March on Bay business chamber to appeal for financial support
An entire generation could lose out on entering the workforce, which could set businesses back if they failed to receive fresh graduates, Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Kevin Hustler said.
Hustler was speaking at a media briefing where he was joined by a contingent of #FeesMustFall activists.
Earlier, a larger group of more than 700 #FeesMustFall activists had sung and danced outside the chamber’s offices in Perridgevale.
“The city’s business community always employs students from NMMU and we’d like to see that continue,” Hustler said.
“Our biggest concern right now, with the university being closed, is that [students] have an opportunity that could be a loss.”
Hustler said the NMMU students had shown discipline during their march to the offices and he urged them to continue to refrain from intimidation, violence and the destruction of infrastructure.
“This does not do their cause any justice, undermines their credibility, and is doing more harm to our institutions and the community at large.”
He said the business community in the Bay had contributed hugely to academic institutions, particularly in the areas of research and development partnerships.
#FeesMustFall leader Nathi Dwayi said: “We visited the business chamber to say that the private sector has a responsibility of ensuring that they educate the citizenship of this country.
“We are here to appeal for their financial support, even in terms of job opportunities and bursaries.
“We understand that there is enough money in this country if the private sector plays its role.”
Dwayi also appealed to the chamber to explore ways of funding students.
The students, escorted by police, started marching peacefully early yesterday from South Point residence in Govan Mbeki Avenue.
Tensions flared briefly at the corner of Rink Street and Cape Road when the police diverted the crowd onto Westbourne Road.
Exhilaration grew as the marchers approached the chamber premises, singing struggle songs.
Requests for comment from 10 of the marchers were all turned down.
Staff and civil society will meet at the south campus today at noon to pledge their solidarity with the #FeesMustFall movement.