Ground-breaking Sakhi’ngomso campaign set to assist thousands of students

DA Student Organisation (Daso), Xabiso Nicholas Nyati, NMMU SRC President:

The newly elected NMMU Students Representative Council, capably led by DASO, has kicked off the new academic year with a cutting edge campaign to assist prospective and current students.

Upon winning the last SRC elections, DASO committed to building on the successes of its 2015 term by continuing to deliver on promises through putting students’ needs first.

In an early indication of integrity and reliability, the month-long Sakh’ingomso campaign, which kicked off on 4 January 2016, aims to:

  1. Provide relevant information and advice to those students who are at risk of being academically or financially excluded.
  2. Negotiate solutions with management and other relevant stakeholders.
  3. Inform students as to the purpose and function of the SRC.
  4. Address and identify issues relating to admissions, examinations, financial aid, student housing, international student matters and students with disabilities.

Walk-ins/Late Applications: NMMU is accepting late applications until 13 January 2016 but all late applicants must meet minimum Admission Point System [APS Points] and minimum subject entry requirements for available courses.

The SRC has set up five information tables at the following points:

Admissions: South Campus; Embizweni Building Foyer.
Financial Aid: North Campus front Entrance by Alumni Relations Office.
Student Housing: On-campus and off-campus Office, Sanlam Student Village.
Disability Unit: Cashiers, South Campus.
Academic Appeals: North Campus SRC Office.

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Respect Democratic Outcomes & Save the University of Fort Hare

By Mmusi Maimane MP, Leader of the Democratic Alliance:

The following remarks were made by the DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, at Fort Hare University, Alice Campus. Maimane was joined by DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader &  NMB Mayoral Candidate, Athol Trollip MPL, and DA Youth Chairperson, Yusuf Cassim MP:

The DA has come to the University of Fort Hare (UFH) today to stand up for the constitutional rights and freedoms of students on this campus.

Earlier this year the DA Students Organisation (DASO) won an historic victory when they wrestled control of the SRC from the ANC-aligned SASCO. Since claiming that victory members of DASO have increasingly come under attack from UFH management.

The most recent attack on DASO has come from the Registrar, Prof Mike Somniso, who threatened to unleash the ANC’s uMkhonto weSizwe military veterans (MK) on DASO students at the university’s Alice campus.

This follows numerous assaults and threats on DASO members, the hijacking of the Student Parliament by SASCO, local police refusing to open cases where DASO members have been assaulted, and the Head of Security and Student Developer overheard plotting to poison the SRC President.

The threats against DASO reflect a clear desire to prevent it from doing its job of serving the students. This amounts to a refusal to respect their victory in a free and fair democratic election and a rejection of the foundation of our constitutional democracy.

The DA will not tolerate the intimidation of our members, or in fact any students at UFH. I have therefore today met with the Vice-Chancellor of UFH, Dr Dr Mvuyo Tom, and urged him to suspend Prof Somniso with immediate effect following his disgraceful comments.

These remarks have no place at an institution that is known for having educated many of the heroes of the struggle against Apartheid, including Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Oliver Thambo. They fought for a constitution that entrenches civil rights and political freedoms. The DA will not allow these rights to be undermined by pro-ANC members of UFH management.

The Vice-Chancellor has given me his assurance that he will investigate the matter and will provide feedback on the security situation as well as the Registrar’s suspension in due course.

I have also raised the DA’s concerns over the financial mismanagement of the university with the Vice-Chancellor. The university is technically bankrupt with a deficit of R100 million, and has been using funds from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to pay staff salaries.

NSFAS is earmarked to assist those students who would otherwise be unable to afford to study. Illegally diverting this funding toward salaries is denying these students the opportunities they deserve.

We have a responsibility to protect the legacy of this iconic institution and guard against its decay due to maladministration. The dire situation at UFH must be addressed with the utmost urgency.

The DA’s vision for South Africa is to build a society based on the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity. Key to this is making sure that young people are given the chance to pursue a life they value.

This requires not only that we grow the economy, but also that we empower young people with the skills and knowledge required to find a job. Young people are hit hardest by the unemployment crisis with 2 out of 3 of those who are without work being young people.

Institutions of higher education must play a central role in developing young people into active participants in the economy who can help build a better tomorrow for South Africa. The DA will not stand by while this role is undermined. We cannot allow our universities to fail those who study at them.

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DA wins historic two SRC seats at Seshego TVET campus

By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Limpopo Leader:

The DA is delighted to have won two seats in the 2016 Student Representative Council (SRC) election at Seshego TVET Campus.

This is an historic win for the DA Student Organisation, as this is the first SRC election on this campus that we have contested. It is equally historic as the DA has equalled the seat number won by SASCO in this election, and has brought SASCO down to now occupy only two seats.

The EFF and an independent candidate shared the remaining two seats.

This win adds to recent DASO successes across South African campuses and this proves the confidence students have in the DA to implement real change, provide opportunities and deliver on our promises.

Winning these key seats especially on this campus is an indication that South Africans are rallying behind the DA at all levels of governance, seeing that the DA will bring change to their lives.

