Megon Venter and Nadijah Campbell

Transformation Month, an initiative introduced by the SRC in association with student societies, began at UCT on Monday, March 9th and will run until March 29th. Thato Pule, SRC Chair of Transformation and Social Responsiveness, has worked as the co-ordinator of events. The campaign places a focus on gender, sexuality and disability as key issues of transformation, with each of the three weeks looking specifically at one of these areas. Transformation Month is made up of a range of events hosted on different UCT campuses as well as in the residences.

Tinotenda Masando

Mechanical Engineering students, Jason Hardy and James Shin, developed a new type of vending machine on campus, UniCafé, offering a variety of coffee and hot-chocolate to students. The students created the machines themselves, sourcing parts from South Korea. Currently their machines are found in Menzies, Computer Science, NSLT and Kramer Law buildings and are available 24/7.

Aisha Abdool Karim, Robyn Ausmeier & Yogi Shoba

The “UCT: Rhodes Must Fall” movement officially began on Thursday, March 12th sparked by the actions of a student at the Cecil John Rhodes statue on Monday, March 9th. The movement aims to address institutional racism at UCT and the issue of transformation.

Aisha Abdool Karim

On Monday, March 16th the university hosted a discussion entitled “Heritage, Signage and Symbolism” as part of a planned series of talks on transformation, which were planned last year. During the introduction given by Professor Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the discussion, students requested that the order of speakers be rearranged so that Ramabina Mahapa, SRC President, could present his response first.

Robyn Ausmeier

A number of students have raised the issue of insufficient parking on campus due to the limited parking areas available and overselling of discs. Parking discs are purchased from the Traffic Department, although having a disc does not guarantee access to a parking space. The allocation of parking discs varies as they allow different privileges for different groups of people. Parking bays are subsequently designated in line with the grouping in which the car is registered.

Dean Horwitz with additional research by Tanya Magaisa and Andrea George

Security at UCT residences is in theory extremely well controlled. Each residence has a warden who lives on site while some of the larger residences have assistant wardens.

Tebogo Bore and Aisha Abdool Karim

5 short news bites on international, national and health news

Yogi Shoba

Pulsecheck is a service that is soon to be implemented at UCT; however, engineering graduate and founder Louis Buys does not have a direct timeline of when the service will be operational.

Former Presidents of the SRC

An open letter from nine former Presidents of the SRC supporting the removal of the Cecil John Rhodes Statue from Upper Campus.

Aisha Abdool Karim and Tanya Magaisa

An Open Air Dialogue was held at 1pm on Thursday, March 12th on Jammie Plaza. The event was organised by Rekgotsofetse “Kgotsi” Chikane, a UCT student, and endorsed by the SRC in a statement released on Wednesday, March 11th. The mass meeting was held in order to further discuss a plan for transformation at the university, following the gathering at the Cecil John Rhodes statue on Monday, March 9th.

Parusha Naidoo

On Wednesday, 11 March, HUMA and VERNAC News held a panel discussion on the topic “What is African about UCT - Perspectives from Vernac News Founder and Editorial team, and students”. The panel comprised of Taariq Amod (Founder and Chairperson of Vernac News), Mapeseka Sethlodi (Sotho-Tswana Head Editor), Noluvuyo Mjoli (Nguni Opinions & Features Editor) and Akha Tutu (writer and UCT student). Also joining the discussion was Ramabina Mahapa (SRC President 2015). The panel was chaired by Dr Zethu Matabeni, researcher at the Institute for Humanities in Africa at UCT.

Amnesty International, Aisha Abdool Karim, Robyn Ausmeier, Sabri Elia and Majd Mohamed

On Monday, March 9th, VARSITY partnered with Amnesty International UCT to interview Ensaf Haider. Ensaf’s husband, Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and is to receive 1 000 lashes over this time period due to a blog he ran in which he discussed liberal views on Saudi Arabian policies. During Jammie Plaza Week Amnesty International UCT had a campaign to “Free Raif” and collected signatures on a petition calling for his release.

Ronel Koekemoer

Every year students moving into UCT residences face the possibility of being allocated a room that has already been assigned.

Tinotenda Masando and Aisha Abdool Karim

6 short news bites on international, national and health news

Tasneem Amra

Campus Mate, a new free app launched in January, will give students access to a range of campus information right in the palms of their hands. The app was developed by Manenga Mungandi, 20, a third-year Computer Science student at UCT.

Pieter Du Plessis

On Monday, February 16th UCT officially launched the Library Learning Lounge (LLL) located in the Snape Building, which recently underwent reconstruction. The LLL is an extension of the university’s main library, the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, and serves as a learning space for students from all faculties and years of study while additionally promoting digital learning.

Dean Horwitz with additional research by Fowzia Davids

As of January 2015 the cost of student cards has doubled from R60 to R120. This decision was made by the department of Property and Services. According to communications coordinator Lilian Mboyi, there was a need “to recover the costs of the changeover from magnetic to proximity cards which was implemented in 2010 and never recovered.” 

Amy Mihelich

On Wednesday, March 4th, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with ministry officials and condemned the murder of Boris Nemtsov, one of Russia’s most prominent opposition leaders, which occurred on February 27th. The meeting was preceded by approximately 21 000 people marching in commemoration of Nemtsov’s life and demanding political justice in Russia.

Aisha Abdool Karim

On Monday, March 9th a group of approximately a dozen people, some of which were UCT students, participated in a protest at the Cecil Rhodes statue on Upper Campus. The exact reason for the protest is as yet unclear but the organisers were part of a Black Consciousness movement.

One protester stood beneath the statue with boards which read “Exhibit White Arrogance @ UCT”. The protest then escalated when two protesters threw pig manure on the base of the statue, which remains undamaged, thus violating the law.

Robyn Ausmeier

On Monday, March 2nd UCT hosted a tribute to South African literary icon André Brink in the Kramer Law Building. The event consisted of a number of speeches, made by Brink’s family, friends and colleagues, and provided a space to recognise the impact Brink had on those around him and the literary movement in South Africa, as well as his contribution to academics through his work as a professor in the UCT English Literature and Language Studies Department.