Dr Iqbal Survé, who holds several degrees from the University of Cape Town and is a past chairman of the advisory board of UCT's Graduate School of Business and former Governor of the University of Cape Town Foundation, has called on UCT alumni, academics, management and various student bodies to join him in mediating the impasse between UCT management and various student bodies.
“Leadership is needed to help resolve this crisis. I am prepared to mediate and lead discussions involving the alumni, the student body, academics and UCT’s management. My intervention is not about blaming anybody, or trying to cast aspersions on any particular side. I am a South African and an alumnus of UCT- we all have to come together to help resolve the crisis”, said Dr Survé.
Dr Survé believes that South Africa in the early 90s was able to negotiate a peaceful constitutional change through CODESA. “We were able to find solutions for our country with a CODESA approach. The time has come for a similar approach at UCT”, he said.
“We have to hear both sides of the story and concretely work out how we can help students deal with real fundamental issues such as housing, accommodation, food, textbooks and fees. We have a collective responsibility to find a solution to this crisis”, he said.
He expressed his deep concern for the current situation at UCT and campuses throughout the country. He said it is a tragedy that young gifted men and women who have come from largely poor urban and rural communities in South Africa, on merit, are being arrested and possibly being denied an opportunity to pursue careers.
“We need young men and women - black and white – to contribute towards the development of our country and to reach their full potential”, he said.
To this end Dr Survé called on all Capetonians, civil society organisations, religious bodies and the private sector, to rally behind the students.
Dr Survé, who graduated from UCT as a medical doctor and acquired two additional degrees in sports science and business, respectively, resigned from his advisory responsibilities at UCT in 2014 due to the slow pace of transformation of the institution’s academic and student bodies.
Dr Survé is the Executive Chairman of Independent Media and Sekunjalo Investment Holdings.