The future of Emaswati students at the University of Eswatini (UNESWA) hangs in the balance as the academic staff members will be engaging on strike over the Cost of Living Adjustment (CoLa).
The strike is set to start on Wednesday at 7 am at Kwaluseni Campus.
This academic staff members includes Professors, lectures and administrative staff members in all the three (3) campuses of the University; Kwaluseni, Luyengo and Mbabane.
William Ndlela, the Secretary General of the Association of the Lecturers and Academic Personnel (ALAAP) said indeed they will be engaging on a legal strike to express their grievances which they have been talking about since 2018.
He said they will not be conducting any classes, supervising internships or doing any academic work.
He said one particular issue which took the last straw was the Cost of Living Adjustment (CoLa) which the university’s academic staff members did not get even when other parastatals and government employees got theirs. He said it was painful that parastatals who are like the university, getting subventions for the government had received the adjustment but nothing for them.
He said among other issues was lack of working tools which has been forcing lectures to use their personal tools. Ndlela said currently lecturers were conducting classes online and they were forced to provide themselves data because the wifi was not fuctional at some point.
He said when they engaged the university management, they were told that the university wished to assist them but there were no enough funds. He said they were told that the problem was that the university was underpaid by the government.
Ndlela said the lectures and the administrative staff members have been making sacrifices for so long now and they were tired.
UNESWA’s registrar Dr Salebona Simelane confirmed that the lectures did indicate that they will be going on a strike from tomorrow (Wednesday). Simelane said at the moment he could not get into details to why the lectures go on protest. He said at the moment there still some issues that were happening on the ground which limits him from making any comment on the matter.