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25 April 2019 | Story Mamosa Makaya

Since 2016, the University of the Free State Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has received a grant from First National Bank worth R2 498 000, which supports tertiary bursaries for students with disabilities. Bursary holders are funded through CUADS, as the administrator of the bursaries.
  
These are students enrolled for various academic programmes who require academic assistance and/or assistive devices such as electronic handheld magnifiers, laptops, and hearing aids. The FNB grant also covers tuition, accommodation, study material and books, and meals.  The success of the grant is already evident, with one of the recipients having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in December 2018. A second student was capped at the April 2019 graduations with a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying.
 
Supporting the principles of the ITP

The UFS received the grant from FNB in instalments, starting in the 2016 academic year to date, supporting the needs of 40 disabled students. This grant and the work of CUADS speaks to and supports the principles of the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP), namely inclusivity, transformation, and diversity. The vision of the Universal Access work stream is to enable the UFS to create an environment where students with disabilities can experience all aspects of student life equal to their non-disabled peers. The ITP provides for the recognition of the rights of people with disabilities as an important lesson in social justice and an opportunity to reinforce university values.

The successful administration of the grant to benefit past and present students is a ‘feather in the cap’ of CUADS, and is a shining example of the impact of public private investment and the endless possibilities that open up when there is a commitment to developing future leaders in academic spaces, allowing them to thrive by creating a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering. 



News Archive

South African citizens are yearning for a good story to tell
2014-03-13

 
Dr Sethulego Matebesi
Photo: Sonia Small

The 20 Year Review is in essence a continuation of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address and the ‘we have a good story to tell’ narrative. The report provides a glowing picture of successes achieved over the two decades. The successes highlighted include the basic human rights enjoyed by South Africans, a marked improvement in economic growth, and the provision of social services such as health care, education and housing. And as expected, the Review is dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

The major accomplishments were made through the strategic policies of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). For example, emphasis has been on improving the lives of South Africans through pro-poor economic interventions, in building social cohesion, investing in economic infrastructure, fighting HIV and AIDS and tuberculosis, which resulted in improved health outcomes.

Generally, the assertions about ‘accomplishments’ have been made against solid evidence and are thus not debatable. What overshadows the 20 Year Review, is the story that is not being told. This is the story of a political economy marred by rampant corruption, high levels of unemployment, declining accountability, and unresponsiveness. This untold story has become the hallmark of President Zuma’s tenure. Meanwhile, the average South African citizen is still yearning for ‘a good story to tell.’

For more political comment or to speak to Dr Matebesi, please call René-Jean van der Berg at +27(0)83 645 5940.

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