The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] supports the call by the South African Union of Students [SAUS] for a national shutdown of all 26 public universities in the country.
Our support for the call by SAUS is propelled by the struggle faced by students especially those from poor background in their quest to access higher education. The education system in the country continues to side-line students from working class families and it is set up to only cater only for those with deep pockets.
The shutdown will continue indefinitely up until the following demands are decisively solved by all the Universities, the Department of Higher Education and Training [DHET] and the National Students Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS]:
• Accumulating student debts
• Financial exclusion of students from the 2019 registration in universities
• The crisis of student accommodation, student transport services and collapsed campus health services
• Lack of post graduates funding and the shrinking of enrolment quotas for post-graduates.
• The problem of NSFAS appeals and confusion on the allowances.
• Payment of the outstanding 2018 Sbux funds.
• Student funding delays from other sponsors and bursary funders leading students to be denied access to registration.
• Increase in higher education costs due to the subsequent fee increment and denial of universities to issue out academic records and certificates.
• Academic exclusion and poor conditions of learning.
• The plight of students with a disability and international students.
• Unfair treatment of security guards and cleaners and the in-sourcing of general workers
• Compromised student safety and security, victimization of student leaders through suspensions and expulsions, security and police brutality.
• The urgent challenges of higher education transformation affecting both students and workers.
The national union believes that the demands by SAUS are genuine and reasonable hence we call upon the management of all the universities to accede to these demands urgently. NEHAWU members will join the protest by students in a quest to fight exclusion of those who do not have deep pockets to access higher education.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za