Unisa student strike called off as agreement is reached
Johannesburg - The University of South Africa (Unisa) and its Student Representative Council (SRC) concluded and signed an agreement on Saturday that will see the student strike called off with immediate effect and normal operations at the university resuming by Monday, the university said.
"The agreement came as a result of the breakthrough made by the parties during negotiations within the university, as well as constructive engagement by the parties with the department of higher education and training (DHET) focusing on the registration challenges at Unisa, which included accreditation, enrolment planning, provision of laptops, and other matters," Unisa said in a statement on Saturday.
"As Unisa, we welcome this agreement and we are pleased that the operations of the university will return to normal and that thousands of our people who aspire to acquire an education and better their lives will be afforded the opportunity [to] access Unisa – a university that plays a leading role in the higher education sector in the country and on the continent," Unisa principal and vice chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya said.
"This breakthrough also demonstrates how crucial dialogue is in efforts to find solutions. Notwithstanding this agreement, we still urge students to register online unless it is absolutely necessary to visit a Unisa Service Centre," Makhanya said.
Students started striking from January 7 with the SRC demanding that all students who completed higher certificates in 2018 be allowed to proceed with registrations and for all qualifying students to be afforded space in the university. One of the biggest issues was the closing of some courses which has led to some campuses offering no more than five accredited courses.
Unisa approached the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa to seek an interdict against striking students.
The interdict was granted on Friday to the university after the case was heard in court.
African News Agency/ANA