Are you the next Mandela Washington Fellow?  Apply Now!

Applications are now open for the Mandela Washington Fellowship! The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in South Africa have sent almost 300 young South African leaders to the United States for intensive training in civic leadership, public management, and business through the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Now, we are back again to start the search for the next cohort of innovative, accomplished, young leaders who want to make a positive impact in their communities, throughout South Africa, and across the continent.

Our Mandela Washington Fellows have leveraged the six-week academic and leadership training at U.S. universities to achieve amazing success over the last five years. If you look at many of today’s young leaders in South Africa, you will find they have some connection to the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), or one of our other exchange programs.

The program was launched in 2014 to deepen the United States’ engagement with the youth of Africa.  Our fellows fall into one of three tracks:  Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, and Public Management and will engage with young leaders from across the African continent, the learnings culminating in a summit held in Washington, D.C. attended by business, government, and NGO leaders. Some selected Fellows will also participate in a six-week professional development experience with an American NGO, company, or government office.

Applications close October 9, 2019. Young leaders who meet the eligibility requirements below should apply online at www.yali.state.gov/mwf.  Participants must:

  • Be a citizen and resident of South Africa (or one of the other participating countries).
  • Speak and write proficiently in English.
  • Be 25-35 years old when the application is submitted.
  • Have a proven record of leadership and accomplishment in 1) public service, 2) business or entrepreneurship, or 3) civic engagement.
  • Demonstrate commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship.
  • Be committed to return to Africa and use their skills to serve their community.

Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

MUT Umlazi Fun Run on 15 September 2019

MUT and its partners have organised the “MUT Umlazi Fun Run”, scheduled for Sunday, 15 September 2019. The Fun Run starts at 8h00 outside Menzi High School and will end at Seme Hall, MUT. Registration will start at 07h00 on the day.  Buses will be available for staff and students who would like to participate; they will leave the main gate for Menzi High at from 6:30am on the day of the race.

MUT acts against financial irregularities in the procurement of services

10 September 2019

MUT acts against financial irregularities in the procurement of services

MUT has terminated its contract with Sandile Security that had been providing services to the university in the past 12 years. This follows the University’s investigation into financial irregularities in procurement of services.

The recommendations of the Report on these matters necessitate disciplinary processes, the laying of criminal charges and recovery of financial loss against the University from those implicated in these irregularities. The Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee of the MUT Council recommended the immediate implementation of the Report’s recommendation.

The provision of security services is one of the areas covered in the Report. As a result, the services of Sandile Security are terminated with immediate effect. The implementation of this decision will be phased-in to ensure continued security for the University community and protection of University property during the period of procuring new security services.

In the interim, the University has expanded the scope of the services Servest was rendering at the Natural Sciences campus to include the main campus. About 110 security personnel from Sandile Security have been absorbed by Servest as part of this interim arrangement. This interim security arrangement will allow MUT enough time to procure security services.

The University regrets its closure and suspension of academic activity yesterday as a result of protest against the implementation of the Report by Sandile Security staff and some MUT students. The University engaged with protesting individuals and the outcomes of that engagement are as follows:

  1. MUT management made it plain to students that the decision of Council has to be implemented.
  2. Reminded students that the interdict that was granted to the university in the beginning of the year still applied.
  3. Most of these security personnel walked out of Sandile Security and joined Servest.
  4. The University has formally terminated the contract with Sandile Security

In general, the University sector is struggling with the role of the Student Representative Councils (SRCs) and what their mandate is. It is unfortunate that our students allow themselves to be drawn into some of these matters and are often at the forefront of blocking the University from conducting its core business and denying other students their constitutional right to education. We encourage our students to exercise due diligence when they choose those they deem fit to lead them as part of the SRC and to understand if such individuals understand legitimate student issues.

ENDS

 

Issued by: MUT Marketing and Communications Department

Azwi Mufamadi

Director: Public Relations and Brand Management

Marketing and Communications Department

Mangosuthu University of Technology

Tel: (031) 907 9417

Cell: (078) 528 6065

Email: mufamadi.azwi@mut.ac.za
Website: www.mut.ac.za

MUT Takes a stand Against Xenophobia and Gender-Based-Violence

TO ALL MUT STAFF AND STUDENTS

Unfortunately, sexual and gender-based violence and xenophobic attacks on foreigners are rampant in our society. MUT joins the many voices in condemning these actions. We are committed to contributing to heightened awareness of the harmful effects of these acts and to support national efforts and campaigns to stop them.

