Stellenbosch’s selection quota policy challenged

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StellenboschThe trade union Solidarity has commenced with legal action against Stellenbosch University (SU) in reaction to the selection of prospective medicine students on grounds of their race to study at the institution, Solidarity deputy general secretary, Johan Kruger writes in Politicsweb.

He says that this follows after the trade union obtained information through its selection quota campaign which indicated that 67% of the places are reserved for coloured, black and Indian applicants who applied for medicine at Stellenbosch, while only 33% of the places are available for any applicant, regardless of race. Although the 33% is available for all, a white person has percentage-wise a much smaller chance to obtain admission because of the large number of competitors who meet the minimum requirements and submit applications.

According to Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, this selection process is based on a rigid application of a quota system. “A person’s admission is solely evaluated by a rigid numerical goal that was set. A white person, regardless of his/her performance and how disadvantaged the specific individual was or is, will always have only a 33% chance to study medicine at Stellenbosch,” van der Bijl says.

Van der Bijl also said that the Labour Court found in Solidarity’s favour in a recent case against the SA Police Service by stating that affirmative action pursuing groundless and absolute goals, without taking any other factors into consideration, is illegal and invalid. “The SU management obviously supports a quota system, which has been proved to be unconstitutional. The system must be revised to be aligned with the law,” he stated in the report.

In the meantime, the report said, Solidarity announced that it will table a motion of no confidence against the SU management. This follows after the university expelled two SU students who were falsely accused of racism. Solidarity is currently drawing up a petition for support for its motion of no confidence in the US management.

Politicsweb material

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