DASO Limpopo thanks the students of Seshego TVET, and pledges to use this opportunity to serve the students with pride by addressing the challenges that they are facing.

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DA win at NMMU endorses good governance and bodes well for 2016 NMB victory

By Yusuf Cassim MP, DA Youth Interim Leader:

The DA is humbled and proud to have won 12 out of the 20 seats in the 2016 NMMU Student Representative Council election, held yesterday. This translates into a 60% victory. Once again, the DA Student Organisation will govern the SRC at NMMU.

This victory for the DA on the NMMU campus is indicative of growing youth support for the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay. The DA is set on winning Nelson Mandela Bay in next year’s election with the continued support of our young voters.

Voters continue to reward DASO with renewed SRC mandates on campuses in South Africa as an acknowledgment of sound delivery. DASO’s commitment to caring for students and their issues has been confirmed by this election result.

Under the leadership of DASO, the 2015 SRC at NMMU delivered on its election promises courageously, and had implemented real change within the first few months. This provided students with real opportunities to reach their full potential.

In this new term DASO will ensure that the SRC builds on the successes of the previous term. The DASO 2016 SRC will work for the expansion of its comprehensive bailout fund and shuttle service for students, the translation of all university documents into South Africa’s official languages and the video-recording of lectures to promote academic excellence; to name but a few of the planned initiatives.

Today DASO has triumphed at NMMU, and has not been held back by adverse and illegal attempts to prevent our victory through the theft of our election posters from lampposts around the Metro and the attempted hijacking of a DASO event near City Hall during the campaigning period. DASO has been handed an unequivocal mandate, and will serve the university community out of that mandate.

Support is growing behind the DA’s campaign to win Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016, and this win at NMMU bodes well for a 2016 victory for the DA and Athol Trollip in the Metro.

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Trollip to hold press conference on NMMU SRC election results

Media Advisory:

Today, DA Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral Candidate, Athol Trollip, will brief the media on the NMMU SRC election results.

Trollip will be accompanied by Interim Youth Leader, Yusuf Cassim MP and DASO Presidential Candidate, Nicholas Xabiso Nyathi.

Support is growing behind the DA’s campaign to win Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016, and this SRC election result is an important bellwether for next year’s local government election.

This event will take place as follows:

Date: 17 September 2015

Venue: 1st Floor Boardroom, DA Provincial Head Office, Havelock Street, Port Elizabeth

Time: 10:00

There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs

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DASO win accommodation battle at NMMU

By Hlumela Bucwa, NMMU SRC President:

The DA governed Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) SRC has won the battle for the university to accommodate nursing students during the 2015 recess period.

A group of nursing students who have academic programmes during the recess period were told that they needed to vacate their residences or pay a fee of R30 per day.

After futile attempts to resolve this issue with relevant members of management, I wrote to the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Professor Denise Zinn to intervene directly.

NMMU management has since responded favourably with the news that nursing students will be sponsored towards their accommodation in the residences during the June 2015 recess period for the sole purpose of fulfilling their academic requirements of doing practicals.

This is an encouraging development and important victory however many of these students are still left without transport to their practicals and there are other groups of students with recess academic commitments who must also be accommodated.

My SRC will continue to fight these issues and endeavours to:

  • further engage senate & the office of the VC to ensure that a permanent solution is found and the students will not pay in future. We have already put together and submitted a proposal;
  • continue to fight for  shuttle to transport these students to their place of academic commitment during this period;
  • ensure this victory is applied to all students who have to do mandatory practicals or have other mandatory academic commitments during the recess period.

We encourage any student that faces a challenge to approach us as we are here to ensure that all students have access to decent living and learning environments in which to succeed academically.

The DA will continue to fight for academic access and success at University campuses.

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DASO to march against poor and insufficient shuttle services at NMMU

Media Advisory:

The Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO) at NMMU, led by DA Youth Interim Leader, Yusuf Cassim, will march in protest towards the poor and insufficient shuttle services at the University.

Students experience irregular, inefficient, overcrowded and delayed shuttle services.

A petition with over 2000 signatures will be handed over to demand that the Vice-Chancellor prioritise this problem and inject an urgent allocation of funding towards better shuttle services to ensure that no student is left behind.

The event will take place as follows:

Date: 21 May 2015
Time: 12h00
Starting point: Xanadu Parking Lot, South Campus NMMU, University Way, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth

There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs.

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DASO to march against poor and insufficient shuttle services at NMMU

Media Advisory:

The Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO) at NMMU, led by DA Youth Interim Leader, Yusuf Cassim, will march in protest towards the poor and insufficient shuttle services at the University.

Students experience irregular, inefficient, overcrowded and delayed shuttle services.

A petition with over 2000 signatures will be handed over to demand that the Vice-Chancellor prioritise this problem and inject an urgent allocation of funding towards better shuttle services to ensure that no student is left behind.

The event will take place as follows:

Date: 21 May 2015
Time: 12h00
Starting point: Xanadu Parking Lot South Campus NMMU, University Way, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth

There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs.

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