University management responds to protesters’ demands

by Pierre Durandt

Rhodes University management responded to the demands of protesting students, following the #NationalShutDown protest march, and presentation of the student’s demands earlier in the day. These included plans for the structuring of fees, as well as the university academic project. The academic project being the regular attendance of students at lectures and tutorials, as well as the submission of essays and writing of tests.

Management began their response by commending students for their conduct throughout the protests, with Director of Student Affairs Dr Colleen Vassiliou claiming that “we [Rhodes] are the only university who had a peaceful march today.”

Management then addressed issues of finance, responding to protesters’ demands for a 15 percent reduction in university fees in 2016. Dr Iain L’Ange stated that seeing as a 15 percent reduction in fees would result in a R54 million reduction in university budget, “reduction of fees cannot be managed without seriously damaging academic project.” However, L’Ange also committed to an investigation of areas in which costs can be cut, in order to reduce university fees.

With regard to the fees of international students, Dr Peter Clayton stated that work would commence on Thursday reviewing the international levy, which had already been reduced to 50 percent of fees following Monday’s protests.  Clayton added that attempts would be made to standardise the international levy with other institutions. Fee structures are also due to be reviewed, particularly for international students, as well as the matter of interest on default on student loans.

Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela reaffirmed his commitment that financially needy students will not be excluded, stating that: “I have signed surety for students in that position, if you have passed all your courses.” This follows from his earlier statements, wherein he stated that no student should be excluded on grounds of financial need.

Mabizela also praised the protesters, expressing his admiration by stating that “your actions today should be emulated around the country,” and expressing solidarity with those protesting, claiming “this is not your struggle – it’s our struggle.”

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However, protesters seemed displeased with Mabizela’s stance on fees, as well as his proposal that students return to their classes on Thursday. His stance was reiterated by Vassiliou, who made it clear that “we would like to return to the academic project tomorrow”. Many protesters felt that this approach did not appreciate the significance of the protest, and was “dividing the student body.” One speaker claimed that Rhodes students cannot go back to “business as usual”, and that protests would continue in solidarity until students countrywide had their demands met.

Some protesters also directed their ire at the money spent by the university on paying residence sub-wardens, calling for the removal of this pay. Others called for the national extension of protests, urging students to encourage their parents to strike in protest against  “government arrogance at parliament.” This follows the use of stun grenades to disperse crowds of students protesting at parliament earlier in the day.

However, the meeting was soon called off by SRC President Zikisa Maqubela due to the rain, and is due to be reconvened at an unspecified point in time.

The SRC will be visiting residences this evening from 8:30pm, to answer questions posed by students regarding recent developments.

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My SRC President is Black

Student Representative Councils are one of the most important decision making body’s in campuses around South Africa when it comes to representing and protecting legislature and the interests of students.

 (Wits University’s incoming 2016 black female SRC President, protesting during the recent #feesmustfall campaign)

There seems to be a trend across South Africa’s top universities of having mainly and mostly a black body of its student representative council. This can be seen in Wits University’s controversial and now ex-president of 2015, Mcebo Dlamini. Ramabina Mahapa also president of University of Cape Town is a black student. Rhodes University has a much similar trend with newly elected president Sisesakhe Ntlabezo who will serve as 2016 president.

Tweet following the announcement of 2016 Rhodes University SRC President
Tweet following the announcement of 2016 Rhodes University SRC President

When the 2016 Student Representative Council was announced at Rhodes University. We witnessed the university’s first all black SRC body.

This year only 48 percent of students at Rhodes University voted in the elections. This is an increase from last year’s election where only 45 percent of students voted. The entire new elected body consists for the first time of only black council members. These demographics however reflect a sense of political apathy that roams the University.

The question now arises whether or not the race of South Africa’s leaders of top elite institutions does or does not matter in light of transformation issues circulating across campuses. Does being a black SRC President play part in achieving objectives outlined in the mission statement of the SRC such of that of Rhodes University of achieving institutional governance and “transformation”,

“In pursuit of this vision, the SRC will strive to develop an informed student body that is able to participate in institutional co-governance and transformation in a scholarly and progressive manner.”

The question of whether or not race is essential was posed at a few students from Rhodes University who had interesting opinions on the subject. Khuselwa Thembani who is a first year at Journalism student responded passionately; “Personally, the race of the SRC President is the least of my worries, basically it doesn’t matter. Because the SRC represents the student body and it requires a President that will be able to do exactly that and quite frankly compatibility to fulfil the duties of a position has nothing to do with race. Therefore skill, knowledge basically being compatible for the position should take priority over race.” 

