The ClickUP notice about the upcoming SRC elections also highlighted that a “total review of the student governance constitution” will run parallel with this election season. According to the statement, this is due to the five years of implementation drawing to an end and students voicing concerns that the document needs to be updated to “enhance its relevance”.
Voting is scheduled to take place from 07:00 to 19:00 on 20 September and will take place on paper ballots as e-voting for 2016 has been scrapped. The DSA said in a statement released on ClickUP that students will be given the opportunity to participate in an online poll where the feasibility of using an e-voting system will be tested. Students have been urged to participate in the online poll so that further engagement on e-voting can take place.
At a mass meeting held on 15 August, SRC interim chairperson and deputy secretary Thabo Shingange announced that the SRC has rejected the proposed e-voting system. Shingange said that the problem with e-voting is that some students do not have access to the same resources as others, meaning some students would find voting electronically difficult. He also said that the system doesn’t take into account the fact that candidates can pressure students into voting for them.
SRC elections have been postponed on numerous occasions due to a number of factors over the last year. After the 2015 elections Sasco, Afriforum and the EFFSC contested the results, claiming they were rigged. An investigation by the Independent Monitoring Board found that the elections were free and fair but that the positions of president and deputy president should be reopened for elections. The Fees Must Fall protests in October 2015 and the Afrikaans Must Fall and Outsourcing Must Fall protests at the beginning of 2016 further delayed these reelections. This led to the deputy secretary of the SRC, Thabo Shingange, being elected as interim chairperson by the SRC on 25 January this year.
Photo: Carel Willemse