Dreams Dashed Maladministration in the Financial Aid offices compromises the academic future of many students by Nonkululeko Gwanga, Nwabisa Mlandu and Nolitha Ngamalana
28 March 2017 Volume 76| Edition 1
he National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS) maladministration resulted in students’ funding o�ers being retracted on Tuesday, 28 February 2017, despite being told that they were secured the day before. The maladministration in NSFAS o�ces a�ected new applicants for ﬁnancial aid, as well as those already signed with NSFAS. NSFAS o�ces struggled to process and review the 2017
applications in time. This led to the wrong information being sent out by the UCT Financial Aid O�ce informing the wrong students that they were being o�ered funding. Moments later, retraction emails were sent out – blaming the incident on technical di�culties. While this was merely a technical error for the UCT Financial Aid o�ces, the e�ect on the students’ lives is the di�erence between accessing tertiary education and being stuck on
the outside looking in. For Goitsemedime, a third year student, it was devastating. Earlier that day, a single mother rejoiced at the news that her daughter had ﬁnally managed to secure funding and lessen the ﬁnancial strain on her shoulders. However, that joy was shortlived as the next morning an email revoking funds brought them back to square one. It appeared that NSFAS had not ﬁnalised the application status of her appeal. The appeal process had to be restarted, yet again.
Students coming out on top of the seemingly random process of NSFAS loan approval, is only part of the battle of securing reliable ﬁnancial assistance in university. Issues with unprofessional administration, outdated policy and instability threaten the futures of too many students. One student, who is no longer eligible for funding, approached the Financial Aid o�ces seeking help but was given incorrect information. The Financial Aid administrative o�cer,
Image: Cara Spall Students queing outside of the Financial Aid Office
who attended to the student, informed her that she needed to get a fee waiver for her to proceed with registration. In actual fact, the student needed to apply for ﬁnancial appeal. Aside from the additional stress, receiving incorrect information meant that the student had little time to gather the necessary documents and money to get to campus. (continued on
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(continued from page 1)
The NSFAS’ administrative failures are undermining the scheme’s aim to empower poor and working class youth through the gift of education. However, Students are objecting to the high Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amounts allocated by NSFAS. EFCs are calculated based on the family’s annual income. The student’s family is expected to contribute the calculated amount by a stipulated date. However, many students ﬁnd themselves on the verge of ﬁnancial exclusion due to their families not being able raise funds for the EFC. Being o�ered ﬁnancial assistance does not prevent students from being ﬁltered out. Whilst NSFAS helps many ﬁnancially limited students
access what would otherwise be an inaccessible tertiary education, the funding scheme does not, by any means, eliminate the elements of exclusivity and ﬁnancial status that are linked to academic success.
NSFAS helps many financially limited students access what would otherwise be an inaccessible tertiary education The late pay out of textbook allowances is another source of conﬂict. A textbook costs on average between R400 to R1000. Having to wait well after lectures start for NSFAS to pay out book allowances,
In this Issue many students face starting the academic year with uncertainty and fears of falling behind. Kaya has been going through a family medical crisis which resulted in her family having to use the little money they had to pay hospital bills and could not pay her 2016 EFC. The student explains “the money that the family earns does not just go towards me but also, goes to the other members in the family, and to household necessities such as food, clothes and water.” A Financial Aid o�cial is quoted as saying “students need to read what is sent to them. Read the announcements, read all the emails. Be sure about everything. People can make mistakes, but what NSFAS writes and sends out will not misinform students.”
First years lose sleep over residence crisis
UCT’s accommodation crisis hits hard for many first years by Thandizo Chigona
haos has engulfed the university community in the wake of the accommodation crisis. The situation has struck hard with several ﬁrst years not being allocated a place in residence. The announcement came at extremely short notice for these out-of-town students, leaving most in a state of confusion and uncertainty about their future at UCT as the ﬁrst days of the academic year loomed closer.
Leaving most in a state of confusion and uncertainty about their future at UCT Earlier this year, the university spokesperson stated that the university only held a capacity to house 6 700 students and was in need of an extra 2 000 beds. “We are also aware that many students who are on the waiting list may be making alternative housing arrangements‚” the o�ce claimed in an interview with Business Day newspaper earlier this year.
Right: Accomodation uncertainty can be a costly excercise Image : Cara Spall
The university has attempted to address the shortfall by appealing to Southern Suburbs residents - particularly those living between Claremont and Observatory - to open their doors to these students. However, the university has not speciﬁed how long exactly they expect those o�ering their rooms to host students. The university further requested that those willing to accommodate students keep rates to what it considers reasonable (from between R3 000 to R4 000) and waiver any deposits. This may come as little to no relief to those currently on NSFAS as it is likely their funding will not cover for such accommodation. It should also be considered that such students already bear the burden of other vital expenses such as food which may not be covered by ﬁnancial aids if they are in alternative accommodation. Many students feel that this crisis is mainly due to UCT’s poor organisation. Some currently living in
residence claim that there are a few open spaces left in their residences. Although these may not be near to what is required to resolve the housing crisis, it would do well to alleviate
Many students feel that this crisis is mainly due to UCT’s poor organisation the plight of a few. Another concern is that local residents who have no issue commuting to and from campus have been granted places over those more deserving of accommodation. Those that have been considered more needing are students currently on ﬁnancial aids or from outside of Cape Town. At the same time, opposing voices have expressed that students must not be under the illusion that their places in residence are necessarily set in stone and that the university holds the right to waiver its o�er to an individual.
Spur, people with a taste for racism
Anti-Semitism,anti-choice and anarchy at Plaza Week
Should work produced by black people be enjoyed by white people? Is it inlinewithourdemocratic society?
Are you new in Cape Town and in need of a safe and affordable way to explore the Mother City?
The First Year Experience
The Back Page
ICTS laptop Relief
CT’s Information and Communication Technology Services have stunned the community by providing 800 first years with free laptops. The project, initiated in 2013, aimed to help new students embrace technology and encourage innovative solutions for projects. As South Africa increases
Laptops are a vital part in connecting students to necessary information its online connectivity with fibre optic being rolled out, laptops are a vital part in connecting students to necessary information. Many students cannot afford laptops and are often restricted to the computer labs dotted around campus.
