2016/2017 SRC’s pay cut due to wasted university funds

Ané van Zyl

Certain members of the 2016/2017 Student Representative Council (SRC), under leadership of Nomzamo Ntombela, will not receive the remaining 40% of their honorariums because they wasted university funds.

Stellenbosch University (SU) spokesperson Martin Viljoen confirmed that the 2017 SRC have already received 60% of their salaries, but according to the findings of the evaluation panel some former SRC members will not receive any further payment.

“Expenditure from the previous SRC exceeded the budget allocated. Among other expenditure, certain SRC members round up high internet costs,” he said.

An anonymous source with intimate knowledge has confirmed that the total amount spent on InetKey by the 2017 SRC exceeds R90 000 for a period of roughly eight months.

“In one case, a disciplinary process was initiated after a 2017 SRC member ignored a written request to discontinue overuse of internet. SU was forced to block the individual’s access to the internet,” Viljoen said.

Anele Mdepa, manager of student governance, serves as chairman of the evaluation panel. The panel further consists of students identified by the SRC, a judge of student court, Anthony Andrews, the speaker of the student parliament, along with another student from student parliament, and two staff members appointed by the Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching.

According to Viljoen the cost-point owner and the current SRC, led by Lwando Nkamisa, work together to recoup lost funds.

Nkamisa, 2017/2018 SRC chairperson, confirmed that although they haven’t received official communication on the matter, they have heard that some SRC members will not receive the remaining 40% of their honorariums.

“Some of the reasons we hear are that some of them have misused funds, some of them haven’t fulfilled their duties according to the constitution and some of them were divisive,” Nkamisa said.

“In terms of the credibility of the evaluation panel, we have full faith in them as long as due process was followed.”

“We also believe that the former SRC members have the right to contest any of the decisions made, and we will support them for doing so. We commend them if they decide to take up the issue formally instead of using other divisive measures,” Nkamsia said.

Mdepa confirmed that former SRC members have until 27 December to appeal the decision. “After the appeal process has been finalised, the report will be released.”

Nkamisa said that the current SRC hopes the issue will be resolved quickly and not bring the name of the institution or the SRC into disrepute.

Zander Prinsloo, SRC treasurer, was contacted multiple times for comment about measures put in place by the 2017/2018 SRC to prevent similar expenditure, but he did not respond in time.

The guilty parties could not be contacted for comment, because they are not yet known to the public since the report has not been released.

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