Byline: Andani Matumba

14 March 2022

The students at Gert Sibande TVET College, Evander campus, took to the streets today morning, 14 March 2022, protesting outside the gate of the college.

Although the protest was peaceful, one lane of Rotterdam Road was blocked.

According to Mr Sakhile Mashinini, a student at GS college and student representative of the EFF, the aim of the campus shut-down send a warning to the management of campus regarding the gravity of the issues which the students are faced with.

“We have been pleading with management to have a meeting with us so that we can address the issues contained in the memorandum which was submitted to management today but they have been dilly doling without giving us a clear answer,” echoed Mashinini.

Amongst other things, the memo seeks for management to address the issues of safety and security by providing for tightened security measures such as biometric scanners at the gate, a library which will be used by the students in their comfort for the sole purpose of their studies, a cafeteria since the current one is being used as an exam center, the provision of driving licenses as part of the school syllabus and an upgraded online application system.

Mr Jabhi Nkosi, the Campus Manager at GS college in Evander confirmed that they received the memorandum from the students and that a copy has been forwarded to the central offices of GS college.

“Some of the student’s requests are beyond my powers and I cannot take a unilateral decision on those issues, therefore management has to work together so that we come with a comprehensive solution,” added Nkosi with concern for the students.

He further stated that no student has ever been disqualified by the college due to non-payment of school fees or has the college ever withheld the results of a student simply because there is a balance due to the college.

Mr Jabhi Nkosi, Campus Manager at Gert Sibande TVET College in Evander

“The college subsidizes 80% of the student’s fees and NSFAS comes in with 20% and this is fully funded for students who perform well during their academic year.   

Those who fail are then requested to pay the other percentage due to the fact that NSFAS does not fund failed modules/subjects but they are never barred from registering.

Irrespective of this fact, the students still leave college without settling their accounts or even bother to come back and settle their accounts”, commented Nkosi when asked what the money being requested to be paid by returning students was intended for.

Mr. Nkosi reassured that he intends on taking up the initiative to see to it that the library, transport, safety, and security take priority.

The student representative committee was not available to comment.