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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

Pat Fahrenfort throws a spanner in the works
2013-08-24

23 August 2013

Pat Fahrenfort had the audience in stiches while discussing her book, Spanner in the Work: One Woman’s Journey from Factory Floor to Corridors of Power. In addition to her wit being razor-sharp, so was her insight.

The author narrated her winding journey from cold factory floors to the passages of parliament during an event hosted by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice. Fahrenfort left school at the age of 15 and started her employment as a factory worker in Cape Town. Through sheer strength of will, she completed a university degree later in her life and went on to work alongside some of our leading political figures and as part of South Africa’s Constitutional Assembly.

Fahrenfort imparted her struggles in the workplace for democracy, justice and equality. Against this background, though, she expressed her disillusionment regarding some aspects of the current political environment in South Africa.

She also regaled the crowd with her ‘stalking’ tactics – back when she was still a fledgling writer – to grab the attention of author Antjie Krog. Fahrenfort attended quite a few functions where the famous author appeared – seemingly by chance – until she got her opportunity.The end result? Krog assisted Fahrenfort to write her own book. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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