Tuks News Category

Brooklyn SAPS and UP team up with Hatfield car guards


This year Brooklyn SAPS in collaboration with UP’s Department of Community Engagement have teamed up with informal car guards in the Hatfield area as part of a pilot project aimed at community engagement and improvement.

Brooklyn SAPS Station Captain, Colette Weilbach, said that the police carry a high burden of vehicle-related crimes. In order to address this, it was necessary for SAPS to “think out of the box”. Station Commander Brigadier Kushie Nair took the initiative to “befriend” car guards around the Hatfield area, involving them in uplifting programmes. This includes registering car guards into the programme, after which each car guard is issued with a name card displaying their photo.

Read more: Brooklyn SAPS and UP team up with Hatfield car guards

UP to undergo social learning upgrades


This year, UP campuses will be undergoing large scale upgrading of facilities and spaces to facilitate more social learning environments. According to acting UP Executive member for Student Affairs, Prof. Carolina Koornhof, there is a pressing need for more space at UP. “Due to the financial situation UP finds itself in currently, there is a scaling down of property acquisition and instead spaces will be repurposed,” said Koornhof. UP is in the process of implementing the reutilisation of space, which includes the building of a new residence, relocation of student structures’ offices and revamping of selected areas.

Read more: UP to undergo social learning upgrades

No change to UP language policy for now


On 22 June 2016, UP’s Council, the highest decision making body at UP, adopted a new language policy in which English was to be the only language of tuition.

On 15 December 2016, the Gauteng High Court rejected an application by civil rights group AfriForum to continue the use of Afrikaans at UP. In its case, AfriForum argued that the removal of Afrikaans, based on language, was discriminatory, constituted a withdrawal of existing student rights, and that removing Afrikaans at UP did not comply with section 29(2) of the Constitution. Judge Kollapen was not convinced of this argument, however, affirming UP’s decision to drop Afrikaans. According to UP, a key factor in removing Afrikaans was that “a preference for Afrikaans as a medium of instruction [had] fallen from around 88% in 1990 to just under 16% in 2016”. Remarking on the language policy change, UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Cheryl de la Rey said in a statement, “As society changes we need to do what is best for our students and the greater community as a whole [and] this new policy will facilitate social cohesion and promote inclusivity.”

Read more: No change to UP language policy for now

New privately owned Afrikaans-only residence opens for students


De Goede Hoop, a new private Afrikaans residence, officially opened on 28 January. The residence is divided into De Goede Hoop Mans (men) and De Goede Hoop Dames (ladies).

Each section can house 48 students. The residence operates independently of UP’s official residences and according to their website, De Goede Hoop will participate in some of the cultural activities of the university, such as Serrie and Sêr. Candice Jooste, media relations officer at UP, confirmed that De Goede Hoop is a private residence. Jooste also said that the residence is not part of TuksRes and thus will not take part in events or activities that TuksRes organises.

Read more: New privately owned Afrikaans-only residence opens for students

UP res crisis


On 13 February, UP Fees Must Fall activists and Economic Freedom Fighters UP (EFFSC UP) members held a campus sleep-in against the lack of access to affordable accommodation and residence placement for students who come from “outside of Gauteng” and are mostly from “poor areas”.

The event was held in the Student Centre on the Hatfield campus and “[called] on students of the University of Pretoria to stand in solidarity with our fellow students who are sleeping on the streets, in toilets, libraries and benches across campuses”. The movement held that “most students who have been placed in newly-built private residences in Hatfield are facing a situation where their monthly rent far exceeds the NSFAS pay-out and the University residences are no different as residences fees have gone up by over R10 000.00”. The movement used the hashtag #UPResCrisis and within hours it was a trending topic on Twitter. One Twitter user said, “…rich, white students [who] stay around the University go to res just for the “culture” [and] are prioritized over the ones that really need [accommodation]”.

Read more: UP res crisis

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