The University of Limpopo says it is studying a memorandum that was handed to the management by disgruntled community members. Some unhappy local residents at Mankweng demand that local businesses be prioritised in the awarding of tenders.
The Mankweng Community Forum also demands the removal of a senior lecturer on campus following allegations of sexual harassment.
Disgruntled residents had held a march during the week.
The campus has now quieted down. However, the grievances by some unhappy residents still persist.
Chairperson of the Mankweng Community Forum, Nelson Ramogale, says local suppliers are often overlooked.
“We see every year that there are a lot of tenders advertised, but as locals, we are always overlooked. The only business we can do is sell. In terms of University of Limpopo, we don’t know where they advertise; we don’t know how people get appointed.”
The Mankweng Community Forum is concerned over misconduct levelled against a senior lecturer. They say a group of women have laid charges of sexual harassment against the male lecturer.
Another community leader, Gomolemo Mabusela, says they are demanding the removal of the lecturer implicated in sexual abuse.
“What transpired is that the Project Dimamo has a lot of women in it. So, this man was asking for sexual favours in order for him to renew their contracts. So, as the community, we took it upon ourselves to say there is a high risk of gender-based violence and the university cannot be protecting an individual who poses a threat to the well-being of women.”
University of Limpopo Spokesperson, Kwena Masha, says an internal investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment has been launched.
Masha also says a specific number of its contractors are sourced locally.
“We agree that we are looking into that. Sexual harassment is a big issue and the university always takes that very serious. So, we instituted a process there to look into the matter and the other issues of employment. The university has a database. So, there we are very sure and it can always be demonstrated that these are the people.”
In the meantime, the new projects are on the pipeline at the university. Plans are under way to rebuild the multi-purpose centre which was demolished early this year.