Khuselwa further motivated her opinion by explaining her feelings about whether or not  South Africa as a country, specifically black people were possibly not ready for a white president because what she calls  obvious reasons. “If the student body has a say as to who becomes president, then I would use the above statement as a reason for why the trend of having mostly black SRC presidents exists. If the student body doesn’t have a say as to who becomes president, then  I would say its either the end is unintentional and it just happens that the SRC presidents are black most of the time. Or maybe the SRC members feel a black president is more or would be more influential and able to relate and appeal to the majority of students at Rhodes, who happen to be black. Basically I do not have a clue why this trend exists, all of the above are assumptions and opinions”.

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Sibusiso Kinat had contrasting views; “Personally I feel that race does matter in the SRC simply because it allows for people from different backgrounds to at least have a representative who they can identify with their problems” .

There seems to be a divide on the trend of having mostly black student representatives, however whether or not “my president is black” is an issue remains a question students across South Africa are yet to explore.

Protest Art or Vandalism

During times of conflict within a nation, art work is sometimes considered to be one of the most powerful forms of communication between the government and the public. South Africa’s apartheid period bred some of South Africa’s greatest artists such as Willie Bester, Jane Alexander, Helen Mmapula Mmakgoba Sibidi and Brett Murray. Over 20 years later, this once exclusive art form has taken a new shape. Street artists and what some have considered vandals, have taken to public spaces and monuments to vent their frustrations with the lack of transformation in what most would refer to as a “Rainbow Nation”. However one must question where the line between art and vandalism is drawn.

Various political related images have recently begun to appear in public spaces, such as the Marikana man, stencil paintings of Hector Pieterson and the infamous poo protest against the statue of Cecil

#RUshutdown spray painted in front of the Rhodes University Admin Building
#RUshutdown spray painted in front of the Rhodes University Admin Building

John Rhodes at University of Cape Town (later referred to as UCT). Although these works are in public spaces, not all those who are in their presence feel comfortable. Even in spaces which are considered to be liberal, these art works become the centre of racial and socio-economic tensions. Recently in Grahamstown, street art with the hashtag “black lives matter” has been appearing around the Rhodes University campus. *Kiara Hamilton, commented that said art works made her feel as though she, as a white student, was being attacked in a manner that was making her feel as though she was no longer welcome and found it unpleasant to be surrounded by vandalism everyday.

Image of the "Marikana Man" or "the Man in the Green Blanket"
Image of the “Marikana Man” or “the Man in the Green Blanket”  

In the past, these artworks were exhibited in spaces such as museums and galleries, giving them some form of respectability among the said communities. When taking them out of this space, it becomes very difficult to make these artworks relevant as they become a nuisance to those who don’t understand their political and social value. These works which seem to be vandalism are in fact commentary on the issues affecting the community and the greater society.  However as the artists who produce the artworks, are usually not internationally or nationally recognized. They sometimes fail to make a bold enough statement in order to create a significant impact, unless they have a shock factor.

A large problem with these art works begins to emerge when the people who are being defended or spoken for, become the victims of these artworks. The previously disadvantaged black community who are often the target market for change in these art works, have to perform the undignified jobs of removing faeces, as in the case of UCT, or removing the graffiti which is sprawled on public buildings and walls. It then leaves one to question the real impact of the artworks, the works lose their power when the same people who come to the rescue of the suffering working class become the villains who increase the work load of the working class. According to Mam’ Glayds,”when some (one) fights for you, you feel special but they must know how to fight for you. I don’t want to clean up your dirt, it’s not my job but it becomes it when you do it.” In most instances this is the only change that occurs from these artworks as they do not make enough of an impact or those in power do not make the effort to acknowledge these calls for change.

Hence when one produces such artworks, it is important to question the true value of the artwork. Is it simply going to exist and later have to be removed by those who you are striving to dignify, or is it going to create a change within the community. Although this cannot be predicted when one takes the first adrenaline filled stroke of paint, failure must be considered as a possibility which may have high risk results.

*- Names have been changed to protect those involved

LUISTER, LALELA, LISTEN!

-The language policy at Stellenbosch University- a practical issue? Or a symbolic one?

