Lerato Ndlovu is first black female chair of SRC at Tuks
Pretoria - Students at the University of Pretoria have a new role model: the first black female chair of the Student Representative Council (SRC), Lerato Ndlovu.
While there may have been a perception that Tuks favoured white men in leadership positions, Ndlovu has broken through the barriers to take up this role at a crucial time in the university’s history.
During the SRC elections in October, Ndlovu emerged victorious over two other candidates, including Rameeza Abdool-Sattar, who will now serve as her deputy.
Ndlovu, who hails from Luka, a village in Rustenburg in North West – is a final-year Political Science student and the outgoing deputy secretary of the previous SRC.
She chose to run for election to improve the lives of students at Tuks, one of the biggest universities in the country.
“I realised that students, generally, feel neglected or do not feel wholly served or helped by the SRC, because student governance structures at our university seem to lack certain elements,” she said.
“Having seen that, I was prompted to run again, with the goal, hope and vision of trying to address these matters. I was exposed to a great flaw, which, if addressed adequately, could see more students being assisted and having access to structures like the SRC and faculty houses. Such structures can, in turn, do a better job in serving students,” she said.
Always in the front line, Ndlovu led a march against gender-based violence and human trafficking from the Hatfield Magistrate’s Court to the Brooklyn Police Station to hand over a memorandum to the station’s management.
“Helping students with their basic needs will be a priority,” Ndlovu said. “Transforming student governance and fostering a more inclusive culture in our community as a whole is another objective.
“While we have entities that deal with cases of sexual and gender-based violence and harassment, what is concerning is that students still come to the SRC and other student governance structures to report incidents because they are not aware that these entities exist, or they feel more comfortable sharing certain things with us,” she said.
Although the university is yet to open for the academic year, she did attend a lunch at the Future Africa campus in December with the Vice-Chancellor Prof Tawana Kupe, to welcome the new Miss South Africa, Shudufhadzo Musida, a former Tuks student.
SRC secretary is Jaco van Jaarsveld and treasurer Jozias Mahube-Reinecke with Njabulo Sibeko taking care of facilities, safety and security.