We desire an environment in which our students and staff live, work and study in a safe environment without constant fear and intimidation. At the same time, as an organisation with a globalised academic mission, which values its relations with institutions and communities across the globe, we condemn all acts of xenophobia.

The stance of the MUT leadership against sexual and Gender-Based-Violence and xenophobia within the University is unequivocal. Gender-Based Violence and xenophobic attacks are not acceptable. Condemnation needs to be constant and consistent and perpetrators need to be prosecuted. We are committed to doing everything in our power to minimize the scourge within the University and to support those who have been affected. We are committed to enhancing measures to support survivors and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted under the law. We are reviewing the University policies to align with the national policy framework to address gender-based violence in the post-school education and training system.

We caution that public naming and shaming of alleged perpetrators of sexual and Gender-Based-Violence, particularly on social media, is not legal. It is understandable for victims to feel that the legal system is not prompt in offering support and protection to victims and in prosecuting offenders. But naming and shaming is inefficient in bringing perpetrators to justice and can cause harm to innocent people, including the victims.

We encourage people who have been affected by sexual and Gender-Based-Violence to come forward. We urge students and staff to use the available channels to lay charges against alleged perpetrators so that the right process could be followed. The Departments of Student Affairs and Human Resources & Development are ready to provide support and deal appropriately with matters that are reported.

 

Dr E. Duma Malaza

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

9 September 2019

 

VIEW DOCUMENT IN PDF FORMAT>>>

Communique to the University community on the investigation on procurement

TO ALL MUT STAFF AND STUDENTS

The University has concluded an investigation into financial irregularities in the area of procurement of services.

The recommendations of the Report on these matters necessitate disciplinary processes, the laying of criminal charges and recovery of financial loss against the University from staff implicated in these irregularities. The recommendations will be implemented with immediate effect.

The provision of security services is one of the areas covered in the Report. As a result, the services of Sandile Security are terminated with immediate effect. The implementation of this decision will be phased in to ensure continued security for the University community and protection of University property during the period of procuring new security services. Staff and students are requested to exercise patience and assist in the management of this transition period. We hope to conclude the transitional arrangements by 17 September 2019.

So, while Management is working hard on giving effect to the implementation of the recommendations of the Report, we will endeavor to maintain the best standards in providing a safe environment. If we ever take some time to respond to all your concerns during this phase of transition, please understand that we are a limited team and we don’t have enough time in the day but our intentions are to help each and every one of you.

We will really appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Regards

Dr E. Duma Malaza

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

08 September 2019

VIEW DOCUMENT IN PDF FORMAT>>>

Universities must act in concert against gender based violence — among other social ills plaguing South Africa

Universities South Africa (USAf), together with all its member institutions, is deeply distressed by news of the gruesome death of a young woman and student at one of its member universities. However, USAf refuses to respond by just “condemning” this act – deserving as it might be of the harshest form of contempt.

READ MORE>>>

Deepest condolences to the family of Uyinene Mrwetyana

We are filled with sadness as we receive the news of the passing away of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old student at the University of Cape Town.

She was missing for a week. At this stage it is alleged the killer took advantage of her when she went to the Post Office where he was working. Our hearts are reaching out to the family. We would like to caution our staff and students about the importance of safety and security. Please share your whereabouts with those close to you. Be vigilant and communicate.

It is unfortunate that we end the Women’s Month on such a sad tone, but we hope this will be a call to action to our government to strengthen programmes against Gender-Based-Violence, revisit femicide punitive measures and keep our women safe.