On the 20th of August 2015, the documentary Luister was released, in which 32 Stellenbosch University students were interviewed, recounting experiences of racism experienced at the University, as well as their feelings on the language policy. Some students feel very strongly about the use of Afrikaans in lectures

Open Stellenbosch, the organisation behind the Luister movement stated that: “A complete change of the language policy is of utmost importance and [they] maintain the stance that no student should be forced to learn in Afrikaans.”

The discussions around this language policy lead to the question- is this language policy at Stellenbosch a symbolic problem or a practical problem? This question refers to whether students feel so strongly about certain lectures being taught in Afrikaans because they feel the language symbolically represents issues of the past, relating back to Apartheid, or whether their discontent is purely because Afrikaans is not their home language and they therefore cannot understand what is being taught.

Joshua Musson, a second year student at Stellenbosch University, sees the language policy as both a practical and symbolic problem. He believes it to be practical, because “people are being disadvantaged within [the] educational institutions”, but symbolic in the sense that “it is a minority culture preserving itself over the national need to include a majority.”

The interview with Musson revealed that while some students cannot identify with the issues addressed in “Luister”, they can certainly understand them. Musson believes the main problem that arose is “the bigotry, patriarchal culture of our country and how we have created prejudice due to history, socio-economic and cultural exclusion”.

However, the issue that many students have with the Luister documentary and its language policy argument, is that the students who are upset about it were aware of this policy before they applied to the University. Bianca Scheffer, a first year student at Stellenbosch, agrees with this, and sees it very much as a practical problem. “I don’t believe their feelings are justified as they were aware of the language policy in place before choosing Stellenbosch as their University.” Many will agree with Scheffer, and perhaps she is right but there is an issue that lies behind this argument. Many of the students have not considered how difficult it is for students who speak Xhosa or another African language as their first language, and has had to learn English and is now expected to learn Afrikaans. “To expect someone to learn all [three languages], when they are part of the majority population, without considering the fact that they are disadvantaged from a language perspective, is ignorant and arrogant,” Musson says.

Jade Scheffer, also a first year student at Stellenbosch, sees the language policy as symbolic of South Africa’s past but believes that “people need to move on from the past”. While it is clear that many students have differing opinions regarding the language policy, it is undeniable, from watching Luister and other recent student movements, that change is needed. However, one can agree with Musson, that this change “has to be done in a responsible way.”

As George Bernard Shaw said, “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”

Students marching.
Students finally speaking out.
Students finally speaking out.
Students marching.

By: Rachael Layzell

Will Vandalism lead to a better Rhodes?

2015 has been a turbulent year for the Rhodes University Campus. Debates around name change, institutional racism and graffiti around campus reminding us in bold red about the Marikana massacre. For many incoming first years, Rhodes had been heralded as the most diversely minded and liberal university in the country, those claims would soon be met with validation with the beginning of mass student protest and debate around the UCT Rhodes statute and the rise of the Black Student Movement.

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Now whilst these attempts and Movements make for great gossip and dining hall conversation, we should be asking ourselves, “Are we really heading towards a better Rhodes?” It seems like only the controversial events are spoken about whilst the constructive efforts of the students and staff are undermined and nearly forgotten.

Various instances of graffiti have popped up around campus, showing that some disgruntled students have taken to vandalism in place of constructive action. Whilst there have been various attempts at meetings aimed to illicit debate and change other (as of yet unnamed) individuals have taken to defacing the institution. Now this vandalism has definitely garnered attention to itself as well as the ongoing debates however is this really the right way towards change?

These instances of graffiti have been met with mixed reviews, where most students have deemed them a harmful eyesore which devalues the very institution people are fighting for. Recent interviews have shown that a majority of students believe that this vandalism is only detrimental to the debate, however a few students pointed out that although they are an eyesore, they have been able to create wide-spread awareness and debate.

Clara Coetzee, a first year had this to say, “I am very much against visual protests that negatively impact on the aesthetic of the university. I feel that as Rhodes students we take pride in our environment and not vandalise it. I think a better alternative would a platform for visual protests.” However, another student, Kirra Evans said that she was in favour of the graffiti, “It gives people a voice who feel as if they are not being listened to and it stares academic bureaucracy in the face, clearly showing that people’s concerns cannot simply be brushed off to a simple debate.” Vice Chancellor Dr. Sizwe Mabizela has a similar attitude, instead of removing the various pieces he has left them in hope of creating engagement, ““This act draws our attention to the fact that there are voices crying out to be heard,” Mabizela said.

