Around 200 UNISA examination invigilators marched on Tuesday due to them allegedly not being paid their salaries for the past six months. These employees marched to the main campus in Muckleneuk in Pretoria to have their grievances heard.
They are also accusing the administration at the University of not consulting them about their move to online examinations.
One invigilator participating in the march said:
What has happened here. Since the 6th of March, there was a lockdown but I think the Department of Labour approached different companies in the sense that they discussed the different issue of the Relief fund and when we go there, they say we must go to out employer so that he can apply for us so that we can get something like TERS.
He then continued to explain that when they approach their employer, the employer responds by saying that they are not working for UNISA but that they are instead working for a contractor. On this, one invigilator commented, "I don't know who that is but what I know is we have a direct contract with UNISA. There's no one in between. Now there is a story that they are telling us. The pay slip says UNISA. Now they're telling the police that it's a private company as if they don't know us."
I don't expect this from this big institution. UNISA is a very very big institution. They are exploiting us. So we taking it further with the Union.
The individual who heads the largest exam centre in the country has said, "I'm very sad and it's very unfortunate what UNISA is doing to us as we are here. We are here because our children are hungry. No one wants to pay us. They don't want to pay us anything."
Due to the current pandemic, UNISA has allowed students to take their examinations online. This includes final year examinations. UNISA then announced that all future exams will be done online by stating, "all future examinations of Unisa will be held online".
This is not the first, or even second, time UNISA's administration and management has been slammed. Students have previously complained that the University has poor communication as far as updates and announcements go. Recently, students were upset about exam dates for certain modules being brought forward by almost a month. This then gives these students less time to prepare however UNISA has denied this.