UCT students and workers plan protest. Picture Supplied
UCT students and workers plan protest. Picture Supplied

UCT students vow to protest in support of security workers seeking permanent jobs

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Aug 26, 2021

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Cape Town - Students at UCT are threatening to protest in solidarity with the workers, who demanded to be in-sourced, and the institution to work around its safety plan.

One of the security officers, working under a privately owned company, Thorburn, at UCT, said workers demanded all security officers be in-sourced and trained adequately to prevent dire situations where student safety was compromised.

UCT Student Representative Council president Declan Dyer said they noted the ongoing protest action relating to student safety, quality of food in residences, and the call for the insourcing of workers.

Dyer said, earlier this week, a student was violently mugged outside of their residence. That was but one of numerous reports of student robberies around residences and on campus.

EFF student command branch chairperson Mila Zibi said they were in support of the protest organised by the residence council.

Students and workers held a mass meeting at the Graca Lawns on Tuesday, discussing a way forward. Zibi said they had been alerted of alleged sexual assault of workers by the outsourced company.

"The issues of insourcing are not foreign to the university."

UCT students and workers held mass meeting. Picture Supplied

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said the university noted the issues tabled before the executive on Tuesday.

Moholola said the executive was working on specific responses to the issues raised and would work with the student body to resolve them.

"UCT remains committed to a process of engagement and finding common ground, leading to resolutions on issues raised in the interest of the students and the institution," said Moholola.

He said they noted, in particular, the serious claim around sexual assault, which has been made without any further substantiation at this stage and urged any student with any further details on that to approach the relevant structures so that the claim can be investigated and appropriate action taken.

He said after becoming aware of safety concerns around certain areas on campus, in light of the concerns raised, the university’s campus protection services has agreed to increase visibility and vehicular patrols.

Moholola said a mobile kiosk had been moved to the corner of Avenue and Matopo Road in order to monitor vehicular movement.

"CPS has increased foot patrols to a more regular routine down Avenue Road and towards Rhodes Avenue. Groote Schuur Community Improvement District will increase vehicular patrols, and security staff at Avenue Road residence and Cadboll House will be more visible on Avenue Road side."

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