NMB Executive Mayor Athol Trollip has today signed a memorandum of agreement with the NMMU SRC leadership, outlining a number of support services and systems that will assist all students during the current closure impasse and beyond.
We are the first municipality to come to the table in terms of directly assisting students and aim to set the standard of coordination with our youth in Higher Education institutions. This is in the interest of ensuring that our young people are able to access education so that they can reach their dreams.
We support the reopening of our universities and a staggered tiering system for fees that seeks to take the financial burden off middle- and lower-income students.
Although local government has no Higher Education mandate, we wish to assist our student residents in whatever way we can within our sphere of government, to alleviate the pressure felt by NMMU and all registered students.
Some items of assistance will provide long term support that will extend beyond the timeframe of this closure, while others will be in place to assist during this period of negotiation.
We will make available any municipal community hall or facility free of charge for the purpose of examinations and/or study.
Additionally, we have committed to expediting the promulgation of the Student Accommodation Policy and Problem Buildings By-Law both of which seek to enforce standards for housing in respect of building standards, facilities, overcrowding and illegal alterations.
We will also begin negotiations to set up a forum with a link to Home Affairs to assist students facing cancellation of visas due to the possible extension of the academic year.
Lastly, we aim to improve security presence and lighting in the inner city area where many students currently reside and roll out the IPTS in 2017 with subsidised fares for students.
This ground-breaking agreement between the NMMU SRC and the Municipality is in line with our commitment to usher in a political era of freedom and fairness for all, especially in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality.
We stand with residents, young and old, as we forge a new legacy that will take this Metro forward.
The memorandum, as signed between NMMU SRC and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Councillor Athol Trollip, appears below:
Memorandum of Agreement
This Memorandum of Agreement is made and entered into at City Hall in Port Elizabeth by and between
The Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality represented by Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, hereinafter referred to as NMBMM.
The Student Representative Council of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) represented by SRC President, Nicholas Nyati, hereinafter referred to as SRC.
WHEREAS, NMBMM in its concern to support NMMU students within its local government mandate, has agreed to provide operational and administrative assistance, where possible.
WHEREAS, NMBMM has at its disposal significant facilities and services, use of which would benefit both the SRC and the entire NMMU student body.
WHEREAS, NMMU students are facing considerable issues relating to transport, accommodation, visas, eviction, examination venues, safety, security, internet access and food, all compounded by the possible extension of the academic year, should lectures resume, NMBMM is prepared to work with NMMU and the SRC to alleviate these concerns, where possible.
NOW, therefore, for and in consideration of the foregoing premises, NMBMM and SRC hereby agree on and stipulate the following:
A. NMBMM undertakes to proceed with or investigate the following items:
a. Review and promulgate the Student Accommodation Policy, which is in draft format and is yet to be considered by council. This policy aims to enforce standards for student accommodation such that it caters to students’ varied needs, and furthermore aims to regulate noise levels, illegal alterations and overcrowding.
b. Promulgate Problem Buildings By-Law to rejuvenate Port Elizabeth’s CBD, so as to improve safety and security.
c. Set up a coordinating forum with a link Home Affairs to assist foreign students facing cancellation of visas.
d. Grant access, free of charge, to municipal community halls for the purpose of studying and writing exams.
e. Launch the IPTS in 2017.
i. Offer subsidised tariffs for students who can produce a student card.
f. Improve inner-city security by reviewing the CCTV network and increasing the visibility of security services.
g. Improve street lighting by repairing faulty units.
B. SRC shall:
a. Liaise with the University’s Registrar and indicate when/if municipal facilities will be required.
b. Provide a list of foreign students facing cancellation of visas and coordinate assistance through the Home Affairs coordinating forum.
This AGREEMENT shall hold until all items from Section A have been considered and implemented if possible, and/or until the current University closure impasse has been resolved.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have signed these presents on this 13th day of October 2016 in Port Elizabeth.
Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay
SRC President, NMMU
— Kris (@KristoffDJ) October 13, 2016
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