Tuks News Category

Perdebate 18 September 2017

On 8 September the ex-officio SRC members, who could not be inaugurated along with the elective SRC portfolios on 31 August, were eventually inaugurated. This happened after several democratically elected black ex-officio members stepped down for white candidates to take their places. The reason for the ex-officio members having to step down was because the SRC did not comply with Section 12 of Annexure A of the Constitution for Student Governance (CSG). Perdeby asked students for their opinions on the matter.

Read more: Perdebate 18 September 2017

New UP research facility, Future Africa, under construction


A new research facility for UP, Future Africa, is currently under construction on the UP experimental farm.

The initiative, spearheaded by UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, aims to create a space for the research community to initiate transdisciplinary research with relevance to Africa, and to train a new generation of research leaders who are able to lead the transformation of science and innovation systems on the continent for just and sustainable development. Conceptualisation of the project began in 2014 and construction started in November 2015.

The Future Africa complex comprises of a number of buildings, of which the largest section will be accommodation. An estimated eight blocks will consist of 265 units with 280 beds, which will aim to fill the gap in post-doctoral and visiting scholars accommodation at UP. Some of the accommodation is also uniquely designed to cater for researchers who already have families. Another block on the campus will be dedicated to short stay visitors, such as those who visit UP for conferences or guest lectures. A conference centre on the campus will accommodate about 200 people.

Read more: New UP research facility, Future Africa, under construction

Solar Power at UP underway


UP’s Hatfield Campus will soon boast an impressive array of solar panels on some of its buildings, boosting the university’s sustainability efforts to a new height. Two solar photovoltaic systems are currently being installed on the Merensky II Library and the Technical Services Building by Next Renewable Generation (NRG), an external company that specialises in new technologies and energy solutions.

Roger Thompson, Engineering Manager at NRG says that, “The systems are being installed as an innovative commercial solution called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This means that UP does not pay any capital for the installation and design of the systems. NRG funds, owns and operates the mini-power plants and sells the energy generated back to UP over a 20-year period.” Thompson adds that the PPA solution allows UP to begin saving immediately, without spending any capital upfront. Discussions surrounding the project between UP and NRG began as early as September 2016, with construction officially having begun in August this year.

Read more: Solar Power at UP underway

Meet your writer: Lesego Rampolokeng


On 12 September the Department of English, in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, hosted Lesego Rampolokeng at the Level 3 Auditorium at Merensky II Library.

This was part of the “Meet your writer” series, which the two departments regularly run to expose UP students and staff to famous writers.

Senior English lecturer Dr. Nedine Moonsamy was the MC of the event and expressed her gratitude to Rampolokeng for his presence at the event. As a prolific South African playwright, writer and performance poet, Rampolokeng has published 12 literary works including three novels and two plays.

As he was about to read extracts from his new novel Bird-Monk Seding, Rampolokeng said he was not sure about “these labels”, referring to people calling his book a novel including his “smart” Rhodes students who say that it is indeed a novel because it is “new”. To him, Bird-Monk Seding is a “coming together of everything [he has] done in his life”. Mail & Guardian describes Bird-Monk Seding as a “stark picture of life in a rural township two decades into South Africa’s democracy”. It is this life the narrator escapes through jazz and radical writers.

Read more: Meet your writer: Lesego Rampolokeng

Constitutional clause causes chaos: Black ex-officio SRC members step down for white candidates to take their places


On 31 August, the 2017/2018 Student Representative Council (SRC) was officially inaugurated. The inauguration however was only held for the 12 elected members and not for the ex-officio SRC members. According to an opening address at the inauguration by Director of the Department of Student Affairs, Dr Matete Madiba, the full SRC could not be inaugurated due to certain procedures and constitutional issues. Citing this, several reports began to appear on social media that the SRC would possibly not be constituted properly in terms of section 12 of Annexure A of the Constitution for Student Governance (CSG). This section provides for what happens when the SRC is not constituted by at least 40% black, white, male and female members. The ex-officio portfolios include seven seats on the SRC; two academic affairs sub-council representatives, two residence sub-council representatives, one RAG committee representative, one sport committee representative and one student culture committee representative.

Read more: Constitutional clause causes chaos: Black ex-officio SRC members step down for white candidates...

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