Campaigning has reached fever-pitch at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) campuses with Student Representative Council (SRC) elections due for October 5.
African National Congress aligned South African Student Congress (Sasco) whose leadership monopoly suffered significantly last year after the ANC youth league decided to contest the elections at the Mthatha campus hoping to regain control and gain more seats at other campuses.
The elections will see Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) United Democratic Movement Students Movement (UDESMO) and Economic Freedom Fighters’ Student Command (EFFSC) contesting the elections for the first time at the university.
At the Mthatha campus Sasco has already started with campaigns, while at the Buffalo City campus the leadership held a strategic meeting on Wednesday night on how to go about campaigning.
Sasco’s Mxolisi Zoko of the Mthatha campus said the campaign was in full swing.
“In the last elections we had more votes, but due to a coalition we lost the control of the campus,” he said.
The ANCYL formed at coalition with the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) to oust Sasco in Mthatha.
He said they were working to get more votes.
Zolile Zamisa, chairman at the Buffalo City campus said they had started with door-to-door campaigns.
“We are hoping to retain the control of the campus and this time we are aiming for more seats,” he said.
In the Butterworth campus, Sasco’s Zubenathi Sopa said they were ready for the elections.
“We have not yet started with campaigning, but we will start this weekend,” he said.
Sasco chairman at the Queenstown campus Motsi Qoyi said they were determined to win the upcoming elections.
“We are busy campaigning and we hope students will vote for our organisation and we strongly believe that we will win the elections,” he said.
Fezile November of the ANCYL said they have already started mobilising students.
“We are campaigning, but things are not as effective as we would have wanted. Students are more focussed on their studies as they have just returned to campus after it was closed as a result of the protest,” he said.
PASMA in the Mthatha campus said they were working on getting more seats.
“We have two seats at the moment. That of the secretary and treasurer and this time we are hoping for more than 50% votes,” he said.
DASO chairman in the Eastern Cape Baxolile Nodada said they will only contest in Butterworth.
“The ultimate plan is to contest on all Walter Sisulu University campuses and eventually gaining control of some of the campuses as we did at Fort Hare’s Alice campus and Nelson Mandela University,” he said.
EFFSC deputy secretary Thandokazi Nayo said they were looking forward to the elections and that they had already started campaigning.
Her organisation will contest at both Mthatha and Butterworth campuses.
“We have been around for a couple of years, but we have been denied recognition by the SRC and the management. We are happy that we will contest for the elections,” she said.
Naye added that they were aiming for at least two campuses for now.
She said they were working hard to get recognition also on other campuses in the university.