Stu­dents pe­ti­tion mayor’s sup­port

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Zi­zonke May mayz@ti­soblack­star.co.za

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.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

PIL­ING ON THE PRES­SURE: NMU stu­dents march to the City Hall to present a list of their de­mands to the mayor

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