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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

Moeletsi Mbeki discusses South Africa’s political economy
2012-08-17

At the guest lecture was, from the left: Johann Rossouw, lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Mr. Moeletsi Mbeki, and Prof. Pieter Duvenage, Head of the Department of Philosophy.
Photo: Johan Roux
17 August 2012

South Africa’s ongoing problems do not have their origin in the apartheid dispensation but in the British colonial period. This is according to the well known businessman and political analyst, Mr Moeletsi Mbeki, who was speaking during a guest lecture at the University of the Free State.

Mr Mbeki said the high unemployment rate among Blacks arose from the destruction of the Black small farming class in the last third of the 19th century to provide cheap labour to the developing mining sector. He said the notorious Land Act of 1913 was not the root of Black people’s loss of land but merely the legal formalisation thereof. Mr Mbeki emphasised that as long as it was argued that South Africa’s problems arose during the apartheid dispensation, problems would remain unsolved.

Regarding South Africa’s future, Mr Mbeki argued that three issues in particular were important – South Africa’s industrialisation, which ground to a halt in the 1970s, should be revived; the large scale training of industrialists with special emphasis on mathematics, science and the broader education system; and post-nationalist politics, of which parties such as Zimbabwe’s MDC, Zambia’s MMF and Mauritius’s MMM were outstanding examples.

The guest lecture was presented by the Department of Philosophy. More than 200 people attended the lecture and participated enthusiastically in the question and answer session. Afterwards, Mr Mbeki said he was impressed with the high level of the questions asked by students, which he said gave him hope for South Africa’s future.

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