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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

New multi-purpose residences open in January 2015
2014-06-18

The UFS is currently busy with exciting new accommodation developments on both the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses.

This includes a new residence with a hotel and a conference/lecture hall on the western part of the Bloemfontein Campus and the building of another residence on the Qwaqwa Campus.

“We have done what was possible in our quest to maximise the number of beds available in the older residences on the Bloemfontein Campus,” says Quintin Koetaan, Senior Director: Housing and Residence Affairs at the UFS. “This we achieved by converting underutilised and unutilised dining halls and kitchens into bedrooms, which was totally insufficient to address the dire need for beds.”

“The new residence building will have different types of accommodation. I am very excited and look forward to the completion of this project. And this particular residence also brings a very exciting architectural design to the university environment.”

The residence, with multiple blocks for different accommodation, will be wheelchair friendly and numbering and signage will also be in braille. This futuristic-designed building will stand the test of time and will be provide student accommodation until 2030.The R60 million project is funded by the UFS and the Department of Higher Education and Training.

In step with international university accommodation trends – as with Yale's residential college system – this residence will house female first-years who will be mentored by postgraduate students. Postgraduates will be headhunted with the support of the Student Representative Council’s (SRC) postgraduate committee. These postgraduate students will represent all the faculties. Block A and B will accommodate 184 female first-years.

Each floor in this residence will have a study room, two lounges, a kitchen and a laundry for 25 students. Security will be very tight, with three levels of security: entrance to residence, corridor and individual bedroom door. There will also be perimeter camera surveillance and a security officer outside and inside the residence. 

 
Block C will accommodate postgraduate students. The ground floor will house eight single-bed roomed flats. The first floor will have 16 single rooms sharing a bathroom, kitchen and living room, as well as one double room with its own bathroom. The second floor will have 21 single rooms sharing a bathroom, kitchen and living room.

Block D will house 18 hotel-like en suites, with a dining room where breakfast will be served. The target market here will be visiting academics and other university-affiliated visitors. Prices will be competitive to those of local guesthouses and hotels.

Bookings have already opened. Guests will be able to book in and access the hotel desk 24/7. The dining room, accommodating up to 60 people, will not only be open for hotel guests, but also for postgraduate students and UFS staff. Bookings will therefore be essential.

The expansion of bed spaces also took place at the Qwaqwa Campus. In 2012 a 200-bed residence with a state of the art computer room was completed. As a follow-up to this development, another 248-bed residence is now being built. In this particular residence, there will be designated post-graduate accommodation for 48 students.

The project will be handed over at the end of October 2014, with the first intake planned for January 2015.

Another development at the Qwaqwa Campus is the Chancellor’s House Bed & Breakfast. This B&B, with its 5 en suite rooms, is open for business for all UFS staff.

 

For enquiries or bookings at this new accommodation facility, contact:

- Undergraduate (first-year ladies’ residence):
Monica Naidoo at +27(0)51 401 3455 or NaidooM@ufs.ac.za  

- Postgraduate:
Hein Badenhorst at +27(0)51 401 2602 or BadenH@ufs.ac.za  

- Hotel:
Ilze Nikolova at +27(0)51 401 9689 or NikolovaI@ufs.ac.za  

- Chancellor’s House Bed & Breakfast on Qwaqwa Campus:
Olga Molaudzi at +27(0)58 718 5030 or molaudziOD@qwa.ufs.ac.za

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