By Sinothando Siyolo
This article can also be found in the print Edition 2 of VARSITY Newspaper.
20 out of 112 UCT societies did not receive grants from the DSA this year.
This year, 20 out of 112 UCT societies did not receive grants for funding from the Department of Student Affairs (DSA). According to Societies Coordinator Lindie Gayiza, the DSA does not discriminate against societies. The only reason societies are not granted funding is because they do not comply with procedural policy.
In order for a society to receive a grant from the DSA, executive members have to submit a funding report, attend annual general meetings, submit a grant application and attend grant interviews during the September vacation. Failure to comply with this policy will result in a lack of funding.
The DSA itself has been allocated the same budget from UCT for the past five years, resulting in societies receiving less funding as the number of societies has grown by 30%. One of the societies that did not receive a grant was SASCO. However, according to Gayiza, “SASCO were given a second chance but still did not follow the societies policy.”
New societies, such as EFFSC (Economic Freedom Front Student Council), often receive less funding than older societies. Treasurer of EFFSC, Zukiswa Jack, claims that the R1000 allocated to EFFSC is not enough to sustain the society. The amount allocated to societies in 2018 was based on 2017 membership, according to Rainbow UCT Chairperson, Viwe Tafeni. As a result, societies such as Rainbow UCT, which experienced a larger than expected sign-up rate during Plaza Week, struggle to fund their events.
Many societies feel that the grant process should be streamlined in order to ensure funding is allocated before Plaza Week. There is also a general consensus that the DSA should be more consistent. Due to lack of induction training last year, many societies did not know what procedures to follow in order to receive funding.