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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Renewable energy systems an economical investment for the UFS
2017-06-14

Description: Renewable energy  Tags: Renewable energy

The Qwaqwa Campus Arena equipped with freestanding
roof solar panels.
Photo: iFlair Photography

Renewable energy systems are said to be very expensive to implement initially, but in the long run they provide high economic returns.

With their decision to install renewable energy, the University of the Free State Department of Facilities Planning has now also adopted this innovative technology. They have chosen less capital-intensive solar power-generating options to generate electricity in various buildings and parking areas on all three UFS campuses.

“As per the UFS Energy Management Policy, all designs incorporate efficient, renewable energy sources varying from LED lights to solar power,” says Anton Calitz, Electrical Engineer in University Estates’ Department of Facilities Management.

South Campus taking the lead in renewable energy usage
In December 2016, a total of 26 solar-driven LED street-light poles were installed at the recently built Legae Residence’s parking area and the perimeter security area on the South Campus. This low-maintenance system improves security after dark and is independent of the national power supply, which is an important advantage during power outages. With no requirements for major earthworks and cable setting, operational costs are reduced.

The recently built infrastructure also takes pride in being the first to have a greywater system installed.  This system will also be installed at three other residences on the Bloemfontein Campus in 2017. Greywater is made up of bath, shower, and bathroom sink water. The water is reused for toilet flushing, as well as for irrigation purposes.

Various UFS electrical operations to depend on solar power
On the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses, the computer laboratories as well as the Thakaneng Bridge Student Centre and the projected Afromontane Research Centre will be equipped with freestanding roof solar solutions during 2017. These systems are designed to operate independently of the power grid (Eskom).

The systems only operate during sunlight hours when the PV solar panels are heated by the sun, making them suitable for operations such as ventilation fans, water pumps, and small circulation pumps for solar thermal water-heating systems.

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