Starting a foundation of hope

Student organisation The Hope Foundation donated clothes to Khayelitsha residents who lost their homes in a recent fire.

Sparked by a news report that more than 1 300 people had been left homeless after hundreds of shacks were destroyed in a blaze, The Hope Foundation teamed up with student organisation Nika Foundation to help the people in need, despite all the students being busy with November exams.

“The organisations collected 70 bags of clothes and a few bags of food from some of the CPUT residences. This was done by organisation members and volunteers by way of a door to door collection,” explained The Hope Foundation co-founder, second year Accounting student, Ntombozuko Bota.

She said they laundered and sorted all the clothes at night in a very short time frame, leading to some sleepless nights for volunteers. “It was a lot of work to do but we managed as the aim was to give within a reasonable timeframe, while people are still in need,” said Ntombozuko.

The Hope Foundation was founded in 2017 by Ntombozuko, Maphelo Tshapile and Sinethemba Mabovu and it has grown to include not only CPUT students.

“We started by looking for sponsors to help children whose families were affected by the fire in Philippi at the beginning of this year. We then donated school shoes to an orphanage in the Strand and this donation to the people of Khayelitsha is our third project.

“Our projects are dependent on donors and sponsors and we are currently looking for sponsors and donors to help us help the children of an orphanage with Christmas clothes and school uniforms for January. Our mission is to be the voice of the disadvantaged, to restore hope to hopeless souls,” said Ntombozuko.

She pointed out the most recent collection for Khayelitsha residents was a huge success only because of the students who opened their hearts to donate and the volunteers who put a lot of effort into the project.

Written by Theresa Smith

Culturing enquiring minds

Horticulture BTech students got a taste of academic rigour when they recently presented their research on Plant Tissue Culture to lecturers and fellow students.

Not only did they have to defend their presentation choices but also demonstrate whether they could draw on lessons learned in various classes to support particular statements.

Plant Tissue Culture (PTC) is a collection of techniques used to grow plants in a laboratory under controlled conditions on a nutrient medium.

Biotechnology lecturer Dr Lalini Reddy says PTC forms a capstone for the subject and this year she wanted her students to expand beyond a factual assignment to grapple with philosophical questions.

She also encouraged her 9 BTech students to write a letter to the presidency to try to start a conversation encouraging the South African government to take PTC more seriously as a niche industry. They had to concentrate on the conservation of biodiversity and its potential effects on the country’s GDP and employment rates.

“It’s just a start for them,” Reddy told the lecturers and students who had gathered to listen to the presentations.

STERILE ENVIRONMENT: Plants cultivated in a CPUT laboratory in a nutrient medium.

The students recently visited plant tissue culture laboratory Frontier Labs in Brackenfell, which Horticulture BTech student Amanda Mahlungulu described as useful for giving them an idea of what the PTC industry is about.

“Normally when you grow plants, we know the conventional methods. He showed us how you can use technology and that something can come of it,” said Mahlungulu.

Fellow student Ngawethu Ngaka said they have found the industry visits very useful when they have to apply to do their in service training: “It makes it easier because you understand how the different organisations work.”

While Mahlungulu is interested in the concept, she knows that PTC is not yet so popular in South Africa that it would be easy to find a job in the field.

Reddy says the opportunities do exist: “It is up to the students to make themselves known.”

She says assigning the students to write the letter to the presidency and do a presentation to their fellow students and the CPUT community about their findings is one way to do just that.

Written by Theresa Smith

EMS students raise money for good cause

The fundraising efforts of a group of Emergency Medical Sciences students will assist a non-profit organisation with its winter readiness programme.

The students raised R4 500 through their Steps for Hope project and recently presented a cheque to the TB/HIV Care Association.

Student Ulrike van Rooyen said the students raised the money as well as awareness about the TB/HIV Care association as part of a second-year assignment in primary health care.

She said the students chose the name Steps for Hope because they planned a fun run to raise the money.

“But due to unrest on campus it had to be cancelled. We sold tickets for the fun run and luckily everyone who had bought tickets said we could keep it,” said Van Rooyen.

“Some people also donated money. We also partnered with an organisation called Secret Sunrise, who gave a portion of the proceeds from an event, which was held at the Waterfront, to the cause.”

The TB/HIV Care Association prevents, finds, and treats HIV and TB in the general population as well as in key groups such as inmates, sex workers and people who inject drugs.

Site Manager Yolaan Andrews said the donation would assist in the association’s winter readiness programme “to keep our homeless service providers warm and fed”.

Wising up to water conservation

CPUT students in the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences have embarked on a campaign to spread awareness of the water crisis in the Western Cape.

To activate the Marketing Management Department’s #everydropcounts Waterwise Project on District Six Campus Advertising 2 students sold muffins alongside the campaign’s sticker which they designed.

They also walked around the campus in groups supplying bottled water to their fellow students as they encouraged them to save water. Additionally, the students designed posters on which they wrote their own motivational messages.

Business and Management Sciences Dean Prof Paul Green thanked the students for participating in the project and commended them for spreading awareness about being waterwise. Green reminded everyone that despite the falling winter rains local dams were not yet full.

Student Marcelino Gonsalves said they produced two videos showing the campaign’s sticker and a desert that will soon be uploaded to YouTube and broadcast on the screens on CPUT campuses.

Panduleni Mntu was part of the group which baked the muffins and attached the stickers to them. “Everyone involved in the campaign participated in selling the muffins and in less than two hours we sold everything,” said Panduleni.

Advertising lecturer Jody Daniels said the students explained the campaign’s aims and objectives in a UniFM radio interview.

