From Monday, 30 September to 2 October 2016 a meeting was held between the Representatives of the Progressive SRC Candidates (referred to as the #ShackvilleTRC) and UCT represented by the Vice-Chancellor (VC) and members of the Special Executive Task Team. The meeting was held at Tshisimani Centre for Activists Education (TCAE) in Mowbray, Cape Town where they discussed ideas on how to solve the ongoing protests. Both parties managed to reach a consensus on 2 October where they drafted a resolution on student protests.
University of Cape Town – On Wednesday, 5 October 2016, a mass meeting was held at Leslie Social Science Building where a UCT politics lecturer, Dr Lwazi Lushaba, and student leader, Athabile Nonxuba, addressed the students on the issues related to protests that are currently happening at UCT such as racism in the institution, free decolonial education, reopening of the University and many other issues.
On 28 September 2016, Workers Solidarity Fund (WSF) announced on their Facebook page that the Workers Solidarity Fund for university workers affected by student protests was to be revived. WSF is a fundraising initiative which is aimed at helping University workers such as canteen and cafeteria workers whose jobs have been negatively impacted by the ongoing protests over free decolonized tertiary education amongst other issues.
On Friday, UCT management announced that classes were to resume on Monday, 17 October. This comes after the collapse of an intense negotiation process between protesting students, identified as #ShackvilleTRC, and management following the re-arrest of SRC candidate Masixole Mlandu. While some faculties have begun to prepare for off-campus learning measures, many have expressed their concerns with opening UCT campuses.
On Tuesday, 6 September, a meeting was held at Centre for the Book where Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price intended to present on the feasibility of free education for UCT. Representatives from various organisations, such as the University of Western Cape, Equal Education, and the National Research Foundation, presented their views and ideas at the Commission of Inquiry Into Higher Education and Training (Fees Commission).
We are realising (not for the first time) that students have the power to command the nation’s attention. We are realising that the shadow of Apartheid has not been entirely banished by the rainbow of a democratic nation. The demons of the past continue to haunt us: 40 years on from the Soweto Riots, the status quo still benefits some groups in society more than others. We are realising that there are no easy solutions, and the time for critical thinking and engagement is now.
Why does it seem we’re only interested in questioning our role in struggles that have been going on when there is a moment of ultimate crisis? Well to be fair, its times like these that drive many of us to question things that we never have before. Which is great; we have to question what we think we know!
While everyone in South Africa may have a culture and heritage, not everyone has the privilege of celebrating it on a daily basis. The various cultures in South Africa have become pushed aside and diluted so that one could thrive. The renaming of Heritage Day made people forget the history and true reason for its creation. Why should I celebrate Heritage Day when the rest of the year I have to conform or fight relentlessly for my culture to be acknowledged and accepted?
The one question, amongst others, on my mind throughout the protests on campus over the past few weeks has been that of justified radicalism. The purpose of the “ShackvilleTRC” is to allow for restorative justice.
Maybe if all these prophecies of future doom vanished, education would seem worth it.
I am a third year, graduating, full degree international student from a SADC country. I am a mixed race, hetero-sexual, male-identifying feminist, who has lived in South Africa for approximately three years now. I intend on remaining at UCT next year to complete an Honours in International Relations. However, given everything that’s going right now I am very uncertain about the viability of my being here next year.
Amidst these uncertain times, you may find that there are some people who completely misunderstand or misinterpret certain aspects of the #FeesMustFall movement. Let’s take some time to list some of these things:
Students are violent and arsonists are destroying what they are fighting for!
It is safe to say that the last two years at UCT have been historical ones. Those who fought, and still fight, will definitely go down in history as people who enabled the future generations of South Africa to reach their full potential and transcend their circumstances. The desire to be a part of this historical movement is immense. Every single one of us wants to do the most that we can to contribute towards this struggle; and we all want to make our mark in history. We want to be a part of change.
The Golden Key New Members Ceremony, where new and honorary members are inducted into the society, was held on 21 September at The Mill, Church-on-Main, Wynberg. The venue was filled to capacity, with over 800 people attending the event. Guests travelled from far and wide to see their loved ones accept their membership.
With summer almost upon us, thoughts of warm, sandy beaches and refreshing waters, wearing shorts and eating ice-cream all come to mind. Yes, summer is the time when those bodies you´ve worked on all winter, can finally soak up some sun!
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