What this initiative does is allow students greater working flexibility. With essential software programs already installed, the first years were taught how to protect their laptops with strong passwords and safety tips. The Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Fund largely funded the project with the hopes of building “graduate attributes” in students. Many students often feel out of place in lectures when some of their peers have the newest MacBook or iPad to take notes on but now they are able to fit in. The issue of being left behind academically because of one’s finances is one being tackled by this project which allows for students to be able to work on their own terms. It was a vital issue in last year’s blended learning attempts where many students were simply not able to work due to a lack of technology and Wi-Fi.
Patience Mpofu On Tuesday, 7 February, the University of Cape Town’s acting Vice-Chancellor, Francis Peterson, announced that the sta� wage increase negotiations with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), the Employees Union (EU) and the Academics Union
Staff were unilaterally offered a below-inﬂation wage increase of only 6% for 2017 (AU) has reached a deadlock. The three unions are in a deadlock with management because sta� were unilaterally o�ered a below-inﬂation wage increase of 6% for 2017. He said that the unions have rejected UCT’s o�er of a 6%
salary increase, and two of the unions have declared a dispute with the university. He further stated that management o�ered the salary increase of 6% because of the university’s current ﬁnancial circumstances. “Although management is going ahead with the implementation of the increase, it remains committed to continued negotiations with the unions,” said Peterson. However, the EU and AU told News24 that UCT refused to negotiate as per the recognition agreements with each union and instead provided them with a ﬁnal, non-negotiable o�er in response to their demands. “Management has sent a clear message that it is no longer honoring this agreement of engagement with the EU. We have met with the AU and intend to take the case forward to the CCMA,” said the EU.
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Deadlock increases staff tensions
Image bty Cara Spall
Anti-Semitism, anti-choice and anarchy at Plaza
embers of Black First Land First (BLF), were caught on tape launching an anti-Semitic attack on a Jewish student during Plaza Week with statements such as “Hitler should have killed all of you.”
Refusing to engage with the Jewish student, the BLF members became more aggressive and shouted “Hitler should have killed all of you, you thieves” On the March 8 2017, a South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) member was approached by two self-identiﬁed members of BLF who accosted him for “stealing land from the Palestinians” and “killing Palestinians”. Refusing to engage with
the Jewish student, the BLF members became more aggressive and shouted “Hitler should have killed all of you, you thieves.” When asked about why they approached the student, the BLF members stated that it was because his shirt read “Jewish”. The BLF spokesperson emphasised that “the ideas of this person must not be taken as the ideas of the whole BLF” and that their constitution will be relooked at to deal with the matter. BLF initially denied knowledge of the incident but were presented with the evidence recorded by the student on tape, video and in photos. In the interview, BLF categorically condemned anti-Semitism and stated that the matter will be dealt with internally. This is not the first tension involving the newly formed BLF. On the 9th of March 2017, tempers flared when BLF members clashed with UCT Students for Life over reproductive health and
land. Female members of BLF approached UCT Students for Life’s stand and initiated a debate about the Pro-Life movement and whether the society should be allowed to exist at UCT. The discussion became heated as several
Black students managing the stall were asked “if the Whites had given them land” and rebuked for “working with Whites.” BLF justiﬁed that it is a valid question to ask because of how critical the land issue is in South Africa.
A picture of UCT’s plaza week, where the incident took place Image by: Thapelo Masebe
other BLF members arrived to support their comrades.
The situation erupted once BLF began dismantling
the Pro-Life stand and occupying the space, calling for the removal of the “violent space”. Acting upon CPS’ advice, the stall managers packed up and left. Wandile Mhlongo, Chairperson of UCT Students for Life, stated that the incident “has infringed on our own rights to run a legitimate student society.” The story then has an interesting development. A box containing Pro-Life material was allegedly stolen from plaza during the incident and UCT Students for Life are adamant that BLF took it. They have rejected BLF’s profession of innocence as “while they [BLF] deny stealing the box, they were able to accurately describe what was in the missing box and so that rather makes the denial improbable”. Witnesses were not able to confirm whether BLF had taken the box. BLF states that “it is nothing but gossip based on nonsense.”
@VarsityNews |28 March 2017|V76 E1|Page 4
EDITORIAL Go big, or go home
29,85% The percentage UCT needs to increase residence placements by, to keep up with the demand.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ashley Jane Seymour email@example.com DEPUTY EDITOR Zanele Kabane editorialvarsitynewspaper. co.za MANAGING EDITOR Thando Ndita firstname.lastname@example.org COPY EDITOR Daniela Savoia copyed@varsitynewspaper. co.za ONLINE EDITOR Zoe Postman email@example.com
43% Ashley Seymour By now, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve made a ‘few’ changes to VARSITY’s style this year. Not only has the look of the content changed from previous editions, but so
The game of media production is changing: content is quickly moving into the online space. has the editorial approach. I have an amazing team, and they have been working non-stop to ensure that you’re given relevant, informative news, delivered in formats that suit your needs. We’re still firm in the commitment I made to you in
my editorial last year, that we will work tirelessly to provide you with relevant on-theground student journalism. The game of media production is changing: content is quickly moving into the online space. We want to keep up with this too. Expect to see regular videos and participation on social media. On Friday evening (31st ofMarch), we’re launching our new website, and it would be great to see you at The Great Wizoo to celebrate this development with us. I really hope you enjoy this edition and our new online features, as much as we have enjoyed working together to produce them. Feedback is always appreciated as we continue to grow as a team, and as the foremost provider of student journalism at UCT.
The increase in robbery with aggravated circumstances in Rondebosch from 2015 to 2016.
