National News

Pledge a Pad launches 2015 campaign

Pledge a Pad launches 2015 campaign


One of the least freely talked about topics in society is the female menstrual cycle. Ignorance to these realities of the female body has resulted in the current plight of many women across South Africa.

With many South Africans living in poverty, basic sanitation has become a luxury afforded by few. That, coupled with a lack of self-knowledge, leads many women to not speak about their basic sanitary needs.

These and many other factors led Aileen Hlongoane, a former student at UP who was a volunteer at the Centre for Sexualities, Aids and Gender, to start a non-profit organisation called Pledge a Pad which aims to help the underprivileged. This was after regular visits to orphanages where she realised that most girls missed as many as 60 days of the school year due to a lack of pads. Some girls resorted to using newspapers and rags as an alternative.

In her Mail & Guardian blog, Hlongane says that the organisation is aimed at raising awareness about the female body so that women can know if something is wrong – for example, if a period goes on too long. Rorisang Mongwaketsi, chairperson of the Pledge a Pad organisation at UP, also said, “Pledge a Pad does not only donate pads, we also educate woman about the menstrual cycle and do motivational talks in developing a healthy self-esteem among the women we assist.”

“We go to at least one school and a children’s home every month. As a result we are able to measure our success by the number of girls that no longer have to miss school because of a natural occurrence such as the menstrual cycle. Therefore, the goal of keeping young girls in school is being achieved,” says Mongwaketsi.


Photo: Kirsty Mackay

Raise awareness with The Rhino Run


On 12 September Gauteng hosted The Rhino Run, which was held at the Hedianga Farm, 15 km away from the University of Pretoria’s Hatfield campus. The race caters to runners with different levels of experience with three separate distances to choose from: 6 km, 12 km and 18 km.

The Rhino Run was inspired by a female rhino named Thandi (a Xhosa word for “love”) who was the sole survivor of a gruesome poaching attack. Many followed her road to recovery after a video of her struggle to survive was uploaded to Youtube.

Organisers decided on a trail run in an attempt to bring South Africans back in touch with the wild and remind them of the beauty that their country has to offer.

Read more: Raise awareness with The Rhino Run

National Arbour Day celebrated at Mamelodi campus

National Arbour Day celebrated at Mamelodi campus


The first week of September is national Arbor Week, and to celebrate it this year, 21 trees were planted on the Mamelodi campus on 3 September. The theme of the event was 21 years of democracy.

“The trees were sponsored by Wildlands, which is a company that propagates their trees,” said Courtney Gehle, the incoming chairperson of The Greenline, which is the campus environmental society for 2016.

The event was attended by members of the SRC and was a success. Preliminary SRC president Kwena Moloto, preliminary SRC member for facilities, safety and security Brian Nkala, and current SRC member for societies Michelle Krüger were some of the attendees who lent a helping hand to plant the trees. during the course of next year. The reason we won’t be planting on Hatfield is that there is no space left to plant anymore trees,” said Gehle.

Read more: National Arbour Day celebrated at Mamelodi campus

Revving up the crowd: Red Bull X-Fighters qualifiers

Revving up the crowd: Red Bull X-Fighters qualifiers


The qualifiers for the latest leg of the Red Bull X-Fighters world tour took place on 11 September at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and saw top riders such as Clinton Moore, Tom Pagés and David Rinaldo set out to outperform one another to grab a spot in the top eight for the next round.

The riders are judged by a panel of five judges and one head judge, South African Jason Moriarty. The judging panel are former riders and experienced freestyle motocross (FMX) professionals with a thorough understanding for the sport, who look for certain criteria’s in the riders run.

The qualifying run saw amazing tricks from riders such as Josh Sheehan, who performed a double backflip, and Tom Pagés, who brought the crowd to their feet after landing a Volt, where the rider does a 360° spin above the bike. Riders performed other stunts such as the cliffhanger, the tsunami, and the alley-oop. After a miscalculated stunt and a bad fall, Danny Torres decided to pull out of the second round of qualifiers. While Clinton Moore also experienced a nasty fall in his second qualifying run, he got back up and continued with the remaining minute of his lap. During a press conference that took place earlier in the day, Moore said that he was there to have fun, do his best and leave the rest up to the judges. Josh Sheehan also said in the press confrence that after a rider has had a bad fall, they need to regroup and focus on what is ahead.

Read more: Revving up the crowd: Red Bull X-Fighters qualifiers

New SAPS Brooklyn station commander

 New SAPS Brooklyn station commander


Brigadier Kushie Nair was recently appointed as the first female station commander of the Brooklyn police station.

UP has had a longstanding and productive partnership with the Brooklyn SAPS. Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, the Principal and Vice- Chancellor of UP, has given Brigadier Nair a warm welcome to her new post. Prof. de la Rey referred to the partnership between the university and the SAPS and said that, “Over the years, we’ve been pooling our resources to ensure a safe environment for our staff and students.” She further stated that, “It is such a pleasure to welcome another woman in command, especially as it is Women’s Month.”

Read more: New SAPS Brooklyn station commander

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