Nelson Mandela University has on Wednesday been shutdown by students and SASCO leaders. SASCO’s Glaude Quvane Branch led a protest action against the university’s closing down of registration while some students have not registered.
The university’s STUDENTS’ ACCOUNTS department has been closed by students demanding that all unregistered students be registered immediately and that the university management responsible for Financial aid to address the protesting students directly and not through SASCO or the SRC.
Branch chairperson and NMUs south campus Premier Vuyokazi Gwam said the university should make a way for students to register as the university is approaching recess
“We are here because its march now, and we are approaching recess, students are not registered, Gwam said.
Gwam added that “The reasons to this are not clear, we have engaged with the university management and have been meeting with these people but there is nothing concrete coming out of that”.
The students have taken the protest action to all entrances into the university, barricading the entrances with tree branches and road barricades.
SASCOs Claude Quvane Branch chairperson said they do not want anyone else, except for the director of Student accounts Mr Ken Scholtz.
“We have been given Mr Ncapayi to speak to us and we are not here for him, we want Ken” Gwam said, Scholtz “has been going on sick leaves, as if we are not sick. “We are being made sick by this university” she added.
At the protest, DVC for Institutional Support Mr Lebogang Hashatse said He was not in a position to offer any reply at yet. He said the university is finding a way to respond to the students grievances.
Nelson Mandela University together with its SRC has carried out the long awaited laptop distribution project to the university’s first year students. The project was launched on Tuesday at the at university’s North Campus. First year NSFAS students are provided with dell laptops to the value of R4800 payable over a period of 2 years in instalments of R2400 a year deducted directly from their intelli card.
This project comes after the SASCO led SRC in 2018 had advocated for a “one-student-one-laptop” initiative to be administered by the university.
Bamanye Matiwane, SRC president at NMU speaking to the students said “we have realised together with the student movement that part and parcel of what the student must receive in order for you to pass, each and every person here at this university must have a laptop”.
Matiwane urged students to take good care of the devices, to use them for the betterment of their tech skills and to develop their academics.
He said “we are giving you these laptops to do your academic work, we are going to judge you and critically analyse you on how you are doing academically while you have laptops”.
“if you do not pass while you have all the necessary resources you must face the university policy” He said.
Meanwhile, The University’s Chief Information Officer Dr Sam Bosire has assured students of the infrastructural development at the institution for advanced and easy use of these laptops at any areas of Mandela University.
Bosire said his faculty has been working on the improvement of technology for the advancement of technical teaching and learning.
He said the university has started creating E-spaces. The kinds of places students will be utilising their laptops in. “we are modernising our classrooms, there is an ambitious project that makes sure that our classrooms are E-ready”
Bosire further elaborated on how fast and easily adaptive the youth of today is, stating that the use of these laptops are an epitome of a new dawn into success.
Amongst some of the guests was the devices’ service provider, Dell regional sales representative Musa Mhlaba. Mhlaba congratulated the university and students for being a step ahead in attacking the much anticipated fourth industrial revolution.
Speaking directly to the students Mhlaba said “You are fortunate in that you are being equipped to be part of that digital transformation and digital journey as the students”.
This project will further be rolled out to the 2018 foundation cohort of students who are in 2019 enrolling for their first year in their diploma or degrees. Students have until Thursday to register to benefit from the initiative, and are encouraged to go to any ICT office around the university campuses to register.
Port Elizabeth – Vuka Youth Empowerment Movement leader Sicelo Jantjies fears that people from his area might label him as a criminal and scammer. This comes after a voice note circulated on social media accusing his organisation of collecting money from local spaza shops in Walmer with the impression that the money would be used to employ the youth.
The sound clip was spiked by rumours around the community that various foreign spaza shops were to close down as this organisation was collecting money from them (foreign spaza shops).