CONTRIBUTORS & SUBEDITORS Claudia Harrison, Forrest Schafer, Dasmi Maharaj, Lauren Ryley, Gogontle Mosia, Mariam Nash, Athule Pikela, Ntombi Khluu
STAFF WRITERS Ntombi Khlulu, Nonkululeko Gwangqa, Shelby Labuschange, Nwabisa Mlandu, Nolitha Ngmalana & Mikhil Valjee firstname.lastname@example.org
The proportion of UCT students who voted in the 2016 SRC elections.
NEWS Patience Mpofu & Catherine Heron news@varsitynewspaper. co.za
OPINIONS Jarita Kassen & Jemima Lewin email@example.com
SPORTS Catherine Fulton and Erica Mare firstname.lastname@example.org
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nicole Arends creativedirector@ varsitynewspaper.co.za
WEB EDITOR Gerald Balekaki email@example.com
ONLINE CHIEF SUBBER Katherine Harris
FEATURES KudziManase&MegonVenter features@ varsitynewspaper.co.za
IMAGES Thapelo Masebe & Cara Spall images@varsitynewspaper. co.za
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERS Caira Blignaut & Mpho Mojela socialmedia@ varsitynewspaper.co.za
ONLINE CONTENT EDITOR Sue Nyamjoh online@varsitynewspaper. co.za ONLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT Tamutswa onlinenews@ varsitynewspaper.co.za
ONLINE OPINIONS CORRESPONDENT Adam Klienshmidt firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE FEATURES CORRESPONDENT Saara Molwana onlinefeatures@ varsitynewspaper.co.za FINANCE MANAGER Jennifer Yuan email@example.com
HR MANAGER Chante-Leigh Cloete & Anne Fulton firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING MANAGER Papama Nyati ads@varsitynewspaper. co.za
OPERATIONS MANAGER Micky Pillay operations@ varsitynewspaper.co.za
@VarsityNews |28 March 2017|V76 E1|Page 5 1.Retro-style image of a young Black man Tash Toefy (tashtoefy) 2. Group of friends overlooking the sunset from the poolKyle Kingsley Green (@_kyle. kingsley)
3. Students running at the Golden Key Charity run Daniela Savoia (daniisavoia) 4. Children dancing Chelsea Tobias (@wanderlove._) 5.. Western Cape Vista Jian-Yi Song @jianlovespanda-
forevs 6. Members of the VARSITY collective walking on the beach during team building Thapelo Masebe (@thapelo_gv72) 7. Noelle van Biljorn @include_a_sunďŹ‚owe 1.
This Week in Pictures
in Partnership with Photosoc Instagram: uct_ photosoc 5.
@VarsityNews |28 March 2017|V76 E1|Page 6
Image courtesy of : @hatecopy
An account on Twitter from someone who is Twitterfamous (or well-known on Twitter). Thinking of starting a Twitter account? Ever wondered about what it means to be Twitter-famous? This one is for you! by Anjali Koovergee
’m Anjali, a medical student with a growing Twitter account. It’s not something students should put much effort into, right? Here’s why I think we should. I’ll start off by saying something that I mention quite frequently: I am not really an influential person. I’m sure that doesn’t need to be said, since you’re reading this article and are
Yes, I have quite a few followers on Twitter; but I am in every way the most normal person you will meet, social awkwardness and bad jokes included probably wondering who on earth I am. I’m a third-year medical student at UCT who runs a fairly well-known (amongst the younger Cape Town community) Twitter account. In my case, I suppose one should differentiate between social media fame and real-life fame. Yes, I have quite a few
Spur, people with a taste for racism Buhle Khumalo
followers on Twitter; but I am in every way the most normal person you will meet, social awkwardness and bad jokes included. Even though I now have more than 10 000 followers, which admittedly is a relatively large number; I do not consider myself to be “Twitter-famous”. I feel quite awkward when people address me as someone who is “Twitter-famous” because it really hasn’t changed anything about me or my life. I will hopefully be a doctor one day and despite opportunities to utilise my account for advertising and other money-making prospects, I doubt that it could have any direct benefit on my profession. I was told I need to talk about my Twitter account, so I shall. I tend to search for a joke in everything I say or hear, usually in the form of a pun. People around me seldom find me funny and unfortunately fail to appreciate the mere genius that is my humorous mind. The reason I created a Twitter account was to tweet these puns so that more people could see how funny I am (or
try to be). And luckily, I’ve received a positive response to this day. Over time I have built my Twitter following and continued to create tweets which are designed to make people laugh (or smile), since that is what makes me happy. Personally, I feel that I have gained more from the positive, reaffirming individual interactions with my followers, when compared to becoming well-known on Twitter. This was after all the intention of my account.
