Member’s Statement by Mr Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, MP and UDM Deputy Secretary General, in the National Assembly regarding Minister Nzimande’s failure to address problems at the Walter Sisulu University is jeopardising futures of Eastern Cape youth

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is very concerned about the manner in which Government and the Minister of Higher Education are handling the crises at Walter Sisulu University (WSU).

If not for the intervention of civil society, under the leadership of the South African Council of Churches, the current crisis would have escalated beyond the point of no return.

It is an indictment of Minister Nzimande that our President had to dispatch Minister Chabane to clean up his colleague’s backyard.

However, after an agreement was reached to end the seven-week long strike, we hear that classes are disrupted yet again. The allegations are that Government is negotiating in bad faith and has reneged on its promises.

The UDM is of the view that the Minister Nzimande has failed to attend to the WSU challenges, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Not intervening in the labour dispute timeously;
  • Not reporting on his Departments’ turn-around strategy for the university;
  • Whether its budget allocation is adequate;
  • Whether the salaries of academics and workers are competitive;
  • Allegations are that local companies are overlooked for university business; § Whether the merger of various institutions has delivered the desired results.

The UDM calls on Government to urgently resolve the crises at WSU, because a day lost in a student’s learning, is a day too many.