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Whilst the graffiti has done just that, a better question would be one exploring whether or not students can create transformation and change in a more constructive capacity. In light of the graffiti and other forms of destructive forms of protest it seems like a large trend has appeared amongst the transformation of student residences.  Examples being of the residents of Graham House rejecting an all white group of sub-wardens, Jan Smuts decision around a name change and what was known as Hilltop House becoming Sisulu House, in memory of the struggle fighters Walter and Albertina Sisulu. These decisions have been met with great acclamation.

When asked about their role in the transformation of Rhodes University many first years were confident in saying that although they had only been here for less than a year the believed they could contribute just as much as any other student in enabling change.

“I do not think that first years should doubt or undermine their capabilities in issues that directly effect them. The process of moving forward involves the voice and hand of everyone working together, including first years.” – Mananya Senona

In the next few weeks to come the responses of the major players of the institution will be it crucial. In light of these slight changes it could almost be expected that more change will come.

Can you still feel the Crusade?

Can you still feel the Crusade?

Is Christianity a White, European or Western Religion ?

There is much criticism and much controversy that is usually accompanied with the interpretation of the Holy Bible, however when recently posed with the question “is Christianity a white mans religion?” it was if the urgency and all the commotion centred on the bible had subsided. Why? Why were those very same outspoken commentators averting discussion of the subject? It seems that when we start bringing race as a topic people begin to tread lightly, and this very topic is shrouded in political and ethical tension, Nevertheless I attempted to receive word from those who were willing to delve into this matter, people who are convicted Christians, others who are not and individuals and organisations that are still true to their outspoken nature.

I remember being asked this question on a whim and I thus I was so taken back that I was unable to provide a response at the time, however over time I was able to conjure my own answer for this question. I also decided to ask a person whom I was familiar with and is experienced in this subject as she is a convicted Christian catholic, my mother, Anna Moabelo. After asking my mother this question I expected her to provide me with some information that have helped ‘for’ this argument, because she is an individual who has suffered the full ravages of Apartheid and has always seemed to have a critical view on the topic of race and ethnicity. However she responded with a resounding no and continued say that she would not give ownership to a religion she was raised with and fully invested in, to the oppressive white powers, as it is the one thing they could not truly take from her.

Religion 01

Church organisations such as ‘Lady of our Lourdes’ from Rivonia, Morningside Manor, answered similarly, as if the very idea of Christianity being a white man religion out of the question. “How can such, an accommodating religion belong to one race?” Stated the priest associated with this church group, Father Peter, reinforced the groups answer with a quote from scripture “Proverb 22.2, the rich and the poor have a common bond, the LORD is maker of them all.” This organisation and popular opinion represented here by the Rhodes University student body provided me with more-or-less the same direction of argument and same points.

An interesting argument provided from an advocate of Catholicism and Deacon, Andrew Woghiren, was that religion has been tied with human nature since the beginning of time; some of the inherent behaviour displayed long ago is what is displayed now in religion, such like the worship of the sun or moon etc. Just like religion humans have it in nature to borrow things from other cultures and civilisations, such as the use of hindu-arabic numerals, which is the same as the numeral/decimal system we use now. To reject something that may have come from a different culture is something that not practical, human’s transform on the same spectrum of technological and cultural evolution, “ we take advantage of what other human beings have developed and make it useful to ourselves”. This is very evident in how Christianity was used by many ethnicities in times of oppression to maintain moral, keep faith and have hope. “So when people tell me Christianity is a white man or European religion. I respond and say what if it is?”

YORK, ENGLAND - JULY 03:  Revd Canon Alison Mary  White (R) poses for photographs with her husband acting Bishop of Newcastle Frank White after being consecrated as Bishop of Hull at York Minster on July 3, 2015 in York, England. The Church of England has appointed its second female bishop during a ceremony at York Minster today, after it adopted legislation last November to allow women bishops. The Reverend Alison Mary White was consecrated as the new Bishop of Hull, following The Reverend Libby Lane, who was appointed as Bishop of Stockport in January.  (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

My initial response to this question was also no, but after listening to what people, other than myself, I realised that there still could be more as to why this question is even posed in the first place, if it may hold some truth in it, does Christianity in fact represent a white colonial power? Right now I am inclined to believe it does not, but I still feel as if that is subject to change. This question I believe is important, especially in a South African context, because it deal with the race consciousness battleground that still plagues our country and the sentiments of this topic tie in with the battle against white ideology and supremacy, which is still perpetuated.

