AfriForum Youth’s Maties branch sent an email to Stellenbosch University’s (SU) student council on 12 August 2019 and again on 26 August 2019 in which the financial and term reports of the 2018/2019 term are legally requested, as provided by the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000). This request was made after the previous term’s reports had been scrutinised after reckless, pointless and questionable transactions took place. However, the student council failed to respond to either of the two emails.
“In 2018, Stellenbosch University’s student council spent their colossal budget, with a starting balance of over R2 million, almost exclusively on political propaganda. This, while students are told that bilingual education cannot be afforded, while students have to go without textbooks due to financial pressure and while students have to suspend their studies due to a lack of money. The SU student council is doing a great injustice to students,” says Juandré de Bruyn, Chairperson of AfriForum Youth’s Maties branch.
According to an email sent to students by the student council on 13 August 2018, the following was budgeted for, among other things:
- White Privilege event – R3 950
- Israel Apartheid week – R3 000
- LesBiGay closing function – R6 500
- LGBTQI+ awareness – R9 000
- Womxn march & movie screening – R3 650
- Womxn in Leadership brunch – R6 500
- Womxn movie and panel discussion – R7 200
- Womxn opening and closing function – R11 700
- Womxn poetry – R4 400.
The total amounts for different portfolios are as follows: Womxn Empowerment – R36 800, transformation – R36 000 and Consciousness & Sexuality – R41 450.
“It is completely unacceptable that students, especially those who have been denied bursaries for identity politics, have to fork out thousands of rands every year to fund propaganda aimed against them. This senselessness practice is taking place while only R6 000 was spent on translation services and only R8 000 on first aid training. We as AfriForum Youth at Maties would like to see that this money is spent on real student needs.”
AfriForum Youth therefore insists on the latest reports to ensure that student fees are used for the right reasons. AfriForum Youth also requests that more money be spent on security, aid funds, bursaries and the promotion of mother tongue education. Furthermore, AfriForum Youth requests that all money budgeted for propaganda that excludes the majority of students be cut to reduce study costs.
“Finances should be used to give as many students as possible access to education, instead of funding the political agenda of certain leadership figures on campus.”