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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

Power shortage: Measures to be implemented immediately
2008-01-31

1. In order to avoid the further implementation of power sharing, electricity companies countrywide are requiring, in addition to measures announced for domestic consumers, that major power consumers save a certain percentage of power.

2. Die UFS is one of the 100 largest clients of Centlec, the local electricity distribution company. During a meeting last Thursday evening with the 100 largest clients, it was indicated that the UFS had to deliver a saving of 10%. The details are as follows:

  • Provision is made to a certain extent for an increase in electricity consumption. The calculation is done as follows: maximum consumption for 2007+6%-10%.
  • This entails a saving during peak times, as well as a saving regarding the total number of units consumed.
  • The saving is calculated on a monthly basis.
  • Saving measures must be implemented immediately (from 7 March). If electricity-saving goals are not attained, power sharing will be resumed from 10 March.

3. The UFS has been controlling its peak demand by means of an energy control system for many years. The geysers of residences and certain central air-conditioning systems were linked to the control system in order to shift energy consumption to non-peak times.

4. In order to attain the goal of 10%, it is necessary to implement further energy control systems and additional measures – which requires time and money. Attention will have to be given, inter alia, to the following:

  • The 1000+ portable air-conditioning units on the campus (huge power guzzlers) must be connected to energy control appliances and systems.
  • All the filament bulbs must be replaced.

7. The UFS will be conducting high-level talks with Centlec later this week with a view to:

  • conveying the unique needs of the UFS in detail;
  • stating the impact of building and refurbishing projects that are currently in the implementation and planning phases;
  • requesting understanding for the fact that the UFS does not have the capacity to immediately deliver the 10% saving.
     

It is evident from discussions thus far that Centlec is sympathetic and wants to help, but also that immediate action and co-operation are expected from the UFS. During the meeting, the UFS must also report back on steps already taken (since 7 March) in this regard.

8. The installation of the emergency power units for the large lecture-hall complexes and a few other critical areas, which has already been approved, is continuing. About R3m is being spent on this. Additional emergency power needs reported to Physical Resources via line managers are currently being investigated with a view to obtaining a cost estimate and subsequently determining priorities in consultation with line managers.

It is recommended that:

a) All line managers, staff members and students be requested to give their full co-operation with regard to saving electricity in every possible way, and that current operational arrangements be amended if possible with a view to promoting power saving. 

Staff, students and other users of campus facilities be requested to see to it that lights and air conditioning (individual units) in unused areas are switched off.

b) The following measures drawn up in co-operation with electrical engineers come into effect immediately:

Arrangements to be made by Physical Resources staff:
(Additional capacity to be able to complete everything within a reasonable period of time will have to be found and funded. This aspect will be taken up with the line managers concerned):

  • The geysers of all office buildings will be switched off at the distribution board. Staff are requested to use a kettle for washing dishes, and are warned not to switch appliances on again themselves.
  • In all office buildings where 12V and 15W downlighters and uplighters remain switched on for decorative purposes and do not serve as primary illumination, the light switches will be disconnected.
  • Lighting in cloakrooms will be checked, and illumination levels will be reduced if possible.
  • All light armatures must be replaced by CFL types.
  • All lights on the grounds will be checked to ensure minimum power consumption.
  • The upper limit of all central cooling systems currently regulated via the energy control system must be set to 24 degrees.

Arrangements to be made by Kovsie Sport:

  • Sport activities requiring sports field illumination must be scheduled after 20:00 in the evening (the lights may not be on between 18:00 and 20:00.)
  • Sports field illumination must be managed so that such lights are not switched on unnecessarily.
     

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