Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

“Aren’t auntie and them hungry yet?” Country folk worried about NSH hikers
2014-05-15

About 5 km short of Wortelfontein Guestfarm in the Northern Cape, Rachel Swart is sitting on the porch of her peasant house when four people come walking down the dirt road.

Guests on foot are not a regular sight in this region, because you must understand, Wortelfontein is situated where Hanover lies far behind you and Richmond is still a very long way off.

 

The four people on the dirt road are the hikers from the University of the Free State (UFS) on their way to Cape Town (on foot) to create awareness for food-insecure students at the UFS.

Adele van Aswegen, Ronel Warner, Ntokozo Nkabinde and Nico Piedt are already on the road for more than two weeks as part of the No Student Hungry bursary’s (NSH bursary) fundraising efforts. The bursary provides assistance to students at the UFS who often do not have enough to eat.

On day 12 of their walk, the plan was that our hikers would stay at Wortelfontein Guestfarm, but unfortunately they took the wrong turnoff. It is precisely at this point where they met Rachel.

“I will show you where Wortelfontein lies. One can easily get lost here,” says Rachel decidedly and points to the straight main road. She ties her baby skilfully behind her back with a towel and tackles the next 5 km together with our hikers.

“It is this kind of support and encouragement that keep us on the road,” says Adel.

Everywhere along the road people are stunned and concerned about the four’s trip and immediately offer their help.

Near Trompsburg, an elderly couple who just heard about the hikers at church, stop next to them and offer them a lift to the next town. They are thankful for the gesture, but have to decline the offer.

Between Trompsburg and Springfontein, Doug offers to take them to Springfontein. Once again they decline the offer.

There was also the uncle who wanted to buy them cool drink and the road workers who cheered them on.

In Colesberg a group of children asked worriedly: “Aren’t auntie and them hungry yet?”


These boots are made for walking ... to Cape Town (Article of 02 May 2014)


Daily updates:
(You can also follow us on @UFSweb for daily tweets)

Day 21: 21 May 2014
15:09
42 km
Leeu Gamka Hotel

Day 20: 20 May 2014
13:39
20 km
Alida, Springfontein

Day 19: 19 May 2014
12:31
27.6 km
Teri Moja Game Lodge

Day 18: 18 May 2014
First rest day
Nagenoeg Guesthouse, Beaufort West

Day 17: 17 May 2014
19:30
62.3 km
Nagenoeg Guesthouse, Beaufort West

Day 16: 16 May 2014
13:00
14 km
Taaibochfontein

Day 15: 15 May 2014
16:03
32 km
Travalia, Three Sisters

Day 14: 14 May 2014
18:33
43 km
Joalani Guest Farm
 
Day 13: 13 May 2014
17:30
33 km
Die Rondawels
 
Day 12: 12 May 2014
16:49
40 km
Aandrus B&B in Richmond
 
Day 11: 11 May 2014
39 km
Wortelfontein (Magdel and Christiaan)
 
Day 10: 10 May 2014
15:44
34 km
Hanover Lodge
 
Day 9: 09 May 2014
40.8 km
Camping between Colesberg and Hanover
 
Day 8: 08 May 2014
15:25
33.7 km
Colesberg, The Lighthouse Guesthouse

Day 7: 07 May 2014
15:08
23 km
Orange River Lodge

Day 6: 06 May 2014
15:57
51.06 km
Gariep Forever Resort

Day 5: 05 May 2014
12:18
28 km
Rondefontein

Day 4: 04 May 2014
15:27
35 km
Trompsburg: Fox Den

Day 3: 03 May 2014
17:30
46.74 km
Edenburg Country Lodge (Hotel)

Day 2: 02 May 2014
11:44 am
15.3 km
Tom's Place

Day 1: 01 May 2014
32 km
Leeuwberg

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept