Students struggle to register as Unisa strike continues

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Nehawu-affiliated workers at Unisa have embarked on a nationwide strike.

Nehawu-affiliated workers at Unisa have embarked on a nationwide strike.

JOHANNESBURG - Prospective Unisa students are frustrated as staff at the country&39;s largest university continue to strike for higher wages.

Those arriving at the Pretoria campus to register have been left in limbo as workers affiliated to the Nehawu union keep the campus on lockdown.

 

 

The union has threatened to intensify its strike and mobilise members at other universities.

Workers initially demanded a 12-percent pay hike, while the university is offering 7 percent. The strikers have since lowered their demand to 9 percent, to no avail.

READ: Chaos as prospective students push their way into Unisa

Some students claim they have been intimidated by the striking workers, but the union pleads ignorance.

 

To make matters worse, Unisa&39;s online-registrations website appears to have crashed.

“I have tried online applications but the site crashes and it’s slow. I think a lot of people are trying to apply and that’s the reason why it hasn’t worked out for me,” said one student.

“What it means for me is that I am unable to know where I stand at this moment and can’t take a decision to go to another university.”

Nehawu organiser Ntsako Nombelani says if Unisa does not concede to its demand for a 9 percent increase across the board, the workers will continue its shutdown of all campuses.

"They can afford it, they have reserves and they haven’t presented their statements to say they are in a financial crisis,” he says.

Nombelani says salaries are not the only issue

“It’s more than the 9 percent workers are demanding. There are transformation issues which we are fighting for, we want to de-Guptarise the council of Unisa because there are people who have been cited in the State of Capture Report,  Amabhungane leaks and Gupta leaks. These people are the ones fighting for these tenders at Unisa."