Students who protested last week Thursday

Tshwane north college Soshanguve block L students embarked on protest action last week Thursday 18 April 2024 complaining about alleged victimisation.

Deputy Chairperson of the Student Representative Council (SRC) MrTumi Motiang, said student leaders in particular are victimized through alleged unlawful and unconstitutionally demoting, de-registering and demonizing leaders who raise genuine concerns affecting students.

‘’Tshwane North TVET College neither has a legitimate committee or student disciplinary code to adjudicate students. We are alarmed by the fact that students continue to be suspended and de-registered without due process. The institution is run by terror and lack of transformation and by demonstrating, we want to make it clear that we are the legitimate representatives of the students and we will champion their struggle,” said Mr Motiang.

The students also demanded that suspended members of the SRC who have been de-registered be reinstated. They said one of the students, Mr Kagiso Komane, was allegedly de-registered from the system for doing a second qualifications while he was allegedly allowed by the Department of Education to register for the second qualification, but the TNC refused to register him.

“We want Motshepua Mathe and Kagiso Komane and all suspended SRC members back as students of the College,” said Mr Motiang.

The students also demanded that the three Blocks of Buildings set for student accommodation that have been closed should be renovated immediately to accommodate students without accommodation, refrain from monopolizing and trying to influence IEFSA in how it should run SRC elections and allow IEFSA to run its mandated task using the SRC Elections policy as not doing so, it will be against the democratic right of students.

They also want the college to pay all NSFAS beneficiaries the money due to them, from as far as 2016 to date.

The student protest that took place last week

Management of the Soshanguve TVC responded to the allegations stating that some of the Individuals who are leading the students’ strike at Soshanguve South Campus of Tshwane North College are not registered students.

Management said some of the individuals were expelled from the college in 2018 as they bridged the Student Code of Conduct and some could not be registered due to poor academic performance.

The College Management insisted that they do not victimize students but implement the Student Code of Conduct and relevant policies that govern the conduct of all enrolled students without fear, favor or prejudice.

Management said they will continue to enforce student discipline as espoused in the College Policies and advised students to follow the legitimate structures, the SRC at the campus and institutional levels as these are internal processes available to them to deal with students concerns.

“The College implements the provisions of the Admission Policy consistently across campuses. Kagiso Kgomane was informed that he was erroneously enrolled and he would be de-registered for the National Diploma, Public Management as he did not follow due processes to register for the qualification at the Soshanguve South Campus.

“He has not yet completed the qualification he was registered for, National Diploma:  Financial Management as he needed a further 18 months experiential training to complete the qualification.

“He was engaged by the Pretoria Campus where he was registered regarding the completion of his qualification and experiential training,” Management said.

Management further said there are processes and procedures that are followed as provided for in the Student Discipline Policy. Student leaders are also subject to the College Code of Conduct, Registration and Admission Policies of the College. Therefore, management does not lift suspensions without complying with the requirements of the Student Discipline Policy as approved by the College Council.

The College has a Student Discipline Policy which is a legal document that has been approved by the College Council through its statutory structures including the Student Representative Council (SRC). Two SRC members form part of the College Council

Management emphasized that the SRC is the only legitimate and statutory structure that represents the interests of the students as provided for in the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Act. Therefore, management recognizes the SRC.

On the student accommodation, Management said the buildings in question were officially closed in 2015 due to structural and other OHS challenges and a Court Order was granted to the College to evict the illegal occupants of the hostel. Therefore, the hostel shall remain closed until further resolutions by the College Council.

“The College Council, which includes student representatives, is the custodian of college policies, with the authority to appoint a person(s) to deal with the election of the SRC. College Council has appointed an Independent service provider to run the SRC Elections. There is a Student Election Policy that is complied with and should there be any flouting of the policy, students are encouraged to formalize disputes as outlined in the policy,” Management said.

On the issue of the NSFAS, Management of the College said students were informed of the NSFAS processes as outlined in the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Bursary Rules and Guidelines. Students were informed through the SRC that NSFAS has closed claims for 2016 and all the funds that could not be utilized by TVET Colleges were returned to NSFAS.

“The College has been disbursing allowances to qualifying students since February 2024 according to the Remittance Lists received from NSFAS. The College cannot withhold allowance payments of students whose names appear on the Remittance Lists. Those whose names are not reflected on the lists are mainly students who do not qualify for bursary funding, either because the joint household income of such families is over the qualifying threshold of R350, 000.00 per annum; or poor academic record”. Said the management.