So said UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, at the inauguration ceremony of the newly-elected Students Representative Council (SRC) in the Senate Hall on Thursday. The SRC elections were won by the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command for a second consecutive year, with a voter turnout of 25.63%.
Prof Pretorius thanked the outgoing SRC for their efforts under challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic and congratulated the newly elected council, saying he is looking forward to working with them.
“There is a huge responsibility on your shoulders to prove that you are indeed the best people to represent the concerns and wishes of students. Not only representing the interests of your party followers, but the entire student community.
“There are more than 25 000 students who will be relying on you to be their voice, their champions and their leaders. In this, you dare not fail. You must lead from the front. The university executive and staff will be here to support you. As you take up your roles, remember we are not enemies. We are here for the same reasons. We have to ensure as a collective that students of UWC receive the best education possible that will allow them to proudly step into the world of work.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support, Professor Pamela Dube, told the new SRC that their tasks ahead will require a clear plan, great people’s skills, and the ability and willingness to think about what needs to be done to support students and address the challenges and the opportunities in constructive and critical ways.
Outgoing SRC President, Phumelelani Mshumi, advised his successor to understand that universities are not just about degrees but are reflective of and have an impact on society. He suggested that they should confront the university management without any apology, and represent the students firmly with aggression, but not disrespect the leadership of the university.
Newly elected SRC President, Mandlonke Notyawa, paid tribute to the workers, like the security officers, gardeners and cleaners on campus, for contributing to making UWC the greenest campus in Africa on three occasions.
The 2022 UWC SRC is as follows:
- Mandlonke Notyawa - President
- Athenkosi Mbakaza - Deputy-President
- Aphendule Bly - Secretary General
- Andisiwe Mjacu - Deputy Secretary
- Asavela Mtana - Treasurer
- Owen Gubudela - Community Outreach Officer
- Cleopatra Hlatshwayo - Public Relations Officer
- Isemihle Simanga - Policy Officer
- Zindiswa Attwell - Gender Officer
- Jefry Ngomani - Academic Officer
- Abusiswe Rigala - Affiliations
- Katlego Selowa - Recreation and Cultural Officer