Johannesburg - The Transform Wits committee and a number of students at the university on Thursday expressed their happiness that the Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town was finally being brought down.
“As Transform Wits we are inspired by the relentlessness of our comrades at UCT, who have taken ownership of their spaces and are working hard to decolonolialise them, the statue falling is just the first step in truly achieving transformation.” said Simamkele Dlakavu, one of the committee members at the University of Witswatersrand.
The Transform Wits grouping said they came together to fight against challenges that they faced as young black African students and found that the areas of mobilisation were present at other universities as well.
The committee came up with a manifesto in which they identified six key pillars that they believe, if implemented, would help transform their university. These pillars included the Africanisation of university symbolism and institutional memory, the radical revision and Africanisation of all university curricula, the fast-tracking and Africanisation of academic staff, the end to worker discrimination and the end to financial exclusion of students.
“We would like to see all students being given equal chances, a curriculum that is Africanised in a way that shows that we are in Africa, workers getting decent salaries and being allowed to access libraries and opportunities to study as well, they should be given benefits like other people who work,” Dlakavu said.