The incident that took place at Glen Mall in Johannesburg on Sunday, 19 March has gone viral on social media. Many people were infuriated at what they saw in the video: a white man berating a black woman for his child being slapped, allegedly, by hers in the play pen at the Spur. He could have let it go, kids fight each other all the time, but he decided to avenge himself on behalf of his child playing outside. What made matters worse was the fact that this incident happened just before Human Rights Day, a day on which many reflect on the atrocities
of apartheid, a wound for which many are struggling to heal. In the video we see the man and woman exchanging harsh words with one another, swearing in front of a group of children seated at the woman’s table. Another key question is whether it is correct for the parents to quarrel in front of their children. It does condemn the incident but is it necessary for children to be subjected to such behavior, especially when it becomes violent? Spur is one of the most successful restaurants and is particularly tailored to family outings. However, this inci-
Even though I now have more than 10 000 followers, which admittedly is a relatively large number; I do not consider myself to be “Twitter-famous”
from Twitter. I have learned a lot about social issues, such as the core of the Fees Must Fall movement. I have learned about current events and the implications thereof. I’ve opened my eyes to other religions, cultures and races. I could go on forever. You might think I’m exaggerating about how valuable something like Twitter could be. I can assure you that you would receive a similar response from many
I have gained more from the positive, reaffirming individual interactions with my followers, compared to becoming well-known on Twitter other active Twitter users, but the only way to find out, is to use it yourself. The most important thing to take note of is to be yourself, but remain open minded to views and beliefs that may differ from yours. I genuinely recommend using Twitter as a means of engaging with a wide range of people, to share and understand different opinions, and most importantly as a valuable source of quality memes. I hope to see you on there. Follow me (@Anjalaaay) if you feel like following someone who scatters bad puns and self-depreciating jokes throughout the TL. Image courtesy of: Anjali Koovergee
Twitter, in my opinion, is one of the most beneficial forms of social media available. The user is able to share information, seek opinions, explore different perspectives and overall increase their general knowledge – all benefits I have received dent, showed inefficient and overall poor management. Even though the footage was two minutes long, there was still “dololo” (no) appearance from the manager! The safety of the woman, or that of those
This incident, showed inefficient and overall poor management around her, was not protected. The man shook the table and shouted at the woman, in an effort to intimidate her. Some would argue that it has to do
Who’s to blame behind a student’s relentless need to procastinate? Praise Adejimi “I’m not lazy, I’m just highly motivated to do nothing” would be every student’s justification for procrastinating and not completing their assignments. As students, we would prefer to contemplate on how many lectures we could possibly miss to still be able to write an exam, rather than which textbook to start reading in order to get a head start. I think it is safe to say, that no one can present a more substantial argument than a student justifying their case regarding when the appropriate time is to start an assignment. Their reasons roll off faster than a lawyer presenting concrete evidence to prove that
Do we avert the blame onto social media? their client is innocent! However can we only blame students for their constant procrastination? Take the meme, roll safe, for example, which encourages laziness in students and implores students to not make an effort in the first place with captions such as, “if you’re already late, take your time, you can’t be late twice.” Therefore, do we avert the blame onto social media because of our laziness or should we, as students, hold ourselves accountable for our lack of interest and procrastination? with racism linked to white people seeing black people as less human, or that some are still stuck in the past. This incident may have ruined the Spur’s reputation, however their responses to the questions put forward on social media is somewhat redeeming. The response was “the man in that video is not welcomed at any Spur restaurant nationally… we are very disappointed that children were exposed to this type of behavior and would like to assure the public and our loyal customers that we will not be taking this incident lightly.’’
@VarsityNews |28 March 2017|V76 E1|Page 7
deas are contagious. In both a positive and negative sense, they have a diffusive capability that cannot be contained or adequately managed. Ideas cannot flourish or be limited by any exclusionary measures. The recent talk at UCT by Professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Professor Xolela Mangcu, presented a complex but no less serious threat to our constitutional democracy and civil liberties. During this event, a black student who is member of the Pan African Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) walked onto the stage and made a request for all white students to leave the event. Prof. Mangcu promptly declined the request out of respect for wa Thiong’o and to preserve the order of the event, as reported in The Daily Vox.This situation illustrates the divisions between identities in South Africa. There are still colonial elements to the cultures and practices
there needs to be a consensus that the de-colonial process is going to be a generational and fundamentally cooperative effort. in our present society and in order to dismantle its’ socio-economic presence, there needs to be a consensus
Ideas for All
Should work produced by black people be enjoyed by white people? This is a question of whether it is effective and in line with our democratic society asks Filipp Stolliarov
Image: Aaliyah Vayez
that the de-colonial process is going to be a generational and fundamentally co-operative effort. South Africa’s history is responsible for explaining why our societies and cultures are so divided against each other. However, amidst this contemporary chaotic landscape, the promise of our democratic constitution gives us hope. It reminds us that we need to defend and uphold the rights of each and every citizen. ; Tthat our collective responsibility and national
focus should be to ensure the implementation of freedom, equality of opportunity and co-operative progress.
There are legitimate cultural and social concerns of interracial participation in de-colonialist talks We need to accept that in our democratic society, the freedom to participate in
social, political and any other forms of expression is non-negotiable, it is a vital hallmark of our post-Apartheid national identity. There are legitimate cultural and social concerns of inter-racial participation in de-colonialist talks. However, to exclude or prevent any member of society from being able to participate and engage with any ideas, is a self-defeating and unconstitutional endeavour, as witnessed at the talk. It must however be said that some citizens may have
priority in engaging with ideas around identity and decolonisation. Especially those with experiences and perspectives to share where historically they have not been able to. Yet, this must not come at the sacrifice of collective and free participation. If we venture down the path of preventing and excluding any person from being willingly exposed to ideas or other experiences, we undo what our constitution aims to preserve for the good of all South Africans.
Spotlight QUESTION: Are you salty about UCT only starting in March 2017?
1st Year B.A. Art History,
“Yes, because now the holiday is shorter. And I have a life. ”
“March is closer to autumn and I was looking forward to wearing shorts for a longer time. Otherwise, it’s okay.”
2nd Year B.A. Law
2nd Year B.A. English and Film and Media
2nd Year B.A. Law and
“Yes, I am.”
“On the plus side, it gave me more holiday, but on the negative side, I feel like I’m not in the mind-set to come back to school work. I’m just generally feeling lost but can’t really complain about a long holiday.”
1st Year B.A.
Check out some of the hottest looks from around campus and get to know our fashionistas for this week! Degree: BSc Computer Science and Business Computing 3rd Year Inspiration: Rihanna because she just doesn’t care what other people think and because it’s Rihanna, obviously. Shop:My mom makes 90% of my clothes but other than that I buy basics at Topshop and Zara, etc. I also go to check out thrift stores whenever I can. Outﬁt: My mom made this top and these pants/culottes are from Zara. I’m also wearing Fila socks and Vans. Advice: Wear whatever you want and discover what you like; don’t just wear what you see everyone else wearing, please.
i d e l a N
e i g g a M
Degree: BSc Computer Science and Business Computing (third year) Inspiration:I don’t really have one. I get my inspiration from everyday people, fabrics and random objects. Shops: At vintage shops, Top Shop, Zara, H&M (menswear) and Almost Famous. I tend to look for unique clothes and items that stand out. Outﬁt: My top is from Factorie, pants from Cotton On and my glasses from Third Eye wear Advice: Everything goes at UCT so just have fun with it.
