Human said the SRC recognises transport is still an issue and said the SRC is addressing it. Milisa Mbete, chairperson of the ANCYL at Tuks said that students living in Arcadia and Sunnyside should have equal access to the bus service like other students. She added that 24 June is too late for a decision because exams will have finished by then.
Issues surrounding the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) were raised by Hlarane Legoabe, Xayata chairperson. Legoabe asked whether registered students with historical debt due to NSFAS’s lack of funds will be assisted by the SRC. He also asked who the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund (VCF) will assist.
Amy Ashworth, who holds the SRC study finance portfolio, said that it is unclear at this point what will happen to these students. She said that the SRC Study Aid Fund has been used to assist some students. Most of the funds from the Study Aid Fund will go towards the proposed work for study programme.
After funding was discussed, Zandile Nkambule from Sasco asked what the SRC has done to accommodate the cultural differences between black students when assigning rooms in residences. Nkambule said the current system separates students based on race.
Nthabiseng Nooe, who holds the transformation portfolio, said this was a practice issue and not a policy issue. “It is not something that is implemented by TuksRes but by the HKs of the residences,” Nooe said. She added that the criteria for allocating rooms differ between residences.
Nooe said the SRC is working on residence placement guidelines. The current placement quota is a 60:40 ratio and 40% of residents must be first-year students. According to the SRC, 50% of residents must be first-year students next year. This will increase to 75% by 2018.
Continuing with the issues of residence placement, some audience members said placement should be based on distance and need instead of academic merit, which is the current policy.
Questions were also raised about TuksRes’s pregnancy policy, which stipulates that a pregnant student can only be allowed to live in residence until the 34th week of her pregnancy. Human said it is unconstitutional to make someone leave residence because they are pregnant.
The preliminary date for the next SRC elections has been set 3 September and nominations for SRC will open in the second week of the second semester.
Candidates will run independently, although they can choose to be affiliated with societies.
Photo: Anele Mkungela