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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

Research conducted on economic impact of recent international soccer and rugby matches for Bloemfontein
2004-09-09

The Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently conducted a survey on the economic impact of the international soccer and rugby games that were played in Bloemfontein earlier this year.

The research focused on the soccer match between Bafana Bafana and the Cape Verdic Isle and the rugby match between the Springboks and Ireland .

“The survey was done as a result of a research agenda about local economic development in Bloemfontein ,” said Dr Lochner Marais, researcher at the centre.

“We conducted the research by doing 402 interviews with soccer supporters and 376 interviews with rugby supporters from outside Bloemfontein ,” said Dr Marais.

The centre distributed questionnaires, collecting the following information on the soccer and rugby supporters: their age, gender and origin, the number of nights spend in Bloemfontein , their household expenditure in Bloemfontein and their rating on the quality of service.

“It is estimated that 10 800 soccer supporters and 27 000 rugby supporters came from outside Bloemfontein . Of the rugby supporters 14,4% were female and 85,6% were men. For the soccer international the percentage was 33% females and 67% males,” said Dr Marais.

The highest number of people who came to watch the soccer game in Bloemfontein (35,8%) was from the Northern Free State . The rugby supporters mainly came from Gauteng (21,8%) and the Northern Free State (18%).

When visiting Bloemfontein soccer supporters spend R912 per household, whilst rugby supporters reached deeper in their pockets and spent R1 807 per household.

“The survey indicated that the two international matches resulted in approximately R58 million been spent in Bloemfontein . Rugby supporters were accountable for the largest part (R48 787 205) spent. The largest chunk of the money spent was on accommodation (R14 593 279). On average soccer and rugby supporters from outside Bloemfontein spent 1,4 and 1,9 nights in Bloemfontein ,” said Dr Marais.

Rugby and soccer supporters were also asked to rate the quality of service received from amongst others hotels, guest houses, restaurants, and transport and entertainment facilities. Soccer supporters rated their satisfaction with services higher as rugby supporters. The rugby supporters gave the services at hotels a 3,9 rating, whilst soccer supporters awarded 4,6 rating out of a possible five.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
9 September 2004
 

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