SRC Elections and other activities timelines

ACTIVITY DATE
Elections Venue Confirmation 16 July 2019
SRC Elections Risk Management Meeting 06 August 2019
Presentations 13 August 2019
Appointment of Service Providers 13 August 2019
Submissions for Res to Res Campaigns Schedule 21 August 2019
Security Planning Meeting 21 August 2019
Social Cohesion Workshop 24 – 25 August 2019
Closing Date for Res to Res Campaigns Submissions 27 August 2019
Preliminary Voters Roll 02 September 2019
SRC Elections Security Meeting 02 September 2019
Opening Nominations 02 September 2019
Res to Res Campaigns Commence 02 September 2019
Miss MUT 2019 07 September 2019
Closing Nominations 10 September 2019
Publication of Candidate list 12 September 2019
Candidates Meeting 12 September 2019
Final Voters Roll printed and confirmed by the Registrar 13 September 2019
SRC Elections Risk Management Meeting 17 September 2019
Manifesto Presentations 17 September 2019
List of Observers submitted 17 September 2019
Res to Res Campaigns End 18 September 2019
Voting 19 September 2019
SRC Elections Entertainment event 19 September 2019
Counting 19 – 20 September 2019
Preliminary Results 20 September 2019
Final Results 23 September 2019
Portfolio Allocations 01 October 2019
SRC Elections Risk Management Debriefing Meeting 02 October 2019
SRC Inauguration 09 October 2019
Student Life Achievements Awards 11 October 2019
SRC Internal Induction Workshop 15 –17 October 2019
SRC Strategic Planning and Induction Workshop 09 – 12 December 2019

Decolonise the curriculum for global relevance

Prof Ramogale: Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Teaching and Learning

The link between education and human prosperity is universally acknowledged. It is for this reason that, in his State of the Nation address last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted “better educational outcomes” as one of the key goals for the government in the next 10 years.

Although there is consensus on the vital role played by education in social and economic development, there isn’t, unfortunately, agreement on how it can be used to achieve this. In South Africa, there is, however, sufficient consensus on the need to decolonise our education as part of a broad plan to strengthen our educational system and, indirectly, our society and economy.

The need to decolonise our education comes out of a recognition that much of what is taught is a legacy from our colonial past, a past which was designed to entrench unequal power relations and privileges for a minority.

The decolonisation discourse has been accompanied by fierce debates about what this concept means. There has also been contention on how to go about decolonising knowledge, and the curriculum in particular. I will attempt to explain how perspectives from didactics can help us decolonise the curriculum effectively.

Didactics, also known as the science of teaching, recognises that if teaching and learning is to be successful, certain universal conditions must be met. These universal requirements are known as “didactic principles”. Of the several principles recognised in didactic theory, there are three which are of special relevance to the decolonisation of the curriculum.

In the colonial era, the relationship between the coloniser and the colonised was hierarchical, with the colonising culture having positioned itself as superior and “civilised” as opposed to the marginal and “barbaric” culture of the colonised. In this unequal relationship, the coloniser viewed anything indigenous as backward and valueless and the colonised were indoctrinated into believing that this was true. For example, in his book Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela says the following about Healdtown, the school he attended for his secondary education in the late 1930s. “Healdtown was a mission school of the Methodist Church, and provided a Christian and liberal arts education based on an English model. The principal of Healdtown was Dr Arthur Wellington, a stout and stuffy Englishman who boasted of his connection to the Duke of Wellington. At the outset of assemblies, Dr Wellington would walk on stage and say, in his deep bass voice, ‘I am the descendant of the great Duke of Wellington, aristocrat, statesman, and general, who crushed the Frenchman Napoleon at Waterloo and thereby saved civilisation for Europe — and for you, the natives.’

“At this, we would all enthusiastically applaud, each of us profoundly grateful that a descendant of the great Duke of Wellington would take the trouble to educate natives such as ourselves. The educated Englishman was our model; what we aspired to be were ‘black Englishmen’, as we were sometimes derisively called. We were taught — and believed — that the best ideas were English ideas, the best government was English government, and the best men were Englishmen.”

By sanctifying the values and beliefs of the colonial master as the golden standard to strive for, colonial education alienated the colonised from their own culture, and turned them into foreigners in their own land. Through its prioritisation of things European at the expense of things African, colonial education undermined, from an educational point of view, the didactic principle that urges that all teaching must proceed from the known to the unknown. By violating this principle, colonial education ultimately rendered its own teaching ineffectual while also weakening the learning potential of the colonised.

What do I mean by this?

In didactic theory, it is universally accepted that for a learner to acquire new knowledge, the new knowledge must form a link with the knowledge and experiences the learner already possesses. If the new knowledge relates to the learner’s experiences, then the learner will find the new knowledge meaningful and will therefore acquire it with ease and enjoyment. If new facts are not connected to the learner’s existing knowledge, the result is likely to be boredom, alienation and poor motivation.

This probably explains why in the campaign to decolonise our education, young people have routinely complained about how alienating and foreign some institutional cultures in South Africa are. The need to retain the learner’s interest and teach in a meaningful way is the reason teacher-trainees are urged to start with the familiar and then gradually proceed to the unfamiliar.

Colonial education violated this principle of proceeding from the known to the unknown in its foregrounding and veneration of European culture (the unknown) at the expense of the learner’s African culture (the known). Universities inherited this legacy and this explains why, even 25 years after the birth of a democratic South Africa, young people complain of cultural imperialism. So the challenge for universities is to make sure that students are taught first in relation to the experiences they already have and then gradually introduced to new facts and perspectives.

Having started with the familiar, an effective teacher is expected to proceed to the unfamiliar, for staying with the familiar will deprive the learner of new developmental experiences and modes of thought. As we decolonise the curriculum, it is important to remember the continuity imperative, for there is always a temptation in a decolonisation project to stay with the known for reasons that have no bearing on effective teaching and learning but are more connected with chauvinism and cultural pride. In the campaign to decolonise the curriculum, some young people have argued for a “decolonised, Afrocentric” curriculum, with Afrocentrism as a new standard and Africa as the beginning and end of what is worth knowing. But, to do this would not be truly developmental because in progressive thought Afrocentrism is never the end; it is rather a means, a stepping stone to a global platform where scholars engage in intellectual and cultural exchange as equals.

Starting with the known and proceeding to the unknown is inherently progressive because it recognises that while what is familiar is meaningful, a true end of empowering education is mastery of the unfamiliar. By being inward-looking and self-reflexive, Eurocentrism debilitated itself by cutting off links with the infinite riches of global human knowledge — something which may, in part, explain the slow but inevitable decline of the West. The narcissism and self-laudatory expostulations of Eurocentrism are shortcomings that an Afrocentric approach to knowledge and decolonisation must avoid.

In this epoch, where life in the global village has become an inescapable reality, thanks to rapid technological changes, the need to proceed from the known to the unknown, from the local to the global, has become a priority. We must, if we hope to teach for global relevance, decolonise knowledge to enable students to progress from the known to the unknown.

Related to the foregoing principle is another didactic requirement that has the potential to make the decolonisation of the curriculum effective. This principle refers to the need, when teaching, to proceed from the simple to the complex. Teaching that commences with the known does not only make learning interesting and memorable, but also makes it easy and manageable, for what is familiar is usually simple to grasp. But, when a teacher proceeds to the unknown, an element of complexity is introduced, and mastery of complexity is a key objective of worthwhile teaching and learning. Such mastery is made possible by the foundation that the teacher will have created by having started with the known and simple.

Finally, when decolonising the curriculum, we must remember the unity of human knowledge, for didactic theory also recognises the principle of totality, which is also known as the global principle or the principle of integration. Although each person is a member of a family, a clan and nation, on a higher plane each one of us is a member of a single human race — integrated into the whole by virtue of one’s humanness, confronted with similar human problems on account of being an organic member of the human species, and faced with peculiarities of the same human condition. Decolonised knowledge must therefore be integrated with the totality of human knowledge.

This should be easy to achieve if there is acceptance of the need to progress from the known to the unknown, from the simple to complex, and from the local to the global.

Didactic theory can be applied profitably in the decolonisation project. What it teaches us is that we must not decolonise the curriculum with the intention of basking in the glory of African culture and historical achievements, but with the purpose of employing the known, the simple and the local as a springboard for engagement with the unknown, the complex and the global on a higher international plane, for world citizenship is now unavoidable.

Since that time when early humans left the African savannah (the known, the simple and the local) to explore and inhabit the world beyond (the unknown, the complex and the global), the universalisation of human knowledge has been accelerating apace and the shrinking of the globe into a small village has continued relentlessly. Countries that recognise this fact as an inescapable reality of the future, and educate the young for meaningful participation therein, have a better chance of strengthening themselves and their economies.

  • Professor Marcus Ramogale is the deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning at the Mangosuthu University of Technology.

MUT to host a press conference to discuss 40th anniversary on Thursday at 10h30

12 June 2019 

Press release statement: For immediate release

Submitted by: Azwi Mufamadi

Email: hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT to host a press conference to discuss 40th anniversary on Thursday at 10h30

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will host a press conference on Thursday, 13 June 2019 at 10h30, to discuss its upcoming 40th anniversary celebrations. These celebrations are also meant to celebrate the history of Umlazi Township, where the institution is rooted.

“Much as we are celebrating our 40th anniversary as an institution, there are other things we want to do beyond MUT. We have realised that Umlazi Township does not have tangible information about its history and we want to excite the people of Umlazi to share their historical information with us. We have commissioned a temporary gallery where some of this history will be displayed along with the history of MUT,” said Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, sixth Vice-Chancellor and Principal of MUT.

Dr Malaza further explained that the university recognized the contribution made by the people of Umlazi Township not only to MUT but to the rest of South Africa.

“There are people who have shaped Umlazi Township and South Africa but they are unsung heroes. That history is not there. As much as we are celebrating 40 years we are also expanding beyond the University to include Umlazi Township,” Dr Malaza explained.

Details of the press conference are as follows:

Event/activity: Press Conference on MUT 40th anniversary

Time: 10h00 for 10h30

Venue: HR Boardroom, MUT

To RSVP and arrange one-on-one interviews, contact Bheki Hlophe on hlophe@mut.ac.za or 031 907 7195 by 14h30.

MUT’s 40th celebrations events start with the Town Meets Gown Parade on Friday, 14 June 2019 outside MUT’s main entrance; led by the MUT Council, Executive Management and MUT Founding Father, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The Parade will be followed by the unveiling of the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Mosaic Mural at MUT’s anniversary lane. After the Mural unveiling, guests and participants will move across the road to the Faculty of Natural Sciences, where the University will open the History of MUT and Umlazi Gallery (temporary) at the Natural Sciences Building foyer.

The second day of celebration (Saturday, 15 June 2019), is packed with fun and formal events. The Alumni Masterclass on Entrepreneurship will kick start proceedings in the morning, followed by the Alumni Homecoming Picnic, which is accompanied by soccer and netball tournaments. These activities will culminate into the last activity of the day, the Inaugural Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Public Lecture, which will be delivered by Dr Moss Mashamaite.

Ends

 

A spirit of gratitude prevails as MUT turns 40

Press release statement: For immediate release

Submitted by Ms Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing & Communications 

A spirit of gratitude prevails as MUT turns 40

From 14-16 June all roads will lead to Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) where it will commence its 40-year celebrations. The first event on 14 June will be an academic parade to King Zwelithini Stadium to meet the people of Umlazi. This is a Town Meets Gown / Yazisa umakhelwane wakho event. Staff will be bearing gifts to the people of Umlazi who were affected by the recent floods. The University will also be donating furniture to schools and affected families. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi will be leading the parade.

Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, Vice-Chancellor & Principal of Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), believes that if MUT is to succeed in implementing its Strategy 2025 it first has to revisit its humble beginnings. “For the University to celebrate 40 years of existence without a purpose would defeat the very cause for which the University, was formed as a Technikon in 1979”. One of the key goals of MUT Strategy 2025 is national engagement, particularly focusing on nation-building.

“MUT should not take lightly the fact that its establishment was based on a humanitarian philosophy. It was based on a fundamental approach that those who can and who have should uplift those who do not have. It is this spirit of altruism that built MUT into what it has become 40 years later. MUT should replicate what the Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi did by knocking on the door of Sir Harry Oppenheimer for seed funding to establish MUT”, Dr Malaza said. Today, MUT has over 40,000 alumni, some of whom are also sending their children to MUT.

The capstone events are the unveiling of the Prince Buthelezi mosaic mural, the opening of a mini gallery showcasing the culture of Umlazi Township and the life of Prince Buthelezi. There will also be a public lecture on Saturday, 15 June in honour of Prince Buthelezi. The speaker will be Dr Moss Mashamaite.

On the side line of these events will also be the Alumni Homecoming weekend filled with sports, Master Classes, picnics and prayer.

MILE – Research Symposium

EThekwini’s Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) and its research aligned partners Durban University of Technology (DUT); Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC); Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT); University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN); University of South Africa (UNISA); University of Zululand (UNIZULU) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) extends this Invitation for the Research Symposium 2019.
The water–energy–food nexus has become a popular, and potentially powerful, frame through which to analyse interactions and interdependencies between these three systems. Presenters must show research application within a local government context (City of Durban). Where relevant, research outputs must profile how residential and business communities and other strategic engagement partners were incorporated in the research, not as end-users but as engaged and process participants in working towards a shared vision. In profiling trans-disciplinary research outputs, the responses to the call for expanded summaries must demonstrate the extent to which applied research and collaborative projects, is deemed relevant or has the potential to make a local impact.

