The South African Further Education and Training Students Association (SAFETSA) commenced its national shut down of all the Technical Vocational Education and Training colleges (TVET) in the country on 19 January 2017. At Kathu’s campus, students also embarked on such movement in order to heart out their grievances.
Student activist and former student representative councillor Motsoethata Mampe addressed the mass meeting during the standstill of the classes. Some of the issues that were raised were pending results, reduction of student enrolment, infrastructure grants, employed but unqualified lecturers and the management arrogance and ignorance towards the students.
Mr Mampe also said that the college could not enrol according to their maximum capacity of their classrooms due to their reduced funding that does not support college operations.
“We would like to attract the attention of the Department of Education for quick remedial solutions and commitment. We also want the college management to allow students to stress their demands as we share the same sentiments,” says Mr Mampe.
The college was shut down for three days awaiting the resolutions from the Education Department. Subsequently, not the college management nor the department responded to the memorandum from the students.
On Tuesday 23 January students converged at the campus to launch another shut down of classes. The student activist continued to say “It is clear that the department does not take us seriously. To attain the attention we seek from them, we will engage in another long week standstill until our grievances are given attention. The classes will be suspended until next week Monday 30 January. We would also like to bring to our parents’ attention that, they must not worry to see their children not attending”.
The students vowed that, if they do not get response by next week, the strike will continue.
Photograph: student activist Mr Motsoethata Mampe