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Monday, 12 October 2020

City of Cape Town aids students in need

DONATION: The donation has been welcomed by the Student Affairs Division. DONATION: The donation has been welcomed by the Student Affairs Division.

A donation by the City of Cape Town, including essential food items and hygiene products, will greatly benefit students in need.

The 30 boxes of food hampers and 30 women’s vanity bags will aid 60 students.

The food hampers include mealie meal, lentils, flour, oil, pilchards, tea bags, soap, peanut butter, milk and many other items while the vanity bags include sanitary towels and toiletries.

“The donation will really go a long way for the students that will benefit. Our aim as an institution and our role as the Student Affairs Division is to ensure that we remove life’s impediments, where possible, to enable students to concentrate on their academic and co-curricular pursuits. This is so that they can excel in their personal journey of overall success. This donation contributes towards achieving this,” said Tulani Nkuntse, Deputy Dean of Student Affairs.

The donation will benefit students who have been identified as needing assistance and do not receive any form of financial aid or belong to the so-called ‘missing middle’ with their parents struggling to meet the costs of their studies.

“This situation has become more acute during the lockdown period associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, as many of these students have come forward to declare their dire position of suffering from hunger, apparently as the pandemic has also had the effect of diminishing the capacity of their parents or guardians to provide for them.”

The Marketing and Communication Department acted as the liaison between the City of Cape Town and the Student Affairs Division.

“We are very grateful for the generosity and care the City of Cape Town has shown to our institution, in particular our students. We welcome and appreciate the support and partnerships. We are certainly looking forward to growing the partnership in other areas as well.”

Nkuntse said talks had already started on how the City of Town and CPUT can collaborate on a few programmes, one of which is to revive the vegetable garden situated on the Bellville campus.

“We are extremely excited about this initiative as it was a project initiated and solely run by our students under the Green Campus Initiative.”

The University has, on two previous occasions during lockdown Levels 5 and 4, provided support in the form of food parcels to 420 and 520 unfunded students in need, respectively. The Student Affairs Division carried out this exercise in conjunction with the Financial Aid office, as well as the Advancement Department.

“Also, on these previous two occasions, funding for the food parcels has been sourced solely from the Vice-Chancellor’s discretionary budget, which may be an unsustainable option if the intervention is to continue into the foreseeable future,” he said.

The University has since set up a Task Team to look into the matter of food security in its entirety on CPUT campuses, specifically looking at a holistic and sustainable programme to address this need.

Written by Ilse Fredericks