Please send your completed registration form to Ms Nokuphiwa Ngwenya via email: Nokuphiwa.Ngwenya@durban.gov.za no later than Friday, 17th May 2019

Invitation Research Symposium 2019
Registration Form – Research Symposium

DHET releases Draft Policy to address Gender-Based Violence at TVET and Universities

Minister Pandor releases the for Public Comment Draft Policy Framework to Address Gender-Based Violence at TVET and Universities The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Naledi Pandor, has released for public comment, the draft ‘Policy Framework to address Gender-Based Violence in the Post-School Education and Training System.

The Policy Framework compels PSET institutions to both create awareness of GBV policies and prevent incidents of GBV; as well as to assist PSET institutions to address the occurrence of GBV.

It also provides a monitoring instrument to the Department to assess the implementation of the Policy Framework. This significant development also shows the commitment of the DHET to build an inclusive and diversified post-school school education and training system where all citizens have equal access to quality post-school education and training opportunities in a safe environment.

The Policy Framework is a product of an intensive consultation process that includes a wide range of post-school education and training stakeholders.

READ THE FULL POLICY

Passing away of Thabiso Gina

Dear Colleagues

It is with sadness that we report the passing away of Thabiso Gina, an Accounting student. The family reported that Thabiso passed away last weekend. He will be laid to rest on 9 March 2019 at Melmoth in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Our prayers are with the family at this tough time. May his soul rest in peace.

Regards,

Senate supports the decision to resume classes on Monday, 4 March 2019

27 February 2019

Dear Colleagues

While classes should have resumed today, both management and the SRC agreed that it would be fair to respect the voice of Senate which had recommended a University closure on 19 February 2019. Senate has just sat and pronounced that lectures should start on Monday, 04 March 2019. This should allow those students with queries and those whose registration had not yet been finalised to settle these issues.

Professor Marcus Ramogale, DVC: Teaching & Learning will present a recovery plan to Senate after engaging with the faculty executives.

Issued by Marketing & Communications.

 

Press Release Statement: Student Protests at MUT

20 February 2019        

For immediate release: Submitted by Hlophe@mut.ac.za

PRESS RELEASE STATEMENT: STUDENT PROTESTS AT MUT

The University has in the past three weeks gone all out to show it regards its partnership with students seriously. To this end, the University has made a number of concessions and indicated to the SRC that some of these are dependent on Council as they have budget implications and some of the requests are policy issues at national government level.

When the University pronounced that students should vacate the University, the decision was made in the interest of the safety of staff, students and property. Moreover, the University also has an obligation to protect the people of Umlazi Township. The student protests had also spilled outside campus.

So far, the university has done everything in its power to resolve the stalemate with students. It is unfortunate that the university had to resort to cancelling lectures and sending students home, in order to create an environment where negotiations can continue without putting students’ lives at risk. As far as the taking the University to court, in terms of the University Statute, the Vice-Chancellor has a right to close down the University after consultation with all the relevant parties to ensure the safety of staff, students and property. The students have a right to approach the court.

Please find demands by students and responses by the university below:

  1. Concessions

We agreed on fee concessions and have been implementing as per agreements with the SRC. However, in the meeting of the 18 of February, the SRC informed us that, because Friday was the last registration day, some students could not register on Friday. This meant that the University would have to extend its registration to accommodate those who had not registered. Annual students have expressed the desire to have their full learning materials allowances paid, which the University will do.

  1. Allowances

The Financial Aid Bureau (FAB) has confirmed that the payment process is ongoing. There are now 8500 MUT students who are NSFAS approved. A summary of the state of allowances is as follows:

  • We have paid allowances to 7022 students; •There were 44 students who had incorrect banking accounts by Thursday afternoon; •A batch of 330 students has been compiled for payment of students who submitted documents up to Thursday, 14 February 2019. This will be paid latest today, 19 February 2019, after validation.
  • Documents for 144 students were received on Friday, 15 February 2019, and we need to validate these documents for payment on Thursday, 21 February 2019.
  • Out of the 8500 NSFAS confirmed students, we are missing banking details for approximately 1058 students.

We are trying to get students with incorrect banking details to re-submit correct ones.

  1. Infrastructure demands by students
  • Library access for 24 hours per day every day of the week; •Access to clinic for 24 hours of the week; •Provision of adequate printing facilities to students Undertaking from executive management

3.1. Extended Library access:

Library hours can be extended immediately with two additional hours (from 9:00pm to 11:00pm daily).  This decision will have additional salary implications for the university (six staff members/ 2 hours per day overtime salary costs).

3.2. Further extension to 24 hours per day will require Council approval because of the huge financial and staff implications (e.g. staff numbers and salaries will have to be doubled). Council is meeting on 28 March 2019. Management can provide the SRC with Council’s decision at the end of March 2019. The additional hours will initially be provided during peak exam periods, in June and November exam periods. In the meantime, the use of the Library by students will be monitored to determine the hours and pattern of use to inform decision on the optimum operating hours for the Library.

3.3. Extended Clinic access:

Clinic hours will be extended from 08:00am in the morning to 8:00pm in the evening or from 07:00am to 7:00pm. This arrangement would have four additional staff and salary implications for the University.  A twenty-four-hour access is not possible immediately. The University has written to the MEC for Health in the KZN Province regarding additional nursing assistance to MUT. Even if that succeeds, the matter also needs to be taken to Council first for their approval. EMC will only be able to provide feedback to the SRC after the Council meeting on 28 March 2019.

3.4. Access to more printing facilities:

The University will ensure that the heavy use printer in the faculty of Natural Sciences is operational at all times; and will use benchmarked ratio of printers per student in the computer laboratories.

  1. Fee increment

The students have requested the fee increment to be reversed. The University will consult with Council as this has budget implications for the entire year.

5.The issue of accommodation was discussed last week but not raised at today’s meeting The SRC has rejected the residence fees deposit, which are approximately in the range of R4,600 to R8,000. They have advised that the residence fee should not exceed R6, 000 for external residences and have also rejected the residence fees for the Phase 1 Student Residence arguing that it is not as if the University has to pay rent on it. The reason why the campus Phase 1 New residence deposit is approximately R8000 is because standards are not the same as the residences built two decades ago. Students want this reduced. They do not want the new campus residences to cost the same as the ones in town. However, the University is servicing a loan of R105 million from ABSA for the new residences. The additional costs will allow us to pay-off the loan in twenty years. Students want these residences’ deposits to remain at R4, 000 on campus and R6, 000 respectively. We will be taking this matter to Council as well.

End/

 

 

 

Progress Report: MUT engagements towards the reopening of the University

Following on the University communiqué of 25 February 2019, I wish to provide the context and update.

1. Building on ongoing initiatives within the University, the meeting convened on campus by the Office of the Premier of the KZN on 25 February 2019 provided the first step towards the reopening of the University.

2. The meeting noted the plight of the thousands of registered students who are denied the opportunity to achieve what they have come and already registered for, which is to receive education.
3. Close to 99% of the planned intake for 2019 is already registered.

4. A commitment to resume classes on Wednesday, 27 February 2019 by the meeting, is still to be operationalized through normal University governance and processes.

5. The EMC is working with the SRC to arrive at a list of immediate priority issues to be addressed while classes are ongoing because some of the actions to meet the student demands necessitate processes that take time, to the extent that financial implications have to be factored into the budget of the University.

6. EMC is painfully aware of the immense strain being put on the University budget by demands leading to increases in expenditure while undermining viable income streams.

7. The list of issues finalized by the EMC and the SRC will be discussed with a broader student forum, including structures that were at the meeting facilitated by the Office of the Premier.

8. EMC will, in consultation with Senate, take the emerging consensus position around the opening of the University to Council for consideration.

9. While we may not meet the deadline for reopening the University by Wednesday, 27 February 2019, EMC will endeavour to ensure that this happens soon thereafter.

10. We are encouraged by the commitment of the MEC to increase policing and maintenance of public order. This will safeguard the University and improve the physical safety of students and staff.

__________________
Dr E D Malaza
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
26 February 2019

Fake message alert

MUT classes will resume on Wednesday, 27 February 2019. Allowances remain capped at R1440 meal allowance and R5000 study material allowance as per DHET’s directive.