Tomorrow more than 30000 Walter Sisulu University students will elect new student representative council members at all four campuses in what is expected to be closely contested elections.
WSU yesterday said it was all systems go for the elections at the four campuses – East London, Mthatha, Butterworth and Komani tomorrow.
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL), the South African Students Congress (Sasco), the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) and new kids on the block, the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) and Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) – will each be hoping to get the lion’s share of the votes – and govern at WSU for a year.
Pasma, which already holds one of the four seats in the institutional students executive committee, hopes to increase its numbers.
Chairman Prince Mbukwe said the PAC-aligned student organisation was growing and was ready to to lead the institution.
“We have the most progressive manifesto, which this year for the first time has resulted in a free academic transcript.
“The students must realise that we are the only movement that cares for the masses,” Mbukwe said.
Leading the ANCYL campaign at the Nelson Mandela Drive campus in Mthatha, Fezile November said: “We as the youth league are available to lead the students and hold the university accountable to its obligations to the students.”
Sasco leader Vusi Mahoya promised that if elected, they would fight for an increase in the number of students enrolled at the institution.
“The NSFAS centralisation process has disadvantaged a lot of our students because of lack of access to resources, and we plan to change that,” Mahoya said.
Daso will be contesting the SRC elections for the first time and they are going all out, with DA MP Yussuf Cassim campaigning at the Ibika campus today.
Daso provincial leader Baxolile Nodada said they would call on the Department of Higher Education and Training to conduct a curriculum audit. “We feel that there are a lot of qualifications in the institution that do not have the correct accreditation and we want that to be addressed,” he said.
Nodada said they would also call for proper maintenance of WSU campuses, claiming “there is no facilities maintenance yet there is a budget for maintenance”.
The EFFSC could not be contacted at the time of writing yesterday.
WSU management yesterday said it had received the ballot papers that would be used by their students tomorrow.
University spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo said the university was ready with the logistics and had hoped for a smooth process.
“Although we had challenges in getting all the political parties recognised on time we belive that we have resolved those issues,” Tukwayo said. — firstname.lastname@example.org