The months of October and November are one of the busiest times on campus. Everyone is under pressure as they prepare for exams but it gets busier because it’s when the Student Representative Council (SRC) starts its campaign.
It’s a battleground between Pan-African Congress’ (PAC) student league the Pan African Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) and the African National Congress’ (ANC) South African Student Congress (SASCO) as they both compete for power on all CPUT campuses. At the moment, PASMA is in charge of the SRC on Bellville campus and SASCO rules the Cape Town campus.
The trend of giving people ‘gifts’ when the elections are about to take place seems to be an ‘in’ thing in politics nowadays. The PASMA and SASCO members invaded the space of residence students – singing, giving out gifts (biscuits),washing dishes and offering to do spring cleaning and even laundry for students in exchange for their support.
“This is an insult… how can they just invade our space like this? They want us to vote for them now they’re giving us stupid gifts. Biscuits? I mean really? Where were they when we needed them the most?” says Buhle, who is a student in Bellville campus.
PASMA member Lazola Mfene admitted that they have met a few challenges this year but they will go on persistently and uncompromisingly until students’ demands are met.
“We’ve met a few hiccups here and there but we do have our own achievements,” said one of the members.
“There won’t be any more exclusions in the engineering faculty and we’ve managed to extend the contracts with off-campus residences,” Lazola Mfene added.
However the SASCO members feel like the PASMA in Bellville campus has failed to meet student needs. They want a 100% clean-up in all CPUT campuses and they want to be in charge. “We’ve given them a chance and they failed, now it’s our time,” said a SASCO member with confidence.