UP’s memory bank


Perdeby spoke to Director of the University of Pretoria Archives and Professor of History in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies, Prof Karen Harris to find out about UP’s archives, located in the Old Arts building on Hatfield campus.


What do you store?

In a nutshell, the archive is the memory bank of the university. We only collect university related material. That means from the top, right down to the bottom. We’ve got all the personnel records for example of every person who has ever been employed here, whether they are in academic administration, whether they are in academia, rectors, the works. We’ve got all that information, all the human resources information. We’ve got information about students. We’ve got all the financial records and so on. We try and keep a track record footprint at the university and we’ve taken the history at the university way back to prior the South African war. We also have the history of residences, student life [and] Perdeby. We have closed collections as well. We are completely in compliance with the National Archives Legislation which is across the country. We are also in compliance with the access to information and then also with the PIA (Privacy Impact Assessment) act, which is your privacy. While information is available you also have got to protect the individual.

Read more: UP’s memory bank

Exam anxiety and how to conquer it


For any UP student, June can be an incredibly stressful time. Most of your time is spent studying for, or worrying about your exams. The last thing a student needs is for all that stress and worry to build up and result in a panic attack during their paper. These panic attacks tend to happen unexpectedly, and involve feelings of intense discomfort or fear, while other symptoms include a lack of concentration, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, increased heart rate, and trembling. Yolanda Nongauza, a counsellor at UP Student Support, defines test anxiety as “an unpleasant state characterised by feelings of tension and apprehension, worrisome thoughts, and the activation of the autonomic nervous system when an individual faces evaluative achievement demanding situations”.

Nongauza says that test anxiety is situation specific, which leads to differences in the extent to which an individual finds examinations threatening. She adds, “Within this general conceptualisation there are broad and narrow definitions. Narrow definitions focus on fear of failure (emphasising how performance is judged), or evaluation anxiety (emphasising how test anxiety can be located with other so-called subclinical anxieties including sports performance, public speaking, and so forth). These emphasise a social dimension where the performance is judged by others”. Nongauza further added, “Fear of exams and test situations is widespread and appears to become more prevalent. Test anxiety may have a detrimental effect on test performance. If an examination particularly affects the person’s future opportunities, it may be even more stressful”.

Read more: Exam anxiety and how to conquer it

What legalised rhino horn trade really means


On 5 April 2017 domestic rhino horn trade was legalised in South Africa. This decision followed the Constitutional Court’s ruling against an appeal to maintain the 2009 ban on domestic trade. National Geographic said in an article published on their website on 5 May titled “Breaking: Rhino Horn Trade to Return in South Africa” that South African rhino farmers and smaller courts have been pushing for the ban on domestic trade to be lifted for many years and that the trade needs to take place within strict regulations governed by Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). SA’s Minister of the DEA, Edna Molewa, told Traveller24 “that all domestic trade in rhino horn will be subjected to the issuance of the relevant permits.” This permit will also allow for foreigners to export a maximum of two rhino horns for “personal purposes,” according to National Geographic. The DEA reported to Traveller24 that its laws, regulations, and systems have been strengthened since domestic trade has been legalised.

Although domestic trade is legal, international trade of rhino horn will remain illegal. Despite this, there is concern that domestic trade could serve as a platform for smuggling rhino horn internationally. According to National Geographic, there is “almost no domestic market for rhino horn in South Africa,” yet a huge market for rhino horn in Far Eastern countries.

Read more: What legalised rhino horn trade really means

Prostitution: the price of sex


Dubbed the world’s oldest profession, commercial sex work is a solution to many people’s economic woes. For centuries humans have traded money for sex and society today is no different. This practice has been legalised in some countries, but it remains a criminal act in South Africa.

Countries including France, Germany and Argentina have legalised commercial sex work on certain grounds. According to the website ChartsBin.com, “In other places prostitution itself (exchanging sex for money) is legal, but most surrounding activities such as soliciting in a public place, operating a brothel and other forms of pimping are illegal, often making it very difficult to engage in prostitution without breaking any law.” In other countries like Sudan and North Korea, prostitution is still punishable by death.

Read more: Prostitution: the price of sex

South Africa's rape crisis


A hundred and ten cases of rape a day‚ or 4.58 every hour were reported in South Africa between 1 April and 31 December 2016, according to statistics released in March by police minister Nathi Nhleko and acting commissioner Khomotso Phahlane in Parliament.

Although the amount of rape cases reported during 2016 has decreased compared with the same period in 2015, the Institute for Security Studies believes that this is not a positive sign, mentioning in an AfricaCheck.org article titled “Factsheet: South Africa’s 2015/16 crime statistics”, “We are deeply concerned about the decrease of 3.2% in sexual offences. Research shows that this crime is under-reported and a decrease suggests that fewer people are reporting sexual offences.”

Read more: South Africa's rape crisis

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Perdeby Poll

What are you doing during the holiday?

Studying - 22.6%
Sleeping - 37.2%
Lying to your mom about doing stuff - 19%
Taking your textbooks on holiday - 21.2%

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