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

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

Campus News Bites 18 September 2017

UP participates in intervarsity beer brewing competition

Sixteen tertiary institutions, including UP, participated in the 10th annual SAB Intervarsity Beer Brewing competition.

The competition was first held in 2006. According to the SAB, the competition was started “as a means of encouraging responsible beer appreciation amongst students and to introduce prospective SAB employees to the business. In addition to this, (the) SAB uses the initiative to help create a beer culture in South Africa”.

In this year’s competition, UP achieved first place in the “No. 3 Fransen Street Best Speciality Beer” category for “Cloudy with a chance of Ginger”. UP also achieved third place in the “Carling Black Label Best Lager” category for “Dark Deer”.

Read more: Campus News Bites 18 September 2017

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

Intervarsity News 18 September 2017

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

On 11 September an arson attack was reported on CPUT’s Cape Town campus. CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley told EWN that, “campuses remain open and operational despite an attack on a design building in Cape Town during the early hours of the morning.

We believe petrol bombs were used to set fire to a number of classrooms but private security and the fire department managed to get the situation under control before the fire could do more damage.”

This comes after students protested over accommodation, forcing CPUT to close its Cape Town campus.

Read more: Intervarsity News 18 September 2017

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Will you be attending OppiKoppi this year?

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