Walter Sisulu University is facing total shutdown across all campuses from Wednesday.
WSU teaching staff and workers are involved in a stand-off over wages with university management‚ which unionists claim will see no lectures taking place for any of the university’s 31 000 students.
Staff are demanding a salary increase of 8% while the university maintains it can afford no more than 6.3%. WSU responded to the shutdown announcement by beefing up its security personnel.
University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo defended the presence of extra security on campuses‚ saying the move was procedural. “Employees have the right to strike. The university therefore has the responsibility to keep all its employees safe‚” said Tukwayo.
As many as 2 000 employees took to the streets on Tuesday morning after wage negotiations collapsed. Union leaders held gatherings on four campuses to report on the stalemate and to declare a full-blown protected strike.
Hundreds of employees – workers‚ academics and administrative staff – were seen milling around outside the buildings at Eskom House in Buffalo Street‚ headquarters of WSU’s five Buffalo City campuses in East London‚ and at Heritage House in Cambridge Street‚ which is the heart of the arts and journalism campuses.
Source: TMG Digital.