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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

First university student from Elzabé Zietsman’s Doilie Foundation chooses Kovsies
2015-01-21

Naledi Dweba and Elzabé Zietsman
Photo: Johan Roux

Naledi Dweba, one of the young people mentored by the well-known singer, Elzabé Zietsman, will become a Kovsie this year.

Although the University of the Free State (UFS) wasn’t the only university to offer Dweba a scholarship, he decided on Kovsies without doubt or further consideration and enrolled for his BMus degree with us. His instrument is the clarinet and Dweba reckons the outstanding Danré Strydom – a lecturer at the UFS’s Odeion School of Music – is the reason why he decided on Kovsies.

“She is a remarkable music teacher,” says Dweba.

Dweba, who only started with music lessons at the age of 15, recently performed his Grade 8 exam. Last year he also obtained a music distinction in matric.

Dweba and Zietsman met four years ago and, as a result of her Doilie Foundation, he now has the opportunity to pursue his dreams as a music student. Zietsman started the foundation in 2012 in order to help talented children.

“I have so many talented young people under my care, but Naledi is the first one to attend university,” Zietsman said at the university’s 2015 first-year’s welcoming on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The Doilie Foundation currently provides for several artistic children – from musicians to ballerinas. 

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