In the voice note a lady can be heard saying “Foreign shops are closing down because there is a youth group called Vuka that is collecting R1500 monthly so they (foreign spaza shop owners) are now feeling abused because they don’t know where the money is going, and the owners said they spoke to the group and told the group that they do not want to hire black people in their shops, so they are now closing until they find a solution to this”
The youth movement had proposed to the municipality that young people from Walmer should conduct food inspection raids at various shops in the community and be compensated R1500 monthly, the money would have been collected from the various shop owners in the area.
Jantjies said none of this money was collected and “no item on the proposal has been attempted, it all was a plan in paper”.
The proposal comes after public health and environmental health departments in the Nelson Mandela Bay failed to carry out the food inspection raids at local spaza shops in the area.
The plan was disapproved and scrapped by the municipality and the various stakeholders it has been proposed to on the basis that only qualified practitioners can conduct food inspections.
“with regards to the food safety industry, a person cannot just go and inspect food establishments, it is a technical field that requires training and a qualification and therefore qualified practitioners can be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa” Director of the Environmental health in Nelson Mandela Bay Dr Patrick Nodwele, said.
However, the decisions not to take up the youth movement’s proposal had not been communicated with the community and resulted in the misinformation shared among the Walmer community.
Dr Nodwele further maintained that food inspections have been carried out in Walmer on routine basis by environmental health practitioner Dirk Styn, and that the deployment of the general youth is unnecessary for this particular project.
He said, “Food inspections in walmer facilities are happening we have never suspended our services in Walmer and councillor Tyokwana is fully aware that we have a health practitioner in that Walmer”.
Responding to the misinformation in his community, councillor Tyokwana said “I am fully aware of the proposal, but I am sure that there is a misunderstanding in terms of the shops paying out 1500 to the organisation. The organisation did away with the R1500 in the proposal, no one has collected any cent from anyone.”
He said the proposal was scrapped because the shops did not agree with the financial recommendations of the proposal, and they could not conclude on the employment aspect of the proposal due to the inability of the shops to meet the standards of the newly passed wage bill.
Moreover, Tyokwana refuted claims by the Environmental practitioner Dr Nodwele that any inspections had been conducted in his ward.
“They have never conducted them (shop inspections) in Walmer as the municipality, because everything the municipality does goes through the councillor’s office”
He said in the two years he’s been serving as councillor in ward 4 he has never heard from municipality about inspections in his area.
“it is only the new political head councillor Pali who has done it in Kostern and other shops that have been mentioned in The Herald other than that we know nothing of inspections here”
He said “He is lying, if the directorate is doing inspections, it should be done in conjunction with the councillors office as well as the committee of the shops and also the general ward committee. We are supposed to know as the people who are around here, they never conducted inspections in my term, maybe they did 10 years ago.”
Furthermore, Tyokwana said he hopes that the municipality fast tracks everything and conduct these inspections soon, so that the community can live a clean and healthy life.
Seven informal dwellers of various areas around Motherwell, Port Elizabeth have staged protest action outside the chamber of council against the negligent governance imposed to them by the executive Mayor and MMC for Human settlements in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
The angry residents accused Mayor Mongameli Bobani and Andile Lungisa of not attending to their issues, making empty promises and leaving them (dwellers) to suffer the consequences of ill governance by some of their ward councillors.
Speaking directly to Lungisa, leader of this group Siphokazi Hlalu said “as you are seating here at this council meeting you are a leader to many other leaders, but at our communities we have councillors that are not doing their job well, that we would call out should you be visiting the areas as you should”.
Hlalu said “we have water problems and garbage collection bags that were promised to us long time ago have still not been delivered. Do you want us to protest in order for you to erect electricity poles in our areas?”
These angry residents said their current ward councillor Becinga Mbuqu referred them to the Mayor and Lungisa to express they dissatisfaction of their living conditions. They said he urged them to seek attention in a form of a protest and even “burn tyres” if needs be.
Meanwhile, ward 54 resident Bantu Tyamzashe revealed another life threatening problem of living directly next to bushes that bear dangerous reptiles that could take their lives.
