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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Former speaker of Parliament, Dr Frene Ginwala, delivered sixth Annual Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture
2013-08-22

 

Dr Frene Ginwala, former speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa, delivered the sixth Annual Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The Memorial Lecture is a joint venture between the Free State Provincial Government and the UFS and forms part of Women’s Month Celebrations. The lecture honours the life and legacy of Charlotte Maxeke and focuses on issues and challenges affecting women.

Dr Ginwala spoke on "Retracing the footsteps of the women of 1913: Lessons for young women's economic growth and development in bringing about positive change, living in extraordinary times." 

The first lecture was dedicated to Charlotte Maxeke’s life and times as well as the early years of the Bantu Women’s League, the forerunner of the ANC Women’s League.

Previous speakers included President Jacob Zuma, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize and Ms Baleka Mbete, National Chairperson of the ANC and former Speaker of the National Parliament.

Charlotte Maxeke was the first African women to graduate in South Africa and one of the first black South Africans to fight for freedom from exploitative social conditions for African women. 

 

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