The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) have claimed victory over the DA Student Organisation (Daso) after securing eight out of 15 seats during the hotly contested Student Representative Council (SRC) elections at UCT.
Daso secured three seats, followed by the South African Students Congress with two seats and VI (independents) two seats.
The EFFSC claimed victory at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Mowbray campus at the weekend, saying they were confident they would also dominate the elections on their two biggest campuses, the Cape Town campus and Bellville campus, this week.
The student organisation also came up tops in KwaZulu-Natal’s Durban University of Technology, University of Zululand and Mangosuthu University of Technology.
Universities across the country are holding SRC elections. “On Sunday we woke up to the exciting news that we won the elections (at UCT). Eight of our people contested and all got in.
“We were in charge of the campus in the middle of 2017 as well, but Daso took nine seats in the elections after that. We are excited that we will have an opportunity to implement our policies again and advocate for the policies of the EFF,” said EFFSC provincial chairperson Sinawo Thambo.
Thambo said they ran a campaign which promised to address issues of graduates, suicide, sexual harassment and rape culture which were prevalent across all universities.
“We are involved in developing a mental health policy and getting the clinic at the institution to be well facilitated and capacitated with qualified professionals.
“The medical interventions will be free and a policy on sexual harassment and rape culture on how the institution deals with them.
“We will also be challenging the National Benchmark Test (NBT) system which requires pupils to write an exam to be able to get access to UCT.
“We feel that the NBT is very exclusionary especially to students from disadvantaged high schools. Our aim is to leave long-lasting policies at UCT,” Thambo said.
EFF national leaders, including its president, Julius Malema, and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, as well as party spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, congratulated the student members.
UCT spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala said: “Preliminary results of UCT Students Representative Council elections indicate that the EFF Student Command has won.
“Out of the first 15 candidates duly elected, there are nine women and six men. The final results will be released pending the finalisation of outstanding issues by Wednesday.
“It is important to add the elections went smoothly with a total 41 candidates and a higher voter turnout than in the 2017 elections.
“In the last five years, UCT has worked well with a number of student political formations who have won the SRC elections. Similarly, we are looking forward to working with and engaging with the incoming entire SRC.”
Daso could not be reached for comment. Unhappy CPUT students at Cape Town and Bellville campuses accused the institution of playing delay tactics after SRC elections did not go ahead in both campuses yesterday.
“There have been delays with regards to the format of the voters roll. The Independent Electoral Commission confirm the elections will start tomorrow (today) and continue Wednesday at the two campuses,” said CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley.