Only a part of the first agenda point was discussed and most of the matters that were meant to be discussed, including the SRC budget, were not.

On 18 March a bulk SMS and various notices were sent by the SRC regarding a mass meeting to be held on the Aula grass. According to the SMS the meeting would “provide a way forward on student issues”. The meeting was held on 19 March and was attended by students, societies, organisations and representatives from various political parties on campus. SRC president Mosibudi “Rassie” Rasethaba began proceedings by addressing some of the prominent issues affecting students. He emphasised the problems that students face regarding study finance and housing. He made the announcement that the university had made R5 million available to assist students with study finance. Rasethaba then spoke about student housing. He mentioned the “I am Jackson” campaign, a student initiative which was started by EFF UP which aims to help students with housing. Rasethaba encouraged students to help by donating money to the campaign. Rasethaba mentioned that the campaign has a few corporate sponsors and he also pledged R500 to the campaign. Rasethaba spoke about the issue of students squatting on campus. He said that students who are struggling to find accommodation have been given place in Tuks Bophelong. He concluded by encouraging students who are struggling with study finances or accommodation to go to Roosmaryn so that the SRC can help them.

After Rasethaba finished addressing the gathered students, representatives from the various political parties were called up to make a contribution.

Following the statements made by representatives of political groups on campus, the SRC allowed for two rounds of questions from the crowd, but after being asked for answers, Rasethaba emphasised that the point of this meeting was to address issues and explained that many of the questions cannot be answered at the meeting but require consultation with the university first. Throughout the meeting Rasethaba said that this was the first of many such meetings which will be held to address student issues.

 

Photo: Carel Willemse

 

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