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Friday, 24 April 2020

Food parcels for vulnerable students

PLEDGE: Residence coordinators Emelda Petersen (MGR-1 Residence) and Tembisile Faniso (De Beers Residence)with MGR-1Resident Student Assistant, Chimusaro Khumbulani prepare food parcels for needy students. PLEDGE: Residence coordinators Emelda Petersen (MGR-1 Residence) and Tembisile Faniso (De Beers Residence)with MGR-1Resident Student Assistant, Chimusaro Khumbulani prepare food parcels for needy students.

The Department of Student Affairs has initiated a food parcel drive to support vulnerable CPUT students during the lockdown.

Deputy Dean of Students, Tulani Nkuntse said they have been working with the Central Student Representative Council in partnership with an NGO, Ithemba Labantu, and staff members to assist 420 identified students who are currently in residences and in need of food and basic essentials. “We have rolled out assistance for the students who have not received their allowances to [this] date, [and] students who are not receiving any form of bursary or NSFAS…and we were clear that this is for students who have no means to support themselves.” 

This initiative has been benefiting mainly the students on the Bellville Campus. Nkuntse said postgraduate students in Cape Town also started a fund to assist students residing in their residences who were identified as needing similar support. “This has also fast-tracked the university’s wider student support programme geared to support our struggling students; the groundwork has begun,” said Nkuntse.

He added that the university has already spent about R200 000 and that the initiative came at a time when the institution had begun looking at various ways on how to build a sustainable programme to support its struggling students. “We believe that this initiative will provide a good foundation for the programme to be implemented in the near future.”

This initiative also received a thumbs up from Vice-Chancellor Prof Chris Nhlapo, who said: “This is excellent beyond measure. This is what social justice and a caring university must do. Well done.” 

Nkuntse added that the university has a number of struggling students and support of this kind was crucial for ‘our’ university. “We are committed to ensuring that we support our students in all ways possible. Good nutrition results in good health and ultimately good academic performance.”

*The Dr Mzamo Jakavula Foundation and Adams Food Stall have also been assisting with cooked meals.

Written by Des