UKZN music in danger

2014-09-11 00:00

DURBAN’S university music halls could be silenced if urgent funding is not found.

The department, which has been in existence for over 40 years and falls under the School of Arts (SoA) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, has revealed its deepest concerns in a 44-page self-evaluation report.

Lecturers said their health was being compromised by mould in the building, which was also destroying equipment and music records, and that they felt threatened by vagrants sleeping on the opera studio and choral academy’s (Osca) verandah.

Lecturers listed a litany of complaints that included insecurity over funding of part-time lecturers thereby threatening courses and the continual state of “crisis mode”.

The confidential report — seen by The Witness — forms part of a review of the music department currently under way.

The university has been in a state of upheaval since the institution embarked on a complete overhaul of its structure to cut costs, streamline courses and implement a new vision spearheaded by the vice chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba with the biggest change being the compulsory requirement that all students must study isiZulu.

“Many feel that management make decisions in a way that is completely disconnected from the teaching staff. Management has unfortunately [taken the view] that academics are an impediment to the institution rather than key to it”.

But the SoA’s acting HoD Professor Johannes Smit said the review is a necessary process being undertaken by all schools and colleges in the university.

“When I read the staff’s evaluation I immediately asked for their complaints around the state of their buildings and equipment to be inspected. I did not know they were operating in such conditions,” said Smit.

But the lecturers believe the inability to pay part-time staff in 2015 could lead to slashing of courses on offer.

“There is an overwhelming sense of uncertainty about the budget for part-time staff in 2015. This is seen as a potential crisis,” said the report.

The report said the cutbacks have also resulted in less time for research while the library, described as the “finest in the country, if not in Africa” — whose books and music are being damaged by mould — is slowly being stripped of its records.

“Many of us suspect that [the mould] is having an effect on our health as we now suffer from extreme allergies and respiratory disorders which have been medically diagnosed as a result of constant exposure to mould,” said the report.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.