Monday, October 5, 2015


The Union of Muslim Students’ Association (MSA Union) of South Africa stands in full solidarity and support of the march taking place at the University of Johannesburg, the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town on October 6, calling for the insourcing of workers.

We cannot call for transformation without noting and calling out the gross victimisation of our workers – our mothers and fathers on campus – who spend their time ensuring that we are able to exist in safe, clean and secure environments. 

As stated on the official Facebook page of the October6 movement, From 1999 many of South Africa’s public universities began outsourcing the labour of workers on campuses. Thousands of workers…are no longer paid directly by universities, but receive their salaries through private companies contracted by universities to broker and oversee labour on campuses. These companies make substantial profits from acting as ‘middle-men’ in these labour arrangements, profits which are created from driving down workers’ salaries.

When workers lost their direct employment contracts with universities, they not only had their salaries cut by up to 40%, they also lost the benefits they had once received as employees of universities, including the right for their children to attend university for free. They also lost work security. Although workers come to campuses every day to offer work that ensures the smooth running of universities, they have been made into second-class citizens on campuses. High rates of casual work means that jobs are insecure. They cannot petition the university for better working conditions because the university no longer employs them directly. In order for companies to retain their profitable contracts with universities, they have harsh regulations on workers so that university managements are protected from any ‘trouble’ that comes from employing people at tiny salaries with no benefits. 

University managements make themselves unaccountable to workers because they argue that workers are no longer their responsibility, they are the responsibility of private companies. But workers spend all of their working days on campuses, traveling vast distances to provide important services to all of us that live and work at universities.

Campus workers are our co-workers and colleagues. They share our daily work space and are an indispensable part of our university communities. Outsourcing undercuts this commonality. It eases the mistreatment of workers and it fails to recognise their presence as vital to campus life.

The exploitation of workers remains the very lifeblood of capitalism – and as a Muslim organisation, it is our duty to call out injustice. Allah SWT says in Surah Maida, verse 8: “show integrity for the sake of Allah, bearing witness with justice.”

As a body representing students, we recognise the need for such a march and fully support the broader movement towards our institutions of learning becoming decolonised, public African universities.

Wits – 12-2pm, Great Hall and Jorissen Street Entrance
UJ – 12-2pm, Main Gates, Kingsway Avenue Auckland Park
UCT - 12-2pm, Lower Campus, Bremmer Building to Marikana Memorial Hall

Issued by the Union of Muslim Students’ Associations of South Africa
4 October 2015

For more information, contact:

Nadeem Mahomed                                
071 891 8722 |

Aaisha Dadi Patel
Head of Politics & South African and International Affairs
071 358 5104 |