The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Ms Connie September, as part of her January constituency work programme, met with the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) to check their readiness for 2018 registration. “We continue to see the hard work that the institutions are putting into the registration process to ensure that deserving students are accommodated at these institutions,” said Ms September.
Ms September said the visit to UWC was overshadowed by an update on the proposed plan to ensure accommodation for more students closer to the university. “In our meeting in August 2017 we were informed that the university had also identified two sites near the main campus and these sites were earmarked for the construction of student residences that could take up to 2 600 students. However, the City of Cape Town informed the university about its intention to develop low-cost housing at one of the sites,” said Ms September.
Ms September said the university was in the process of negotiating with the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government for the provision of land for the development of student residences. “I was informed, to our utmost disgust, that the promised land does not seem to materialise. At a meeting between the university and the MEC for Human Settlements at the end of 2017, the MEC agreed to the university’s request.”
Ms September said the university not only saw low-cost houses being erected, but also that the students will remain homeless due to an inept and irregular decision taken by the MEC and his officials not to honour the undertaking. “In fact, the officials had
brought a builder to the meeting and informed them that the promised land is no longer available, surely this is irregular?”
Ms September said UWC is not only without the promised land but also with an additional finance. “I will ask that the Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, to take the students to the promised land and intervene in the irregular decisions of the Western Cape Province,” said Ms September.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Ms Connie September