Daniels said while the project was voluntary it also gained the students extra marks.  He added that the students were studying advertising agencies and campaigns in the first semester and the project challenged them to apply the skills they learned to create an actual advertising campaign.

“We are using our theory to deliver a community message on campus on how to use water responsibly,” he said.

The City of Cape Town pledged support for the students’ campaign when it was launched last semester.

Water Conservation Head at City of Cape Town Thembisa Gqamane said the City is now running the #thinkwater campaign which is aimed at encouraging people to save water which will hopefully lead to decreased consumption and drought awareness among the public.

SWEET: The sticker and muffin designed and made by students in the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences.


Minding your food

A group of Consumer Science students recently shared their extensive food knowledge with a group of vulnerable youth from Philippi.

The CPUT students visited the Baphumelele: Fountain of Hope youth residential home for those who have left orphanages and foster homes but have nowhere to go.

The 36 second year students used their first visit to explain the South African Food Based Dietary Guidelines and their second visit to demonstrate an easy meal based on the availability of food items at the organisation.

14 youth stay at Baphumelele: Fountain of Hope, which can house up to 20, and is in the process of expanding. They go through a year-long Independent Living Programme meant to impart life skills such as how to manage a budget, clean their personal spaces and how to make their own food.

With that in mind the Consumer Science Students explained the importance of nutrition by talking about the different kinds of foodstuff that is healthy to eat, demonstrated exercises and offered examples of the food they were discussing.

The youth really warmed to the students at the second visit when they demonstrated recipes and allowed the youngsters to sample the cooked dishes. They then had tea together for an opportunity to get to know one another better.

The CPUT students also used money they raised from staff and fellow students to put together toiletry and food hampers for the residents.

Consumer Science lecturer Theloshni Govender said the Department of Biotechnology and Consumer Science has been working on their relationships with Baphumelele: Fountain of Hope since 2017.

“The organisation is a perfect opportunity for students to engage and positively influence the youth in this community. The organisation plants their own vegetable and I saw this platform as an ideal project for the students to apply their nutrition knowledge,” said Govender.

She pointed out the CPUT students developed and enhanced their communication, collaboration and leadership skills and the visit gave them a chance to learn more about a field that might interest them.

“It also gives them a better understanding of their academics. They are able to apply the knowledge they have learned and they are able to remember it,” said Govender.

Written by Theresa Smith

Gourmet Guides donate books to Hotel School students

Some of the Cape Town Hotel School students who recently received books from Gourmet Guides that will enhance their training in hospitality management. Natalie Brock, Brand Manager of Gourmet Guides, donated 67 2018 JHP (Jenny Handley Performance) Gourmet Guides to the Cape Town Hotel School.  The donation was for students who aspire to become the country’s future chefs. The book includes reviews of some of the country’s top restaurants, biographies and recipes of chefs as well as a restaurant guide and plating rating system. The Food and Beverage, Kitchen and Professional Cookery students received these informative books as part of JHP’s Mandela Day initiative.

Staff and students roll up sleeves for Mandela Day

Students and staff members did their bit for Mandela Day by participating in a clean-up of the former Horticulture Nursery on the Cape Town campus.

“The intention is to pay tribute to the rich heritage of District Six by developing an urban food garden, recreational structures and cultural spaces for the benefit of the community, students and staff”, says Jacqui Scheepers, manager: Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Units at CPUT

The participants included lecturer Nicholas Pinfold from the Department of Town and Regional Planning as well as students from the Department, Ashaadia Kamalie, Head of Department: Civil Engineering and Surveying and Desmond Jackson, Theresa Burns, Ziyanda Tobani and Jacqui Scheepers from the SLCE Units.

During the clean-up the students assessed the site for future planning. They were able to capture the existing features on the site using geospatial technology (drone and GPS mapping).

“The department is very excited to be part of this very important project for CPUT and the former and current residents of District Six” says Pinfold.

The setting up of a security system at the site will be the next step before the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement projects can be further developed on the site.

Under the leadership of  Prof Anthony Staak, Deputy Vice-Chancellor:Teaching and Learning, the SLCE Units are in the process of collaborating with external stakeholders, university departments and units to develop project plans and funding proposals for the implementation of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement activities on the site.

The Mandela Day campaign encourages South Africans to spend 67 minutes to support a charity or serve in their local community.


Online system tackles accommodation issues

The CPUT Residence Business & Risk Assessment Centre has launched an on-line accreditation system which will refine the process of sourcing suitable student accommodation.

Called Off-Campus Housing Accreditation Program (OCHAP) the accreditation system offers students the opportunity to find private CPUT-accredited alternative accommodation and allows property owners to apply electronically.

CPUT officials will then inspect the particular building and if approved may be accredited.

Each landlord wishing to be accredited has to apply online via the Residences webpage and an automated response will be sent to the applicant as well as alerts to the OCHAP.

In order to be an accredited student accommodation facility the landlord must complete the forms and documents confirming compliance with CPUT regulations must be submitted.

Details of the property will only appear on our website once it has been accredited and the once-off administration fee has been paid.

Proof of ownership or mandate to lease, has to be submitted once you receive feedback on your application.

Each advert has a span of three months on the CPUT website. Once full occupancy is reached the landlord must inform the OCHAP office via email in order for your advert to be retracted from the website.

The database on line is updated regularly to provide students with information of availability of beds, see here

Lease agreements between students and landlords must be for at least six months.

For more info on OCHAP contact the Residence Business & Risk Assessment Centre’s Off-Campus Housing & Accreditation Office on the Bellville Campus on 021 959 6154 or email