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14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

Department of Architecture receives unconditional validation
2017-08-30

Description: Arch SACAP  Tags: National and International validation, South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) 

In the 2017 validation portfolio was the
dissertation: Revealing the Invisible
by Laura-Anne Fox
. Photo: Supplied



Earlier this year the Department of Architecture at the University of the Free State (UFS) received unconditional validation nationally from the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) and internationally from the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA). SACAP aspires towards people-centred architecture for South Africa.

Register as professionals in the industry
The broad aim of the validation session is to safeguard standards in architectural education and for professional registration. 

Accordingd to Jako Olivier, Programme Director of the Department of Architecture at UFS, unconditional validation sanctions that the three professional oriented degrees are aligned with national and international education standards. The degrees, BArch, BArch Hons and MArch (Professional), then also meet the prescribed national standards of registration compatible with international standards. 

Department proud of calibre students
The validation is effective for five years; from 2017 to 2022. 

The department is proud of the calibre of students they guide towards employment in the architectural field. Graduates from the department find employment at leading architectural firms nationally and internationally.  

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