NMU classes to resume after intense student protests

A screenshot of a video showing NMU protest action on Wednesday. Image: Twitter/@ForeverShakes

A screenshot of a video showing NMU protest action on Wednesday. Image: Twitter/@ForeverShakes

An agreement was reached between the SRC and management at a meeting held on Thursday after two days of protest action at the Nelson Mandela University.  

Operations at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) are set to return to normal on Tuesday, following two days of student protests this week.

NMU spokesperson Zandile Mbabela said an agreement was reached between the Student Representative Council (SRC) and management at a meeting held on Thursday afternoon.

Mbabela said the parties met to discuss a petition submitted by the SRC, which outlined grievances that led to the protest, chief of which related to National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding and accommodation.

The university said following a special appeals process, it received feedback from NSFAS that a further 420 students will receive funding from the scheme, and thus qualify for accommodation.

As a result of a special appeals process, the university received feedback from NSFAS this morning that a further 420 students will receive funding from the scheme. As a result, these students will qualify for accommodation.

Students were also briefed on progress on implementing the university’s plans in respect of the shuttle service and the construction of additional on-campus accommodation in Port Elizabeth and George.

The university said it had strengthened inclusive engagement with students and staff through the establishment of various strategies and platforms. To this end, a policy was crafted in consultation with the SRC and approved by the University Council last year to formalise and guide engagement processes with students in line with protocols and channels.

The rules of engagement as set out in the abovementioned policy must be exhausted before resorting to protest action.

The university said these protocols were not followed by protesting students, resulting in the enactment of the interdict.

In moving forward, the university said it remained committed to promoting social cohesion and solidarity in advancing its core mandate of academic excellence.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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