Student support and Affairs
Below are policies published by the Department of Higher Education & Training.
1. Declaration of interest
The College shall provide an environment in which the freedom of expression is encouraged. It accepts that this means students will not always agree with College actions and policies and that they may seek to use the College as a site to express, via protest action, their views on a range of issues.
The College is typically the target and/or location of protest action by students once or more each year. While striving to be tolerant of protest action and respecting the right of students to protest, the College management shall also be mindful of the need to preserve the welfare of the wider College community and of its accountability for the use of public funds. These issues mean that protest action and unrest shall occur within acceptable boundaries.
The objectives of this Policy are:
(i) to support constructive relations in the College.
(ii) to promote mutual respect between students and College staff.
(iii) to prescribe criteria, guidelines and procedures to be followed during student unrest.
For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
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“Student”: any person for whom the College maintains educational records and who is currently enrolled in an academic programme offered by the College.
“Unrest”: the display of objection to an issue (typically College policies or practices) designed to express an opinion and/or generate public and/or media attention. This may take a number of forms, including marches, pickets, rallies, occupations etc.
4. Scope of application
This is a College-wide policy that shall apply to all students involved in protests on the College’s physical or technological property.
5. Governing prescripts
- South African Constitution, 1996
- Further Education and Training Colleges Act, 2006
5.2 COLLEGE PRESCRIPTS
- Student Representative Council Code of Conduct
- GFC-07-7002: Policy on Student Conduct and Grievances
- GFC-07-7010: Student Code of Conduct
6. Guiding principles
(i) Students are part of the College community and have the right of lawful access to the
College land and buildings other than personal work spaces and other areas to which
the College restricts access in the exercise of its normal responsibilities (e.g. the
cashiers, for the purpose of protecting finances, or staff offices where files are held, for
the purpose of protecting personal privacy).
(ii) All staff, students and other persons legitimately occupying College premises have the
right to a safe environment at all times.
(iii) The College has the right to go about its business and not be subjected to unreasonable
disruption of, or increased cost associated with, the conduct of its business and delivery
of services to students, staff and the wider community.
(iv) The College promotes and recognises the principle of academic freedom.
(v) Non violent protest action on College property and buildings (other than restricted
locations) by students which is lawful and does not involve property damage or
unreasonable disruption to the daily routine of management, academic staff, general
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staff and other persons legitimately on College land and buildings does not constitute
(vi) For an action to constitute non-violent protest action, the protestors must avoid:
(a) actions that cause harassment or physical harm to any person or subject a person
to abuse or intimidation or cause them to be fearful for their own safety or the safety
(b) actions that cause or are likely to cause damage to any property.
7.1 SITUATION MANAGEMENT
In the event of a protest, the College shall act as follows:
(i) Upon notification of unrest, the Principal or his or her delegate shall provide the
protesting student leader(s) with a copy of this policy and shall ask the protestors
to abide by it.
(ii) The Principal shall appoint a person or persons to liaise between the College and
the protestors. The protest leader(s) would be asked to similarly nominate a
liaison person or persons. The purpose of liaison people is to enable avenues of
communication during the protest and to negotiate in good faith a resolution to the
(iii) College staff, including security staff, shall be instructed to avoid actions that
cause harassment or physical harm to any person or that cause any person to be
fearful for their own safety or the safety of others.
(iv) The use of the SAPS by the College shall be kept to a minimum.
(v) Where practicable, and particularly where potential exists for disruption to College
activities, the protest leader(s) must make reasonable efforts to provide the
College management, normally through the Principal, with reasonable notice of
(i) As per usual College practice, media access shall generally be permitted on
request to the Divisional Manager: Marketing and Communication. However, the
College reserves the right to withhold or withdraw this permission with respect to
any or all of the College’s premises at any time.
(ii) The Divisional Manager: Marketing and Communication has responsibility for
liaising with the media on behalf of the College.
7.3 PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND SITUATIONS
(i) In the interests of the well-being of its community and the safeguarding of its
property, the College shall not tolerate some activities or situations. These
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activities include, but are not restricted to, activities or situations in which College
management believes with good reason that:
(a) staff or other persons lawfully on College premises or in its buildings are
being, or are likely to be, intimidated or harmed.
(b) there is damage occurring, or likely to occur, to College property, including
intellectual and electronic property or threats to system integrity and denial of
(c) a criminal act or other breach of any statute or regulation is occurring or is
likely to occur.
(d) security, laboratory and fire safety systems are being interfered with.
(e) the protestors’ actions constitute a risk, or are likely to constitute a risk, to the
health, welfare and safety of any persons.
(f) College staff or students are unreasonably prevented from going about their
(ii) In the event that a situation described in 7.3(i) of this policy arises, the Principal or
his/her delegate shall request those protesters who are students of the College to
leave the premises of the College or any designated part thereof, or face interim
exclusion from the College
(iii) If any protester who, pursuant to clause 7.3(ii) of this policy, has been asked to
leave the premises of the College or any designated part thereof refuses or fails to
do so, the Principal or his/her delegate may:
(a) exclude the protester from attendance at the College, or from particular
classes, for a period up to two weeks.
(b) exclude the protester from any part of the College for a period up to two
(iv) In the event that any protester who, pursuant to clause 7.3(iii) of this policy, has
been suspended or banned from the College or any part thereof refuses or fails to
comply with the interim exclusion notice, the Principal or his/her delegate may
serve on the protester a trespass notice warning the protester to stay off the
premises of the College for a period of up to two years.
7.4 RESTRICTED SITES
There are a number of locations that protesters shall not be permitted to occupy under
any circumstances. Any occupation of those sites shall result in immediate notification of
trespass, a warning to leave and subsequent removal if the protestors neglect or refuse
to do so. These include, but are not restricted to, the following types of locations:
(i) Laboratories, dangerous sites or sites where dangerous goods are stored.
(ii) Individual staff offices.
(iii) Sites where communication and/or information technology services are controlled.
(iv) Sites where confidential information is located.
(v) Sites involving cash handling or where significant finances are controlled.
7.5 INVOLVEMENT OF POLICE AND OTHER EXTERNAL PARTIES
College management shall normally endeavour to resolve protests without involving the
SAPS and/or other relevant external parties. However, the Principal or his/her delegate
reserves the right to invite the SAPS on to College property for any reason, and
particularly when any of the activities outlined in clause 7.3 arise.
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Breaches of this policy by students are actionable under GFC-07-7002, the Policy on
Management of Student Conduct and Grievances.
Recovery of costs, such as damages, may be sought from any person or group
identified as contributing to these costs being incurred by the College.
8. Roles and responsibilities
The responsibility to ensure that sound student discipline is managed within the College, vests
(i) the College Principal in the first instance as the accountable officer.
(ii) lecturers and campus management, who are the first line of authority and responsible for
College property and resources.
(iii) the SRC as the governing body of the student population.
(iv) the disciplinary committee which has the responsibility for imposing appropriate and just
penalties on students guilty of contravening the Code of Conduct for Students.
(v) each individual student who has the responsibility for ensuring his/her own adherence to
the College Code of Conduct for Students and for maintaining acceptable standards of
This policy shall be reviewed on an annual basis.