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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

Valour inspires book on community protests
2016-10-18

Description: Dr Matebesi book cover Tags: Dr Matebesi book cover

The cover of Dr Sethulego Matebesi’s
book, Civil strife against local governance:
Dynamics of community protests in
contemporary South Africa, that will be
released on 1 November 2016.
Photo: Supplied

Two significant political events: the murder of an unarmed protester, and school children forced out of school sparked the idea to write a book on community protests.
The book, Civil strife against local governance: Dynamics of community protests in contemporary South Africa, by Dr Sethulego Matebesi, gives an academic account of service delivery protests in South Africa.

Research address protests in different communities
“The focus of my book is on community protests directed against municipalities in both predominantly black and white communities,” Dr Matebesi, senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State, said. The funding for the book was received from the National Research Foundation and the Erasmus Mundus EU-Saturn Scholarship.

Informs literature on service delivery protests

The struggle against municipalities reaches across geographic and demographic boundaries, but the violent turn of protests in black communities in contrast to white communities has become somewhat of a hegemonic account by scholars. “The book connects the critical issue of community protests with the equally precarious issue of political trust in local government,” Dr Matebesi said. Case studies in the book are indicative of significant shifts in community protest – thus making it timely. Dr Matebesi said: “The book informs the growing literature on community protests and also fills an empirical void by including protesters in residents’ associations.”

“The book is a personal milestone and
the single greatest return on the
sacrifices made over the past 4 years.”





Personal milestone worth the sacrifice
Research was conducted between 2012 and 2015, whereby two case study sites were selected in four provinces to account the different tactics used. “The book is a personal milestone and the single greatest return on the sacrifices made over the past four years,” Dr Matebesi said.

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