National News

Higher Education Convention dispruted


On 18 March, the Higher Education Convention, organised by former Constitutional Court Deputy Chief and mediator at the meeting, Justice Dikgang Moseneke, took place at the Eskom Academy of Learning in Midrand. The convention was however cancelled after students who were allegedly aligned with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) refused to give Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, an opportunity to give his speech. Some students objected to the presence of Nzimande who, according to SABC News, was heckled by students upon entering the venue.

The two-day convention focused on the challenges that tertiary institutions are facing, such as the demand for free decolonised higher education. The gathering was attended by students, academic staff (including university vice-chancellors), politicians, and businesses who were anticipated to make proposals on the government's plan for the education sector.

Read more: Higher Education Convention dispruted

National Treasury to unpack 2017 budget at UP

On 23 March, the National Treasury will be unpacking the 2017 budget for students and staff at UP. The speaker of the event will be Deputy Director General for Budget, Michael Sachs. According to Thabisa Whittington, the National Treasury communication officer of the Director General’s Office, “The aim of the programme is to engage with various stakeholders on the budget that includes universities and also encourage the debate necessary on various socioeconomic issues that are budget related.”

The event will be hosted in HB 4-1 at 12:00. 

Brooklyn SAPS and Namola partner to fight crime


Brooklyn SAPS in collaboration with developers of the Namola app have launched an app to bolster the fight against crime in Tshwane. On 5 February, Station Commander Brigadier Kushie Nair and Chief Ambassador of Namola, Yusuf Abramjee signed a partnership agreement in which they committed to collaborating together in an effort to continue the fight against crime. Abramjee said, “To combat crime in Tshwane and across South Africa, we need all hands on deck. Partnerships like this add support and capacity to our emergency services, like the Brooklyn SAPS.” Abramjee added that embracing innovative technology in fighting crime was the future for safety and security in South Africa.

Read more: Brooklyn SAPS and Namola partner to fight crime

Safe and legal abortions via SMS


Fem is a new service that assists South Africans with legal and safe abortions. The service was created by the organisation, safe2choose, and launched on 24 February 2017. The project is currently in its pilot phase and being used only in Gauteng. Safe2choose is a social enterprise that offers counselling and information on safe abortions.

In a media statement, Fem’s Associate Programme Officer, Phephisile Mathizerd, said that 21.6 million unsafe abortions occur globally, with 18.5 million of those unsafe abortions occuring in developing countries like South Africa. Mathizerd said, “Unsafe abortions have a massive impact on young women – the members of local society most impacted by poverty and unemployment. Young women have huge potential when it comes to contributing positively to national development. It's imperative that we find a way to make the vision of the constitution real, and that we evolve into a society where all citizens have comprehensive access to sexual health services and information.” Mathizerd added, “Women who determine their pregnancy status within the first 12 weeks have many options, but the longer they wait to test, the fewer choices there are. Therefore, Fem by safe2choose places a strong emphasis on the speedy and efficient delivery of vital information.”

Read more: Safe and legal abortions via SMS

Solly Msimanga speaks on student issues


Solly Msimanga, Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane and UP graduate, has held office since mid-2016 when the Democratic Alliance, in conjunction with support from the EFF, took over the leadership of the city. Perdeby spoke to the Executive Mayor about numerous issues regarding the city, including issues facing students in Hatfield.


You were recently quoted in mainstream media as saying that the City of Tshwane could no longer afford Tshwane WiFi (TshWiFi). What does this mean? Will TshWiFi services continue as usual? Will it be monetised? Does your administration have a plan to continue this service?
Let me state categorically that we don’t have an intention in stopping the service, and it has been [a] part of our manifesto – it’s [a] part of the DA’s vision to have a connected city. So what has been paddled is just complete lies about us and obviously politics – people are playing politics.

Read more: Solly Msimanga speaks on student issues

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