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22 April 2021 | Story NONSINDISO QWABE | Photo Thabo Kessah
Faith Mudzingiri.

Sharing her father’s love for the field of commerce, Faith Mudzingiri, daughter of Dr Calvin Mudzingiri, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, is one of the more than 1 500 students who received their qualifications during the University of the Free State Qwaqwa Campus virtual graduation ceremony. Faith obtained her BCom General Management degree during the virtual ceremony on 21 April.

In 2020, Mudzingiri topped the academic charts as the best student across all faculties on the campus.

Following in the footsteps of her father

An accounting enthusiast from an early age, Faith said her father has been her biggest motivation. Having a parent in such a critical position can come with immense pressure to perform, but she said “watching him inspired me a lot. For me to be here, is because I’ve learned from him that hard work pays off”.

Mudzingiri said while she was grateful for the accomplishment of being the Dux student for 2020, her academics did not get off to a good start in 2017 when she began her first year.

“As an international student coming from Zimbabwe, I struggled a lot in my first year. I had difficulty finding my feet in the new environment. Things got better in my second year, but in my third year I reminded myself why I was here and why I started this degree. I knew I wanted to graduate in record time, and so had to put in the work.”

Still set on achieving her accounting dream, Mudzingiri is now pursuing a BCom Accounting degree on the Bloemfontein Campus. “I would love to become a tax accountant and start my own accounting firm one day.”

News Archive

Fire as a management tool questionable in arid and semi-arid grassland areas
2015-03-24

Wild fire in the grassland
Photo: Supplied


The influence of fire on the ecosystem in the higher rainfall ‘‘sour’’ grassland areas of southern Africa has been well established. However, less information is available for arid and semi-arid ‘‘sweet’’ grassland areas, says Prof Hennie Snyman, Professor in the Department of Animal, Wildlife, and Grassland Sciences, about his research on the short-term impact of fire on the productivity of grasslands in semi-arid areas.

Sour and sweet grassland areas can be defined as receiving either higher or lower than approximately 600 mm of rainfall respectively. In quantifying the short-term impact of fire on the productivity of grasslands in semi-arid areas, a South African case study (experimental plot data) was investigated.

“Burned grassland can take at least two full growing seasons to recover in terms of above- and below-ground plant production and of water-use efficiency (WUE). The initial advantage in quality (crude protein) accompanying fire does not neutralise the reduction in half of the above-ground production and poor WUE occurring in the first season following the fire.

“The below-ground growth is more sensitive to burning than above-ground growth. Seasonal above-ground production loss to fire, which is a function of the amount and distribution of rainfall, can vary between 238 and 444 kg ha -1 for semi-arid grasslands. The importance of correct timing in the utilisation of burned semi-arid grassland, with respect to sustained high production, cannot be overemphasised,” said Prof Snyman.

In arid and semi-arid grassland areas, fire as a management tool is questionable if there is no specific purpose for it, as it can increase ecological and financial risk management in the short term.

Prof Snyman said: “More research is needed to quantify the impact of runaway fires on both productivity and soil properties, in terms of different seasonal climatic variations. The information to date may already serve as valuable guidelines regarding grassland productivity losses in semi-arid areas. These results can also provide a guideline in claims arising from unforeseen fires, in which thousands of rands can be involved, and which are often based on unscientific evidence.”

For more information or enquiries contact news@ufs.ac.za

 

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