VUT HONOURS OUTGOING SRC WITH CERTIFICATES OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
By: Qhawekazi Memani – 10 November 2022
The Vaal University of Technology (VUT), recently bid farewell to the outgoing Student Representative Council (SRC) and awarded them certificates of acknowledgement. This follows successful SRC elections and constitution of the new student leadership for the 2022/23 term of office.
The occasion was hosted by the Student Support Services (SSS) Division and the certificate awards ceremony was the first of its kind at VUT in recent years. The occasion was graced by the presence of such officials as the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Dan Kgwadi, Prof Mafini, who was the Acting DVC on behalf of Prof Linington, the Head of Student Counselling and the Acting Director – Student Accommodation.
In his opening address, SSS Executive Director, Dr Sibusiso Mchunu said that in view of today’s higher education landscape, being elected to the SRC is not an easy task. He also highlighted that: “VUT was the first SA University to have a review of the SRC constitution online and it was a result of student leaders’ contributions”. Dr Mchunu also added that the same reviewed constitution was used to elect the 2021/2022 SRC where approximately 40 % of the student population voted. This happens in an environment where a number of higher education institutions struggle to reach the 20% threshold. Aspects of the constitution focuses on academic excellence and there is a clause in it that says students who are in the SRC should be students who perform well academically. He said, “We take pride in that students who are in the current SRC met the academic requirements because SRC members are students first before they become student leaders.”
Recognising the sacrifices, the SRC made, Prof Kgwadi said management and the SRC have two things in common: they are both co-leaders and brand ambassadors of VUT. “SRC should not talk for others while worrying about where their own registration fees will come from. Therefore, we need to consider looking for sponsorships for a leadership bursary for the SRC,” he said.
An emotional Maanda Masendi, the former and current SRC President took to the podium to express what an honour for him to serve in the highest student structure and being given an opportunity to reflect on his tenure. He also went on to express appreciation for the support the SRC received, which he says made him look at management with a different eye. During his term, he says he realised that the SRC shares the same goals as management, but the difference is that it was expressed differently. Grateful for the support from his team, he said: “I am glad we were there for one another. We walked with pride on campus. What you have done for the children at VUT can never go unnoticed. In fact, the impact you brought not only assisted VUT students and their parents, but you have contributed immensely to creating a better South Africa.”
In closing, the Head of Student Counselling & Support, Dr Matjhabedi Mazibuko congratulated the student leaders for leading selflessly. “You were elected by the majority of the VUT student community, they placed their hopes and aspirations on you to lead them and you continue to do so – well done.”