This as the taxi operators on Wednesday blockaded all routes leading to the Mahikeng campus and other areas, in protest against an apparent tender allegedly issued through a flawed process.
A spokesperson for the NWU, Christopher Motabogi, tells OFM News the university would like to place it on record that the transportation of students from accredited residences is managed by the owners of student accommodation and their responsibility is to accredit off-campus student accommodation.
The secretary-general from the Ngaka Modiri Molema Region’s taxi council, Jan Nkosi, told OFM News that the process of awarding tenders should be done in a fair and transparent manner that seeks to help the approximately 10 000 students who are staying off campus. Motabogi says it is for such reasons that the University cannot interfere by informing off-campus landlords to use certain taxi providers over others, including buses or private businesses.
Motabogi says the University was part of a meeting held on Tuesday with the respective roleplayers, including the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Traffic Department, the Provincial Department of Transport and taxi association members. A date for a follow-up meeting will be confirmed by the Chief Director from the North-West Department of Transport. “Once accreditation has been given, the owner of such student accommodation has to adhere to the stipulations provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).” He adds that the NWU's mandate ends with accrediting off-campus accommodation to ensure that it meets the minimum acceptable living standards as stipulated by the DHET. “The NWU is continuously engaging all stakeholders to bring the situation back to normal so that our students are able to sit for their mid-year examinations, unhindered,” Motabogi concluded.