Stop disruptions

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Education Minister Naledi Pandor has urged universities that are experiencing disputes to resolve their issues "as soon as possible".

She was responding to the strike action that has led to the closure of the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

Two universities in Durban, the DUT and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, are up in arms with their respective managements and all academic processes, including administration, are now on hold.

"It has become a trend that every single year lectures are delayed due to strike actions that could be prevented by all stakeholders discussing labour-related issues and student issues the year before to prevent disruptions," Pandor said.

The DUT was closed on Tuesday after students and police clashed during a joint strike action by workers and students on the Steve Biko campus.

The workers and students went on strike on Monday over "inadequate salaries and the lack of adequate accommodation".

Lectures at all three campuses have been postponed until Monday next week, but students have vowed that they would not end the strike if the management failed to deal with their grievances.

"My department is closely monitoring the situation at these institutions and has urged them to resolve the issues they have so that academic processes are not compromised," said Pandor.

Students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal are on strike over the "unhygienic conditions" at the university.

Pandor has recently intervened at the Mangosuthu University of Technology by appointing Professor Jonathan Jansen as an administrator.

Jansen's appointment follows a request to the minister by the university council to assist in carrying out the recommendations of the report by an independent assessor.

Jansen was formerly the dean of the faculty of education at the University of Pretoria.

He served as administrator for Durban University of Technology in 2007 and is currently professor of education at the University the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.