Degree: Studying a BA in Film and Media (ﬁnal year) Inspiration: Rihanna, Margaret Zhan and Bella Hadid are probably my biggest fashion inspirations. I love their mixture of street wear and high fashion. Shops: I mainly shop at second hand stores, Adidas original, Factorie and Topshop. These shops have a great mixture of styles which correlate with my personal style. Outﬁt: I am wearing my favourite sneakers which are the burgundy Fenty creepers, my Gucci-like Topshop jeans and an Adidas original crop top. Advice: Freshers should try to stick to their personal style and not try to conform to the current trend because trends come and go; take the trend but incorporate yourself into it.
Photos by: Chelsea Tobias Desgined and Organised By: Shelby Labuschange and Ntombi Khulu Compiled by: Ashley Seymour
a i c u L
UCT Autumn Lookbook
@VarsityNews |28 March 2017|V76 E1|Page 10
The long read: Can we draw a parallel between Donald Trump’s “Travel Ban” and the acts of Xenophobia and Afrophobia? writes Jemima Lewin
Exploitations of differences create fear
ith the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States of America, people all over the world held their breath. The fears of many came to fruition when he announced his ‘travel ban’, which bans travelling from six majority Muslim countries to the United States. Many South Africans were appalled at this and called for justice for these innocent people. It seemed we had forgotten about the foreigners in our own country who continuously face adversities at the hands of fellow South Africans as well as our laws. While the media has popularized the term Xenophobia, what is actually happening in South Africa is Afrophobia. Xenophobia refers to the fear of the other. Afrophobia, however, is more specific. If foreigners in general were the targets, those who are actively against foreigners would be attacking stores
owned by Americans, German and Australians. However, it remains only non-South African yet African foreigners who are the unfortunate targets. I could not help but notice the parallel between what is
Creating fear in a person gives you full control over them happening in Trump’s America and the tension in some parts of South Africa, especially the incidents that occurred in Pretoria last month. In February this year, Afrophobia reared its hateful head once again in the townships of Mamelodi and Atteridgeville as residents took to the streets to ‘protest’ against the Zimbabwean, Pakistani and Nigerian presence in the two areas. Their reason? They feel that these migrants are stealing ‘their’ jobs and committing crimes.
Image courtesy of: www.accord.org.za
This irrational hatred and fear that many South Africans feel toward these foreigners is so similar to the situation in America. While it might not be a case of Afrophobia in the United States, its components are similar. Trump’s travel ban encourages this fear, by banning certain countries it implies that these countries and its people are to be feared. After announcing the ban, a surge of violent acts and speech targeted at Muslim Americans spiked. In South Africa, we have people in power contributing to the violence by making statements that are extremely harmful. Herman Mashaba, the mayor of Johannesburg, stated that many of these undocumented immigrants were in fact criminals. Not long after he said that, residents of Rosettenville set fire to at least twelve houses they claimed belonged to drug dealers. These homes were
all occupied by foreigners. Similarly, Trump’s comments have so much influence on his followers. Our leaders have a stronger impact on the poorer parts of our country, many have a blind allegiance
Our leaders have a stronger impact on the poorer parts of our country, many have a blind allegiance towards them towards them and so their words and attitudes become theirs. Unfortunately these citizens often take matters into their own hands. The government’s constant failure to create job opportunities for South African citizens has given rise to these attacks against our fellow Africans. President Zuma spoke on the February
No more long walks to freedom, please
here is a moral imperative to make a positive effort to ensure that this university becomes more inclusive. In a Constitutional Law lecture earlier this month, a student posed a question to former Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke, who had come to speak about the nuances of drafting the Constitution back in the early to mid 90’s, regarding the pain that students are subjected to at this university in their daily lives. In response (I am admitting room for fallacy here as this is a rough paraphrase which aims to get to the heart of his response), the Deputy Chief Justice said that we should focus on finding the solution rather than the pain itself. The pain is there, and we are aware of it, and in
some part, we have acknowledged it and having noted the pain we need to find solutions. We need to make a collective effort to find practical solutions towards ending the injustice.
Unite to discuss the challenges that womxn face. For two and a half hours a small group of Tugwell womxn not only spoke about
The pain is there, and we are aware of it, and in some part, we have acknowledged it and having noted the pain we need to find solutions. One such effort is being made by Brandy Matsila, the current Mentorship and Wellness Sub warden of Tugwell Hall. On Human Rights Day, while many of us enjoyed the benefits of a day without class Brandy Matsila facilitated an event in collaboration with Africa
Image by: Cara Spall
their experiences of sexual assault, rape, misogyny, patriarchy and gendered
forms of violence at the University and in society, but also discussed practical methods to tackle the issues. Brandy Matsila raised the touching point that patriarchy and rape culture in residences is only confronted near the end of the school year during the infamous House Comm interrogations. She argued that there is no sense of urgency, and throughout the year many womxn in UCT residences suffer the plight of the patriarchal nature of the residence culture. On the daily, the fundamental human rights of women are intruded and violated. Open discussion is the impetus to social change and I believe that the initiative, facilitated by Brandy in collaboration with Africa Unite, is a step in the right direction. A step to concrete, affecting and positive change.
incidents with the following statement. “We are not a xenophobic country,” “At the same time, we cannot close our eyes to the concerns of the communities that most of the crimes such as drug dealing, prostitution and human trafficking are allegedly perpetuated by foreign nationals.” Okay, Jacob, way to handle the situation. These false differences have been created and maintained by those in society who really hold all the power. If we look through our constructed history we would see that Afrophobia is an obvious culmination. Creating fear in a person gives you full control over them. Donald Trump knows this and uses this to further his agenda. Whether our government is purposefully doing the same things, I cannot say, but is it churning out the same results? Without a doubt, the answer is yes.
