Union asks university to justify race-based bursary awards

Trade union Solidarity has threatened the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa with legal action if the institution cannot justify the distinction it makes in the awarding of bursaries and fellowships based on race, writes Chris Ndaliso for The Witness.

This comes after the university’s department of health sciences advertised bursaries and fellowships with different values for different races attached to them. According to Solidarity, the university’s advertisement states that the bursaries are awarded to “black South African citizens” for masters and doctoral degrees to the value of ZAR120,000 (US$6,600) and ZAR60,000 respectively, whereas the bursaries awarded to “other South African citizens” are only to the value of ZAR80,000 and ZAR45,000.

Solidarity’s deputy chief executive on legal matters, Anton van der Bijl, said fellowships at the faculty are awarded in a similar manner. “As if awarding bursaries with different values based on race is not enough, the faculty also offers paid fellowships where different salaries will apply to different races – not based on need or socio-economic circumstances, but purely based on skin colour,” he said.
Full report on The Citizen site