16 February 2022 | Story Lacea Loader | Photo Sonia Small
Nico Janse van Rensburg
Nico Janse van Rensburg, Senior Director: University Estates, and recipient of the UFS Council Medal.

At a meeting held on 26 November 2021, the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the awarding of the UFS Council Medal for outstanding service to Nico Janse van Rensburg, Senior Director: University Estates.


Building our campuses

Janse van Rensburg completed a BSc Quantity Surveying degree at the UFS in 1989 before joining the institution’s then Department of Physical Planning in 2004, after an impressive career as quantity surveyor. In 2012, he was appointed Senior Director: University Estates, continuously adding value to the infrastructure of our three campuses – totalling more than 500 000 m2 – as well as experimental farms and off-campus entities of more than 1 000 ha.

He has a persistent green approach that not only reduces the UFS’ carbon footprint, but also saves the institution millions of rands in energy savings and maintenance. Indigenous and waterwise gardens greet staff, students, and visitors to all our campuses, while being housed in well-maintained buildings. All newly built facilities on our campuses are based on green building principles, while an overall optimal building management system ensures efficient energy management.


Mentorship and skills transfer

University Estates, through its procurement management and the leadership of Janse van Rensburg, is also one of the main drivers behind the UFS’ BBBEE scorecard. He initiated a mentoring and skills transfer strategy by means of joint project appointments, enabling previously disadvantaged firms to eventually be appointed independently for similar projects.

To ensure, among others, aesthetically pleasing buildings that offer value for money, Janse van Rensburg and his team have developed a series of technical manuals that outline material specifications and expectations. Since 2012, he has been instrumental in more than 1 000 projects at the UFS.

The university recognises and commends Janse van Rensburg’s indispensable contribution to creating inclusive and quality spaces on our campuses, where staff, students, and visitors can experience our culture of care. His motto is clearly visible in all the projects he completes: Get things done – within time, budget, quality standards, expectations, and user satisfaction.

“It is an immense privilege to be leading the University Estates team, and I am humbled to be the recipient of this prestigious medal. University Estates is all about teamwork, and an award such as this can only be possible through the commitment, dedication, and support of a very capable team, as well as colleagues throughout the UFS. I would also like to thank our very capable leaders, such as Prof Prakash Naidoo, Vice-Rector: Operations, for his support and guidance. I have learnt a lot on this journey and a lot remains to be learnt. All of this could only be achieved with help that goes beyond one’s own strengths and abilities,” said Janse van Rensburg.”


Get things done – within time, budget, quality standards, expectations, and user satisfaction.

The Council Medal will be presented to Janse van Rensburg during a graduation ceremony in 2022.


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