APS) system, which is used as a criterion for various courses, be lowered.
NSFAS promised on Thursday that all outstanding money would be paid early next week.
PILING ON THE PRESSURE: NMU students march to the City Hall to present a list of their demands to the mayor