Tyamzashe said “we beg that these Ndluvu (informal dwellings) be taken care of, there are no toilets no water, behind our shacks are bushes with many snakes”
He said “Some of us are living near the farms and farmers behind our shacks are claiming that we are occupying their land, we have a problem there”
These residents delivered their memorandum of demands and Bobani promised the residents a visit in seven days in response to their grievances.
“Before we come to these areas, we need to meet with various stakeholders in governance so as to speak on the financial impact of the development that needs to be done in the areas” Bobani said.
He said people should continue working together and leave their personal party politics when dealing with matters that concern the well-being of the entire society.
“Let’s put our weapons down” – Those were the words uttered and directed to SMME owners by the Nelson Mandela Bay’s Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, outside City hall in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
“Let’s come down, let’s put our weapons down, let there be peace amongst ourselves” the mayor begged of the SMME owners to have each other’s backs following the tragic death of Black Business Caucus leader Baba Ningi on Monday.
Ningi died of numerous gun shots after an argument just outside Lifa and Mafa Butchery in Koyana Street Zwide. The 48-year old’s death has not been formally linked to anything as it stands, but people suspect that it might be related to a project that is believed to have earned Ningi Millions of rands which belonged to SMME owners.
“We don’t know the motive for the killing of our brothers, we can hear others saying they are suspecting the drains but the police have not yet come with a report to us”, Bobani said.
The mayor disregarded allegations that the drain cleaning project that was awarded to SMME’s in December last year might have been the cause for the death of Baba Ningi and his colleague Nkululeko Gcakasi who was gunned down six hours after Ningi’s death at Tshiwula street in New Brighton.
The mayor stimulated that this incident is not going to hold the government back from awarding SMMEs businesses, He said “We as the government we are unapologetic for giving you the drain project”.
The bereaved crowd shed tears as the Mayor spoke fondly of Baba Ningi, his principle and work ethic. Bobani said the support the colleagues have shown is proof that they appreciated Ningi’s work and that “the blood of Baba Ningi will nourish the business community and SMMEs to grow”.
Nkcubeko Qhayiyalethu Silinga – who most of us know as Que, studied Public Relations & Corporate Communications. She stared working at Madibaz Radio right at its inception in 2014. Que had high aspirations for her career so naturally she applied for the most highest ranking position there was available. Having gone through the interview process she unfortunately did not get the post, but Mr. Makapela offered her any other slot that she desired, and she chose to be a Radio Personality.
This brought to existence what we know as The Hitlist, a concept by ‘your favourite letter’. Que presented the show from 2014 to 2015 with a couple of co-host Mmeli Notsh, Crème De la Pam and many more. She went on to take a lifestyle show to gain as much radio experience as possible and learn how to be diverse. Given that she has a P.R. background she was part of the teams spearheading projects such as SaniTeens and Dream girls. At the 2015 Student Media awards (then Madibaz Radio awards ceremony) Ncubeko was nominated for an All rounder award alongside Sanelisiwe Owethu Ntabeni, also known as Dabs and subsequently won. Leaving a standing record of being the only person to be a recipient of the award to date. In 2016 she hosted DT46, the drive time show with Hlubi Zibi and Roger. Eventually Nkcubeko left the station at the end of 2016 where she was placed at Keith Ngesi radio based in East London.
“I honestly learnt a lot at Madibaz radio, and it truly set the pace for everything else that I actively do and my ambitions thereafter. Working for a successful online campus radio station put me in a great position to understand the online space and where radio is ultimately going in future and equally equipped me for traditional frequency radio”, she said.
She is now based in Johannesburg, still pursuing radio but as a freelancing voice over artist. She says that she would honestly advise that anyone who wants to pursue a career in radio start at campus level and not be afraid to fail. The platform is there, so one must take advantage. “Reading is the only way you are going to have impelling content. Also be kind, you never know who is watching or listening to your show. It could be a person who is going to give you your big break”, she concluded.