Continue reading Can you still feel the Crusade?

The Media Listens, and it Sees.

Behind the Luister film

Luister Cover

Dan Corder, Markus Hegewisch, Declan Manca and Eric Mulder are the four young white men who collaborated with “Open Stellenbosch‘, to expose the institutional racism and societal prejudice within Stellenbosch University. 32 students were interviewed and the testimonies shared of their lived experiences of racism, discrimination, exclusion and violence that continue at Stellenbosch University after 21 years of democracy.

What is interesting is that the interviewees are first point out the obvious controversy in that they fall under ‘white privilege’. However, they are at the forefront of exposing racism and promoting transformation for those of underprivileged classification. In a recent interview with News24, Dan Corder was faced with this exact question and explored the notion of appropriateness and how their whiteness may compromise the films validity. Corder made it clear that no one else was willing or proactive enough to embark on making such a film. They felt that society’s prejudices were unjust and wanted to use their privilege and socially normative race to help make people aware.

‘Open Stellenbosch’ has been criticised for not fulfilling their structure as a forum and social platform designed for voicing concerns. In response to the film, Stellenbosch University released this statement saying; “The Management of Stellenbosch University has thoroughly taken note of the Luister video that was distributed via social media.” – Prof Wim de Villiers. The response then goes on to defend the accusations made against the management and they make their case as to what steps the University is taking to combat the culture of racism, such as; created a bursary fund for descendants of forcibly removed inhabitants of Die Vlakte and announced the establishment of a Transformation Office and Transformation Committee.

Many say the statement was predictable and defensive; it would seem saving their corporate image is more important than actually addressing the issues that were being presented. Their response seems less proactive and more reactionary. In the above-mentioned interview with Dan Corder, he goes on to say that the film was meant to gain the attention from the management and wider demographic and draw focus to the ignored issues of racial conflict and prejudice. The university chose to reciprocate with a damage-control-type response that neither accepts the accusations nor actively disagrees with the movement, as to not cause any more conflict. Essentially, it would seem that they just wanted the issue to go away with passive acknowledgment.

Elsenburg Agricultural Institute Protest Controvsery

After the film was released, a violent scuffle broke out at Elsenburg Agricultural Institute near Stellenbosch during which the BAagri students were attacked with sjamboks. Social media users speculated one of the Luister interviewees was involved. A screenshot had also been posted on Twitter by Eikestadnuus, which allegedly showed a member of Open Stellenbosch waving a sjambok at an Elsenburg student. The Open Stellenbosch member was the opening interviewee in Luister.

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Ijeoma Opara, speaking on behalf of Open Stellenbosch, confirmed that the male student was indeed a member of the movement. It was, however, confirmed by both the university and the committee that Elsenberg was a Western Cape government institution and thus the university could not intervene. Following the release of the confirmation, there was no further comment on why the interviewee was involved and the full matter behind the protest.

What this means for the credibility of the Luister film and its’ reputation

Owing to Elsenburg not being associated with Stellebosch University, and the young interviewee involved was acting in a politic group capacity and not as a representative of ‘Open Stellenbosch’ it would seem the film still holds its’ credibility. However, the young interviewee’s association with the Luister film wounds one of the themes of protest against violence. Overall, I think the controversy demonstrates the unrest and anger felt amongst students, both white and black.

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Changing The Game

Twenty years and five rugby world cups have passed since the great Nelson Mandela wore a Springbok rugby jersey to promote racial reconciliation however there is still a noticeable lack of transformation within the team.

With the 2015 Rugby World Cup upon us, South Africa has missed the opportunity to show the world how the game of rugby has grown within our country when they selected only nine players of color in the 31 man Bok squad. This is far short of the 50 percent target quota that the springbok administrators had set four years ago.

Springbok World Cup squad
Springbok World Cup squad

While many see the springbok squad as strong and a favorite to win the Rugby World Cup, others say the lack of transformation, specifically the lack of black players is a disgrace. These include COSATU, former Springbok coach Peter De Villiers (the first and only non-white national rugby coach for South Africa) and the political party Agency for New Agenda (ANA).

