High level team to resolve WSU impasse

Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor has assigned a team of senior officials to Walter Sisulu University (WSU) to find a lasting solution to the ongoing protests taking place on the university’s campuses.

Minister Pandor said she has noted with concern reports on the closure of WSU campuses due to student protests.

Challenges that have led to unrest at the three campuses include the online residence (room) allocation system, which was introduced by the university to deal with the issue of bribes that were allegedly being paid for rooms.

The department has informed the Minister that the new system has had a few teething problems, which are being attended to. The system has, however, worked very efficiently for the Mthatha campus.

Another challenge is that some students are demanding to be funded, even though they do not meet the requirements of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Minister Pandor said this is troubling, given the relatively smooth start to the academic year.

I have directed my Director-General Gwebinkundla Qonde to assign a team of senior officials to visit the WSU campuses with the aim of finding solutions to the challenges. It is vital for the university to resume its academic programme and to make up for lost time as soon as possible.

We are concerned about the safety of both university staff and students, and we will provide assistance to the university to resolve this matter. I am hopeful that working together with student leaders, staff and the university management, we will find solutions, Minister Pandor said.

Source: South African Government News Agency