Revealing the details of the 10 applications who are being considered for a R90-million donation would be “problematic,” according to the chairperson of the committee in charge of handling the money.
R100-million was donated to the university late last year where R10-million was allocated to the Wits Arts Museum and the remaining R90-million was assigned to a committee that will review applications from all the various faculties of the university. The faculties will compete for the funding by pitching possible projects that will be funded with the money.
Committee Chairperson, Thokozani Majozi said even though the process of allocating the money adopted a “mechanism of transparency” it is the committee that took the decision to keep the details of the proposals confidential until the process is finished, not the donor or the university.
“The danger in announcing the details of the proposals is that it might raise expectations, unnecessary expectation …You’ll be putting yourself in a very difficult situation because the challenge you can open up yourself to is that, all of us have got ideas,” Majozi said.
He said the final announcement of the proposal will be made by the vice chancellor and he will decide whether he wants to provide a detailed announcement on each of the proposals, either the final two or three or all 10.
“It will happen in the right time. I feel doing it now will be a bit premature,” Majozi said.
There were 72 applications submitted, 10 of them made the second round. Of the 10 applications two were from the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, three from the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, two from the Faculty of Humanities and three from the Faculty of Science.
The Health Sciences faculty was not included because Majozi said some of their proposals were recommended by the committee to merge with successful proposals that are in the chosen 10.
“When we went through the 72 we found that there were some that were not strong on their own but which could be very strong if they lashed onto those that had gone through and these were across faculties … So you will find its zero for Health Science but there are maybe five from the Health Sciences that are now going to be linking up with say projects in EBE,” Majozi said.
He said when people submitted their applications they submitted in isolation and were therefore unaware that someone else was working on a project that may have similar scope.
The first round of the applications was a three paged proposal and now the second round is a detailed submission of the 10 proposal where applicants state their business plan and the sustainability of their projects, this is a “more refined level of the screening process”.
Majozi told Wits Vuvuzela that some proposals may need about R100-million but they can only give the R90-million that was donated. The rest of the funding would come from donors who have already pledged funds for some of these projects.
“So someone can ask for R20-million from us because they know they have R50-million from someone else … So the project itself might not be sufficiently covered the R90-million but whoever is going to be funded is going to make a strong case on how it is going to get managed,” Majozi said.
The deadline for detailed application was March 15 and the next meeting to narrow down the 10 proposals to two or three applications is on April 15.