DISCLAIMER The VARSITY Opinions section is a vehicle for expression on any topic by members of the university community or other interested parties. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY Collective or its advertisers Letters to the editor need to be kept to a maximum of 300 words and can be sent to opinions@ varsitynewspaper. co.za
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remember my first year at UCT like it was yesterday. That strange feeling of awe and fear that I felt as I made my way up Jammie stairs. I was left breathless by the campus’s architecture and proximity to the mountain and, to some extent, my newfound proximity to whiteness. Similarly to you, UCT was my dream university. On arrival, I believed that the world was indeed my oyster but at the same time grappling with feelings of inadequacy both in the classroom and in my social life. I felt like everybody was smarter, richer and more prepared than me. I understand that many of you might be dealing with these kinds of feelings as well and I hope this article somewhat eases your anxieties when it comes to this.
First year experience
Some advice for managing the pressures and possibilities of your first year at UCT. Written by Naledi Mbaba Change is inevitable, especially in the university context, and with this your degree choice might be too. Often, change is accompanied by growth, and growth is always good… a bit sore, but good.
thing about university is that it is more conducive to progressive thinking than high school, because of a variety of people all having to co-exist on one campus. Not to say that it is some utopia
society, to remind you that you are not the only one.
Learn and unlearn
First year is not only academically daunting, but socially and politically Image by: Cara Spall
I had dreams of finishing my degree in record time and landing a top job in some prestigious engineering firm. Fast forward two years later, I am an engineering drop out pursuing another career. The purpose of this is not to scare you but to notify you that things do change. I have had to live through failed courses and still find a way to centre myself without losing ambition. Even though you may have come to university with your life trajectory set, be flexible and allow yourself the space and time for growth.
It is okay to be queer, poor, black or whoever you are for that matter. The cool
where you can be who you are without having to deal with any discrimination but there will always be an interesting group or movement, or
Annual Tennis Party
First years beware, the Tennis Party promises to be a night you won’t forget (if you remember it, that is). Where: UCT tennis club When: 19:00 - 24:00
Silent Disco at Beerhouse Entrance is R50. There are three channels to choose from and many more varieties of beer. Where: Beerhouse, Long Street When: 21:00 until late
Creative Spaces: Website Launch
VARSITY’s first event of the year. The official launch party for our new website and new design. The Great Wizoo, Rondebosch. Free wine and speakers as well as an open mic. Where: The Great Wizoo, Rondebosch When: 18:30
31march- 2 april Cape Town Jazz Festival Tickets are fairly pricey but there are special small performances at only R30 a pop. Where: Venues vary When: 31 March - 2 April
5april VARSITY Writer’s Workshop
Come and refine your writing skills, free of charge. Where: TBA When: Meridian
VARSITY Edition 2
VARSITY Newspaper Edition 2 comes out. Pick one up on campus
Attendees are encouraged to leave their genders at home for a night of fun in a safe space. Where: The Work Hub, Woodstock When: 17:00
It is easy to get consumed by everything around you, especially to those who have lived with their parents since forever, as they are still new to the idea of having too much freedom. However, you do need to remember why you came here. University is not easy. For some of you, studying might be an extra challenge as a result of your historical or current circumstances, and if this is the case please do seek help. This help may come from student wellness, your faculty or any one of the resources provided to you on campus, but you do not have to struggle alone. Lastly, I wish all you first years a peaceful and thought provoking academic career. Always remember that you are not alone, and that many of the people who seemed to have it all together now, have probably experienced what you’ve been through.
Two Weeks Tonight This is the release of a fourth instalment in an anthology of African short stories. Where: The Book Lounge, Buitenkant Street When: 17:30
Bairre/Shortstraw at Kirstenbosch Under R100 for under 21’s. Last ever Al Bairre concert before this UCT gem parts ways. The Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts are also coming to a close for the season. Where: Kirstenbosch Gardens When: 17:15 - 19:00
too. At first your textbooks may appear to be the only source of knowledge, but I am here to tell you that
there’s far more out there. Engage with the various interest groups on campus until you find one that you resonate with. Go to the library and take out books. As many of you might know, UCT is notorious for having a very active political scene and I urge those of you who can to engage with this.
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Exploring Cape Town Are you new in Cape Town and in need of a safe and affordable way to explore the Mother City? Consider signing up with one of the many student societies offered by the university. Written by Ntombi Khulu, Nonkululeko Gwangqa and Kudzi Manase
f the inevitable sign up fees have you thinking twice about joining, consider that most socieities often provide off-campus events that are both fun and interactive. Spoilt for choice, student societies cover a wide
Largely managed by UCT veterans, societies provide a safe atmosphere with the added benefit of likeminded individuals to help explore our beautiful city range of interests including academic, social, religious, cultural and political. One of my first trips to Long Street was with the UCT Film Society for a
competition the society had presented to its members. My first time hiking up Lion’s Head was also through a society, and my first time at a street party in the Cape Town CBD was for a RAG event. Largely managed by UCT veterans, societies provide a safe atmosphere with the added benefit of likeminded individuals to help explore our beautiful city. Keep in mind that subscription fees average around R300 for the year. If for nothing else, be economical and get valueforyourmoney. Events are usually framed to inform the interests that the society is focused on. Almost all UCT student societies have an online presence and can be found
Unwind from the week’s lectures on
social media. There are a large number of societies here at UCT that cover a broad spectrum of interests for all of its unique students. Below are descriptions of a few
There are a large number of societies here at UCT that cover a broad spectrum of interests for all of its unique students societies you can join, whether you’re interested in sticking to what you like or if you’re keen to try out new hobbies.
