The Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande has intervened in the protracted labour dispute at the University of Zululand, a communique from his office said on Saturday.
Nzimande met with the Chairperson of the University of Zululand CV Gamede and National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) President Mzwandile Makwayiba in an attempt to try find a solution to the labour dispute at the university.
“The meetings which were held separately were at the request of Minister Nzimande in a bid to try to assist the two parties to find each other and end the strike which has been taking place for two months,” said the minister’s office.
“It is important that the university resume and complete the academic programme despite the labour dispute which can be resolved through dialogue.”
Nzimande’s office said the minister felt that he should play some role in trying to assist the parties to find a solution even if he is not allowed to do so by law.
“I have decided to get involved at an informal level to try assist the parties involved in the labour dispute. I am equally aware of the fact that as the Minister of Higher Education I cannot get involved in a labour dispute in a university,” said Nzimande.
“However, the labour dispute which has been under mediation of the CCMA [Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] has not yielded any results and we are nearing the end of the year which is a critical time in higher education” said Minister Nzimande.
Both parties agreed to form a six member committee comprising three members each side to work towards a solution and resumption of the academic programme. Three members will be from the university council and rest from Nehawu provincial leadership.
Nzimande urged “all parties to do everything in their power” to ensure that teaching continues and students complete their academic programme.
– African News Agency (ANA)