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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

Three UFS researchers attend cactus pear congress
2017-05-05

Description: Dr de Wit Cactus pear 2 Tags: Dr de Wit Cactus pear 2

Dr Maryna de Wit, one of the
UFS delegation team was appointed
coordinator for Agro-Processing
and Post-Harvest Technology during
the congress

Description: Dr du Toit Cactus Pear 2 Tags: Dr du Toit Cactus Pear 2

Dr Alba du Toit, also one of the members
of the UFS delegation during the
congress at the University of Chile
in Santiago, Chile.
Photos: Supplied





Dr Alba du Toit, a junior lecturer in Consumer Science at the University of the Free State (UFS), presented her research at the recent IX International Congress on Cactus Pear and Cochineal at the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile. The congress was themed, “CAM Crops for a Hotter and Drier World”.

Dr Du Toit, Prof HO de Waal and Dr Maryna de Wit, from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UFS, attended the five-day conference held between 26 and 30 March 2017.

Congress a platform for networking
The congress, held every three years since 1993, gathers cactus pear researchers, growers and processing managers from Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa to review current research trends by networking to form new collaborations that could lead to increased efficiency and shared knowledge. They also present new findings and plan for future research.

Great achievements for researchers
Dr Du Toit said: “My research on cactus pears focused on the utilisation of the slimy substance found in the cactus cladodes as a functional ingredient in innovative nutraceutical food products”. Functional foods are foods that promote health or prevent disease through adding or omitting specific ingredients. She also received the International Society of Horticultural Science award for best student oral presentation.

Dr De Wit also presented her research and was appointed coordinator for Agro-Processing and Post-Harvest Technology at the congress.

Dr Herman Fouché, Affiliated Researcher at the Department of Soil-, Crop- and Climate Sciences at UFS, developed “kuilmoes”, a type of silage from pulped cactus pear fruit, mixed with lucerne, in collaboration with Prof de Waal, which was also presented.at the congress.

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