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1. Wine and Cultural Society This popular society is perfect for you if you enjoy good wine with good people.. The society holds wine tasting events every Friday evening where you have the opportunity to learn about the different flavours and prepara-
Whether surfing is your passion or if you’re just keen to freshen up with funloving people in the deep blue Atlantic, this is the perfect club for you tions of each wine, as well as unwind from the week’s lectures. 2. UCT Entrepreneurs Society For those who have any unique or neverbefore-seen ideas for any product or service, the Entrepreneurs society is a great platform to showcase your ideas and samples as well as learn great entrepeneurial tips and tricks. 3. UCT Radio Becoming a radio DJ or working off-air managing social media pages, for example, are some of the things you can dive into at UCT Radio. Senior members train the newcomers in on-air and off-air work and you get the chance to meet with local celebrities, as well as work at events UCT Radio is a part of on and off campus. 4. C o n n o i s s e u r Club The Connoisseur Club is a literary society where students and staff are welcome to join in on discussions around film and literature. The club also holds movie nights and organizes trips to First Thursdays! This society opens up your creative eye, which positively contrib-
utes to your academic and social life. 5. UCT Mountain and Ski Club (MSC) The MSC is a vibrant and active club which gives you the opportunity to spend time outdoors with a fun group of people while keeping fit. The club offers hiking trips to places like the Woodstock Caves and offers presentations on the courageous efforts of people who have climbed mountains like Mount Kenya. 6. UCT Photographic Society Whether you’re a beginner, an expert or just love to capture the workings of the world, the UCT Photographic Society gives you the opportunity to attend camera training sessions, capture moments at Ikeys events and access the society’s equipment library. 7. Spirituality, Philosophy and Yoga Society (SPYS) SPYS opens up your mind’s eye and offers teachings into the art of yoga and
Members are more than welcome to come through to their ‘cyphers’ or freestyle rap sessions on campus spirituality. They offer yoga sessions every week and Lunchtime Talks during meridian, where food is provided - who doesn’t love free food? 8. Hip Hop Society The Hip Hop Society is a large and lively society centred on hip hop culture. Members are more than welcome to come through to their ‘cyphers’ or freestyle rap sessions on campus and attend their hip hop dance classes where you can show them what you’ve got. 9. UCT Surf Club Catch some waves with the UCT Surf Club. whether surfing is your passion or if you’re just keen to freshen up with fun-loving people in the deep blue Atlantic, this
club is perfect for you. The club also offers a chance for you to participate in competitions or even photograph awesome tricks for their social media pages. 10. U C T Investment Society (InvestSoc) UCT’s InvestSoc gives members the opportunity to broaden the knowledge they’ve obtained or will obtain throughout their tertiary education and provides insight on business instinct and managing economic finances with events like gala functions and talks. If you missed the O-week sign up period you can go to the Societies’ DSA Helpdesk on Level 5, Steve Biko Students’ Union building, for more information on signing up. First Image by: Daniel Grebe Article Images: Daniela Savoia
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Hit the ground running!
Image by: Thapelo Masebe
A quick guide to succeeding in your ﬁrst year by Jessica Bothma Hello there, ﬁrst years! Classes have started for 2017 and you are learning to balance heavy workloads and brand new settings, while trying to navigate around campus. During Orientation week your leaders and the academic sta� lectured you on the importance of starting your work in good time and not leaving things to the last minute. They
also told you about asking for help from lecturers, tutors, mentors, friendly library sta� and Careers Services. As a postgraduate student, I have experienced three years of UCT life where I went from a low average to succeeding with a class medal in my second year. I learnt from my mistakes and succeeded and now I am here to give you some solid
advice and guidelines from a student’s perspective. Firstly, I want to emphasise that although exam time begins after twelve weeks of lectures and it feels like there’s plenty of time, it’s not as much time as you might think. I made the mistake of only creating notes in the eighth week of lectures and doing the assigned readings two weeks
Item/Service: Self-Catering Cottage in Rondebosch Description: Splendid Garden Cottage, very comfortable: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Near Jammie Shuttle. Fully furnished, ideal for lecturer and family. Available from 3rd July, long lease or short. (See: www.sunnybrae.co.za.) Seller: Renata Contact details: 021 685 1297 | email@example.com
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after they were supposed to be read. When exams came, I was rushed, stressed and got an average of 50% for the semester. In my second year, I decided to change my game plan and hit the ground running in my ﬁrst week back. As a result I came ﬁrst in my class with 83%. So, how can you, as a ﬁrst year, make the best of the time you have? The top tips I can share are: 1. Have a calendar or monthly planner and write in all your due dates for your assignments and other important dates. 2. Invest in notebooks or exam pads for each course. Make detailed notes for lectures and readings - it will feel tiring but persevere, it will be worth it during exam preparation. 3. As soon as you know your essay/ assignment topic, create a mind-map or breakdown of what needs to be answered and how you will do it. You can always ask your tutor or lecturer whether you understood the
Learning to balance heavy workloads and brand new settings while trying to navigate around around campus question correctly. Make use of the Writing Centre (Level 6 of Steve Biko Building) for
help with essay writing and format - they have great sta� to help you step-by-step. You will need to make an appointment online from their website ahead of time.
University is not the same as high school, so there will be times when you feel overwhelmed and tired. It’s normal. You are allowed to ask for help 4. Set aside quiet time in the library or at home to read over your notes after classes so that the information can be processed nicely. It is also a great time to look up terms and identify gaps in knowledge on your notes. 5. There are many mentors who have set aside a few hours a week for meeting with ﬁrst years to provide an ear and advice - don’t be shy to admit when you need this. University is not the same as high school, so there will be times when you feel overwhelmed and tired. It’s normal. You are allowed to ask for help. The stigma of being seen as “weak” if you ask for help is harmful. Please do not fall into the trap of struggling on your own. I hope that you will take this solid advice and that it helps you to succeed this year!
