/ 1 April 2008

Unisa to adopt anti-racism policy

The University of South Africa (Unisa) is to adopt an anti-racism policy, it said on Tuesday.

University spokesperson Doreen Gough said the university would adopt an anti- racism and racist harassment policy as well as establish development programmes to incorporate training in racism awareness.

This followed an announcement by its vice-chancellor Barney Pityana at a meeting last week.

”At this time when the programme and qualifications mix of the university as well as the design of a new curriculum are under review, the university will seek to develop a race and culture sensitive approach to the curriculum.

”The renewal of Unisa must and will be built on a fully representative body of staff, academic and non-academic, at all levels,” said Pityana.

The Employment Equity Plan to be presented to Council in April will seek to alter the race, gender and disability demographics of Unisa staff and, more fundamentally, to transform the institutional culture into a genuinely inclusive one,” said Pityana in statement.

A report at the university showed that white employees dominated senior ranks and were older while black staff were younger.

Women academics were also under-represented as full professors.

Last year Unisa’s total staff stood at 9 711 of which 5 665 were temporary staff.

Black staff only constituted 42,2% of the total staff complement and only 39,4% of staff at the university — although black people constituted 79,6% of the country’s population.

White staff formed 50,2% of the total staff complement and 53% of permanent staff.

Women were over-represented in the total workforce at 58, 4%. More women were employed as temporary staff. – Sapa