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MICHAL-MARÉ LINDEN AND MAXINE TWADDLE: UP will not make a decision on splitting residences this year. Instead, the proposal to make Olienhout, Inca and Jasmyn exclusively first-year residences, and Boekenhout, Asterhof and Lillium exclusively senior residences has been postponed for further discussion on the proposed model or an alternative model.

The decision to split the residences was initially announced on 26 June and was opposed by the university’s residences, who felt that they had not been properly consulted.

BOIPELO BOIKHUTSO: A 29-year-old police constable was injured in a shootout with three suspected hijackers in Hatfield on Sunday 13 July.

The three suspected hijackers, aged between 20 and 25, have been arrested, according to SAPS provincial spokesperson Noxolo Kweza.

Members of the Pretoria Flying Squad received a signal of a hijacked vehicle while they were patrolling in Silverton. Other police unit members also responded to the signal, which registered a stolen vehicle in Hatfield.

TEBOGO TSHWANE: UP is considering installing pharmaceutical vending machines which will allow students to access over-the-counter medication and other health items across all campuses.

“These machines will sell over-the-counter type products similar to what may be bought on the shelves of supermarkets. The machine will also offer some female products,” said Prof. Susan Adendorff, the director of the Department of Facilities Management. One such machine has been installed on the Prinshof campus on a trial basis.

On 18 July numerous departments at UP did their bit to better the lives of those in need by giving 67 minutes of their time for Mandela day.

The Department of Business Management in collaboration with a local small business H Brian Customs MAG RIM Repairs / Car Sales celebrated Mandela Day at the Child Welfare Tshwane centre in Eersterust. Both the department and H Brian Customs donated groceries, clothing and food to the centre’s children and adults. Hotdogs and juice were also prepared and handed out.

MAXINE TWADDLE: Students at the North-West University (NWU)’s Potchefstroom campus held the first protest in the campus’s history yesterday.

The protest formed part of the SalJyOpstaan campaign, which aims to fight for the continued use of Afrikaans on campus, transformation, and human rights. The campaign also seeks to eradicate the negative views of the Potchefstroom campus following media reports on residence traditions.

MAXINE TWADDLE: Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande allocated R8.8 billion to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in his 2014/2015 budget.

This is not much of an increase from the 2013/2014 R8.2 billion and concerns have been raised that the government is not doing enough to provide funding to students who cannot afford tertiary education.

Of the R8.8 billion, only R3.9 billion has been allocated to university loans and bursaries, with the remainder of the money going to further education and training bursaries (R2.1 billion), scarce skills bursaries, including Funza Lushaka (R2.4 billion).

MAXINE TWADDLE: The Centre for Human Rights, linked to UP’s Faculty of Law, has called for the South African government to exert pressure on its Swaziland counterpart to release UP alumni Thulani Maseko.

Maseko was convicted with contempt of court on 27 July. He has been sentenced to two years in prison. The prosecution had asked for the harshest possible sentence, which was three years in prison.

PORTIA KOBUE: Teecee Boley is new to Johannesburg and to Wits University. She arrived from Liberia six months ago and is still adjusting to her new surroundings and the local cuisine of South Africa. Portia Kobue helps Boley find traditional Liberian food in the city of gold.

Gathering up her greens in a fork, Tecee Boley’s face exudes a sense of contentment. This is her first Liberian meal since she arrived in South Africa in February.

LAMEEZ OMARJEE: A national minimum wage will not make a difference in inequality and poverty in South Africa, according to Ayabonga Cawe. Cawe was speaking at a policy dialogue hosted by Young Economists for Africa last night at the Wits  Origins Centre which focused on the need for a national minimum wage policy.

A “national minimum wage should be accompanied with other social protection measures,” explained the Rethink Africa chairperson. These include a social wage subsidised by government to provide free housing, free health care and free education. These measures would then affect savings, investments and consumption.

ANAZI ZOTE: A discussion on property rights and traditional leadership turned its attention to the impact of customary law on local communities and women in particular.

Hosted by Wiser at Wits University on Monday afternoon, the panel discussion was part of the Public Positions on History and Politics series.

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