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30 November 2020 | Story Nonsidiso Qwabe | Photo Supplied

Acclaimed South African writer, author, and UFS research fellow Zubeida Jaffer was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for her career in journalism during the Standard Bank Sivukile Awards ceremony. 

Passion for journalism spans decades
During the award ceremony on 15 October 2020, Jaffer received the prestigious Allan Kirkland Soga Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognises a sustained and extraordinary contribution to journalism. Jaffer said she never chose journalism, but journalism chose her. She said when she first stepped into a newsroom looking for a holiday job in the 1970s, she did not know she had stepped into her future in news reporting. Since then, Jaffer has earned many accolades in the journalism industry as well as in academia. She also became an acclaimed author, and wrote her third book, Beauty of the Heart: The Life and Times of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, during her time as a writer-in-residence at the UFS. While at the UFS, she founded the online media platform, The Journalist, a platform that provides history and context for key issues facing South African journalists. This portal also links students with academics across the country and will soon be extended to the African continent and the diaspora.

Jaffer said she felt blessed to be recognised among the many journalism pioneers in South Africa. 

“It’s extremely wonderful because it came so out of the blue. This year, with COVID-19, I was digging deep, and trying my best to keep focus. I’m very thankful. It’s made me pause, reflect, and realise that a lot of things I’ve done have been of value. When living your life, it’s not that you’re aware of that all the time. There are many people doing great things who don’t always get this kind of recognition,” Jaffer said.

Still a great need for journalists in South Africa 

Talking about journalism today, Jaffer said: “I am often overwhelmed to witness the enthusiasm and determination of young journalists across the country who come from humble backgrounds and inspire those around them. Our country is gripped in a bipolar condition. It is not clear how the healing will come, but it will. The challenge is to keep our minds in balance so that we can be strong enough to root out corruption and gender-based violence, while at the same time fully understanding our blessings as a people.”

UFS alumna Rising Star in Journalism 

In another accolade for the UFS, the Upcoming/Rising Star of the Year award went to former UFS Journalism student Brümilda Swartbooi for her article titled ‘Sy het hard vir ons gewerk’. The article highlighted the senseless killing of a woman outside her workplace, minutes after her husband dropped her off.

Brümilda Swartbooi. Photo: Supplied

News Archive

Quantity Surveying and Construction Management department aspires to excellence
2017-08-14

Description: Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu Tags: Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu 

From the left: Prof Danie Vermeulen, Dean of the
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences;
Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu, Head of the Department
of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management;
Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor
at the UFS; and Dr Franco Geminiani, chairing the
panel from the South African Council for the Project
and Construction Management Professions.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

Achieving programme accreditation from the respective professional bodies is the ultimate goal for the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the University of the Free State (UFS). This is according to Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu, the head of this department. This hallmark of quality reflects the university’s aspiration towards excellence.

Construction Management programmes reviewed
The university recently received a visit by a panel, representing the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) to re-accredit programmes offered by the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management. During the accreditation visit, the panel evaluated the programmes to determine whether they met the minimum requirements according to a set of pre-determined criteria.

When reviewing the programmes: BSc and BSc Hons Construction Management respectively, as well as the Project Management stream of the Masters programme in Land and Property Development Management (MLPM), the panel looked at programme design and outcomes including curriculum, study material and exam papers, institutional support, student recruitment, admission, development, retention and throughput, staffing recruitment and development, teaching and learning strategies, quality assurance, facilities, infrastructure and resources, professional development, industry and practical exposure and postgraduate policies, procedures and regulations, including research activities.

If the minimum requirements are achieved, the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the UFS will receive accreditation for its programmes from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022.

It will also mean that we are certified
as producing quality employable
graduates who are well prepared to
enter the industry and make a difference.

Currently, the department has full accreditation by the SACPCMP (until March 2017) and the SACQSP (until December 2017).

Later this month, a panel from the South African Council for Property Valuation Profession (SACPVP) will review the accreditation of the Valuation stream of the MLPM programme. The South African Council for Quantity Surveying Profession responsible for accrediting the Quantity Surveying programmes will visit the university in 2018.

Certified as producing quality students

Prof Kajimo-Shakantu said: “If we maintain our accreditation, it will reflect that the UFS is among the best, with programmes which are recognised by professional bodies that set competence standards for professional registration of students. It will also mean that we are certified as producing quality employable graduates who are well prepared to enter the industry and make a difference. The programmes contribute to the development of the much-needed critical skills in the built environment.”


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