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Bicycles and bails
Cyclists crashed and blown about in this year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour by Liam Swanson
xercise ia often overlooked as a major tool for stress relief. In the frantic, chaotic-ﬁlled lives we live today, we often feel like we don’t have time to try de-stress ourselves. When we are stressed, exercise is the ﬁrst thing that will be dropped from our list of things to do, even though it shouldn’t be. When you are exercising, your body releases endorphins in the bloodstream. The natural opiates (endorphins) interact with the receptors in the brain and, in turn, reduce your perception of pain. Not only do endorphins ﬁght stress, but they also trigger a feeling of euphoria, thus making you happy during and after exercise. Next time you’re feeling stressed, why not consult our wide range of fun and interesting exercise ideas below? There’s something for everyone. Some exercises you can do around the house when you are feeling stressed but need to do the house work: • Gardening • Sweeping • Mopping • Vacuuming • Cleaning the car Any of the above mentioned activities that increase your heart rate are great! Some exercises you can do on campus when feeling stressed in-between lectures: • Walk from North stop to South stop and back. • Walk down and up Jammie stairs – if you
feeling very adventurous, walk to middle! • Walk up the outside PD Hahn stairs, allows for fresh air as well. • Use the stairs instead of the lift. • Go exploring new places with your friends. Some exercises you can do over the weekend: • Visit Kirstenbosch Gardens (student discounts offered). • Go for a walk in the Newlands forest (preferably not alone). • Hike one of the Woodstock caves. • Grab a group of friends (make it social and safe) and walk from upper campus to Rhodes Memorial. • Have a walk along the Liesbeeck River trail. • Go for a jog around the Rondebosch Common. • If you need to work and you live on lower campus, walk the blue route to upper campus. For the slightly more athletic students: • The three peak challenge (Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill – you can contact the Mountain and Ski Club for more details). • The Mountain and Ski club o�er weekly hikes and outdoor events. • Join a new sport society an learn a new skill, while working off the stress simultaneously. Image by Cara Spall
he 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT), formally known as the Cape Argus, peaked massive excitement in UCT’s cycling club. Our club had managed to get seven of our riders from the Elite bunch involved, which are a group of professional cyclists. CTCT is a very unique race, in that it combines so many riders from across the world into one race. Friday night’s pasta and pizza, as well as the Saturday morning leg stretch, had both attracted many club riders eager to get in a last bit of preparation. At both events, the main topic was the weather. For the past week, all forecasts had predicted strong winds for Sunday. Nothing could have prepared us for what it was like standing in the start shoot at 06:00, being pummeled by the wind. Not only was the wind an
Image courtesy of: adventurejay.com
issue, but the route was shortened because of protests. Not long after the ﬁrst group set o� at 06:15, there was a crash due to the wind. Luckily, all the UCT riders were able to avoid getting caught up in the crashes, but it still made the ﬁrst few kilometers frantic as riders hustled for their position in the group. After racing only a few minutes, we were asked to stop along the M3 under UCT. Race organizers felt unsure of the safety of the event and had decided, along with marshals and respected riders, to continue the race while monitoring the wind further. Luckily the break in racing gave two of our riders, that were caught behind the early crashes, a chance to rejoin the group. Sadly, less than ﬁve minutes later, the race was discontinued.
With both the risks of the wind and being injured due to protesters, most of the Elite riders seemed to understand the decision taken by the race organizers. Of course, they were still disappointed about not getting to ﬁnish the race. For many people, this is their one race of the year, it’s something they plan for months in advance. Given the conditions, it was safe to say that cycling was not a good idea. Regardless of whether people were planning to race the route or just ride it socially, the decision made was the right one. For our team there is still much to look forward to. The year has only just begun, and there are lots of races still to come, and we are very excited to take part in them. We have an incredibly strong group of riders racing this year and look forward to putting together our best season yet!
THE BACK PAGE
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RESULTS Cricket (External) Won by 75 runs
The life of an Ikeys Cheerleader
Won by 2wkts Reserve B - Lgu 8
CTCC 2 Day
1st Division - Lgu 6
Montrose 2 Day
Reserve B - Lgu 4
Won by 5wkts Reserve F-Lgu 8 3E Lgu 11
United Lost by 49runs
Image by Jian Yi Song
Please forward any match results or fixtures to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’key’ unlocks his opportunities
he Ikey Tigers did not manage to finish their Varsity Cup campaign on a high note, having been beaten by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Monday, 13 March 2017. Vice-Captain, Suwi Chibale, claimed that they were disappointed with the loss but that they were outplayed.
Despite the loss, Chibale and management have restored their confidence in the newer, younger and highly formidable Ikey Cubs Despite the loss, Chibale and management have restored their confidence in the newer, younger and highly formidable Ikey Cubs. “We’ve made massive strides this year with the young side
we have; our team is a year more experienced than what we were in 2016.” Being an Ikey and student at UCT, Chibale feels honoured to be part of both the team and institution. “It’s a special place with special people; it’s more than just a rugby club,” he says. Chibale began his studies at UCT in 2013 and has formed part of the UCT First XV since 2014. As part of the team, Chibale has received great experiences through tours, tense matches and the company of his teammates. Chibale further emphasises how rugby has influenced his student career as it has taught him time management, balance and team work. He also mentions that the people and relationships he’s developed are invaluable. With promising youngsters on the rise, the Ikey Pride will most definitely aim for top honours in the season to come.
here are two teams rocking the navy and white uniforms on the Green Mile. The one takes the field during the match, and the other takes the stage at half-time.
Whilst improvising might be part of the job description, we still put in hard work to make the performance flawless This is what it’s like to be an Ikeys Cheerleader. “Ready? Okay!” First of all,
we don’t say that (what you’ll most likely hear from us is “5-6-7-8”). At a recent hockey match, we were seen – or rather heard – singing the lyrics of the song we were dancing to. This was a result of the music suddenly stopping halfway through the routine. Evidently, the show must go on! Whilst improvising might be part of the job description, we still put in hard work to make the performance flawless. For a Monday game, we have practice for three hours each day from Friday till Sunday. These practices consist of warm-ups and stretches, learning the new routine (which is more
challenging than it sounds) and repeating it, again, and again, and again. On game day you have to bring your A-game. It’s not just about the main routine; there are also other dances to recall. These are called the “side-lines” and we usually have to rely on long-term memory to remember them. The focus at practices is the new routine. Even after all these rehearsals, we expect surprises. You might have to swap places with someone last minute, or try to share one pair of pom-poms between two cheerleaders. But that’s alright, that’s okay, we always have fun anyway!
Image courtesy of: Suwi Chibale
FIXTURES Women’s Soccer (External) UCT ladies vs FC Tafelzucht ladies Goal Hunter’s ladies vs UCT ladies UCT Ladies Away Team: Heideveld Ladies
April 1, 3:00pm Kopano Astro August 1, 3:00pm Khayelitsha Stadium April 15, 3:00pm Kopano Astro