Peter De Villiers has become the new “Champion for Change” around South Africa as he has been speaking out about the current state and selections of the Springboks. De Villiers was a guest speaker when COSATU held a Springbok supporters for transformation meeting in August this year. Not only does De Villiers claim that South African rugby has been “taken into the gutters”, but that black players are being excluded from selection in preference of white favorites. COSATU added that if the team did not represent the entire South African population they will embark on a radical programme of mass action that will include protesting Springbok games in South Africa and sending South Africans to protest at the Rugby World Cup.

Former Bok coach Peter De Villiers
Former Bok coach Peter De Villiers

The Agency of New Agenda Party took the legal route after the 31 man Springbok squad was announced. The ANA president Edward Mahlomola Mokhoanatse has made similar claims to De Villiers saying that the team’s criteria is “racially exclusive” and biased in favor of white players as only nine players of color were selected. The ANA had attempted to get an order from the North Gauteng High Court to compel South African Rugby Union (SARU) and sports department officials to surrender their passports so they cannot travel. The ANA also wrote to World Rugby‚ the game’s governing body‚ requesting that it “suspend the membership of South Africa until such time that this country has a representative national team”. These attempts to prevent the Springboks from participating failed as the court application was turned down five days later by Judge Moses Mavundla.

Sports and recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Twitter that, “Full transformation in rugby is not going to emerge overnight because we are going to the World Cup”. Mbalula insists that a quota system will not work on a sustainable basis as it has failed in the past. Too often transformation has been focused exclusively on the final product of the national team. Yet the national team should be a reflection of transformative processes that have taken place in earlier stages such as school and club level where young players are discovered and developed.

Statistics released by SARU show that there are more players of color in schools and clubs but this representation has failed to be carried through into senior, provincial and national levels of the game. Transformation in South African rugby will continue to remain a challenge at senior professional level until the Department of Sports and Recreation begin to address the issues experienced at schools and clubs.

It is clear that transformation cannot happen without development. New structures will need to be put in place to ensure that the game of rugby can develop and transform so that in future Rugby World Cups our national team can be supported by all South Africans.

Grahamstown speaks out about Makana Municipality

Picture by: The Oppidan Press

Under the power of African National Congress members, the Makana Municipality of Grahamstown has gone through tremendous challenges with regards to fulfilling its responsibilities towards the people of the town and the town itself.  This recently caused the Democratic Alliance (DA) to challenge the processes and decisions made by the municipality. The controversy between the political parties evoked underlying tension within the people of Grahamstown with regards to poor service delivery, poverty and crime.

Luvuyo Ellman Gqosana has been a community member of Grahamstown for all of his life and he shared his knowledge, experience and thoughts on the topic when interviewed. He believes that the Makana Municipality is “simply a disaster“, basing his argument on the Municipality’s failure to fulfill its responsibilities. Referring to the current state of infrastructure, the increasing crime and unemployment rate and poverty in Grahamstown. Considering the corruption that members are accused of and the belief that most of the members are not compatible for their positions in the municipality, he foresees no change in the immediate future. He revealed that the community claims the current mayor and the one prior were/are involved in a relationship, the mayor prior was not able to improve the state of the town, which is reason as to why community members have no faith in the new mayor to bring about change either.

Gqosana is aware of the controversy between the DA and the ANC with regards to which members are part of the municipality, “there is need for change and the DA has the potential to bring that change if given power through the Municipality structures” he said. However, “many fear racial issues arising and becoming a problem because the DA is dominated and essentially controlled by white individuals” he added.

On the contrary to the above statement. Fadzayi and Farai Chikurunhe, who are international students at Rhodes University and members of the community of Grahamstown, believe that the town needs to prioritize recruiting compatible individuals into the municipality regardless of their race. The students claim they are aware of the poor job performance by members of the municipality but they were not aware of the changes in the municipality and the interference of the DA. When made aware of this, Farai said that “I support the actions taken by the DA because members of the ANC have been in charge for a long time but they haven’t been fulfilling their responsibilities”. Fadzayi added, “The responsibilities they have to provide people with services like water and sanitation, to eradicate unemployment and work with the police services to eliminate crime. I think it’s time for change.”

The students had no knowledge of the proceedings with regards to Makana Municipality. They also feel they do not have power to influence the actions taken by the Municipality and therefore they do not engage but as community members they are also affected by the lacking competency of Makana Municipality members.

Some have given up on the fading town of Grahamstown, however some are way too eager to give up without a fight. The community of Grahamstown and the town itself has survived many struggles in the past and so its community believes it will survive the struggles brought by its own Municipality.