Teaching students the fine art of arguing

CPUT was well represented by two committed teams named Enigma and Eksplisit at this year’s Dink of Sink debating competition in Pretoria.

An Afrikaans debating competition for high school students and universities, Dink of Sink’s (think or sink) university finals were held earlier this month.

Though neither of the two teams from the Wellington campus placed in the competition, all the participants had a lot of fun and they want to try it again.

One of the team members, Janette van Rensburg is a second year education student on the Wellington campus studying how to teach Maths and English for senior phase and FET learners.

Last year’s team, the first ever to take part in the Dink of Sink competition was pulled together by Johan Pienaar who started the Debat en Kunste Vereniging (the debating and arts society) on the Wellington campus.

“Now we are trying to expand the debating community to get more people involved. We are trying to expand the literature and fine arts part of campus. There is an audience because people are studying the arts in order to teach the subjects,” said van Rensburg.

“We are trying to get a performing arts group off the ground too, but we are swamped with just the debating right now.”

Van Rensburg says the team appreciated that the Dink of Sink organising committee kept the rules more informal than the ATKV debating competition, allowing participants to use Afrikaans dialects.

“The organisation keeps in mind that it is a student competition so they don’t force us into a rigid routine.

“We were speaking in Pretoria and the universities we went up against were North West and Pretoria and they have a very different way of speaking Afrikaans.

“Just in their normal way of speaking I was hearing words I have only ever read in a textbook,” she said.

Van Rensburg chalks up the teams not placing to a total lack of preparation but now they know they should start prepping this year for next year’s competition.

“I want to build on this and not just for the competition. We should practice speech writing as well. Most of the people who joined the club do it for the love of debating, so we need to teach the formalities of debating which will channel the energy and make it more structured to deliver the message in a way that everyone understands.

“We want to do weekly practices and to start something on campus where there’s debating between the different hostels so we can see what talent is available in the hostels.

“We should also look into establishing an English debating team, there seems to be a call for that as well.”

*You can contact van Rensburg on janette.mari13@gmail.com to find out more about the Wellington campus debating team.

Written by Theresa Smith

Sport Advocates

It’s game on for a group of students who have been selected to be part of the 2015 Wellington Campus Sports Forum.

Launched in 2012, the forum’s key goal is to facilitate sporting activities at the campus. It is also a one-stop-shop for all students’ sport related enquiries, complaints and comments.

This year’s chairperson is Conrad Du Plessis, a fourth year Education student and manager of the Wellington Campus rugby club.

Conrad says they are looking forward to working together with all the sport clubs.

He says each sport club was tasked with coming up for a vision for the year and that with the assistance of the forum, they hope to realise the goals that have been set.


Sports Forum member, Maud-Mari Wagner says the forum has proved its worth over the past few years, with more students participating in sport and additional clubs being launched.

The campus boasts 12 sporting clubs, with rugby, netball and hockey being the top three clubs. The campus also boast the university’s only adventure club, which sees students participate in activities that range from river rafting to abseiling.

Francois Du Plessis, who is responsible for the forum’s marketing and public relations, says while their main aim is to promote sports on the campus, they hope to also inspire students on the other campuses to adopt a similar structure.

“We would really like to see sport forums on all the campuses and to establish a central sports forum,” says Francois.

Wellington library makeover

The Wellington Campus library remodel is officially underway.

At the start of February contractors began the massive task of removing the library’s roof and demolishing part of the outdated building.

The new library, which will be built on the existing site, will be a state-of-the-art modern structure featuring a walkway that that will connect it to the adjacent buildings and a brand new student centre.

Education is the flagship programme offered at the campus and the library has been customized to facilitate the faculty’s learning and teaching programme.

IMPRESSIVE: Architectural drawings of the new library

IMPRESSIVE: Architectural drawings of the new library

On completion, the library will feature a model school library as well as interactive teaching spaces that will allow teaching practice to take place at the campus.

The new facilitaty will also be user friendly, with student pods situated throughout and shelves placed at strategic points to absorb noise.

A permanent home for the Disability Unit has been incorporated in the design as well as a lift and ramps to cater for students living with disabilities.

The new library is earmarked to open at the start of the 2016 academic year.

It’s Epic

South Africa’s premier mountain bike event, the Absa Cape Epic, is cycling its way to CPUT.

Classified as the “Tour de France” of mountain biking, riders will call CPUT’s Wellington Campus home during the second last leg of the competition.

The event, which takes place from 15 to 22 March 2015, attracts more than 1 000 of the world’s elite professional mountain bike riders who will cover 739 km over eight days.

Public Relations and Events Officer, Catherine Cloete, who is heading up the CPUT team that is involved in various aspects of the event, says the institution is looking forward to hosting such a prestigious event.

“It is a huge honour for the Wellington Campus to be one of the hosts,” says Cloete.

A total of 80 CPUT students will be involved in pitching 1 500 tents, which will make up part of the race village that will be set up on the rugby and cricket fields. Students will also take part in various other activities during the riders stay in Wellington.

Cloete says a range of marketing activities have been planned towards the run-up to the event, which includes a trolley-race and a rugby evening.

More than 200 CPUT students will also be involved in a flyover, which will see them create an image on the CPUT sports ground that will be filmed and showcased internationally.

“We are also proud that this year one of our staff members, Etienne Joubert, will compete in the event,” she says.

Cloete says CPUT is one of the proud co-sponsors of Joubert and his race partner, who are renowned mountain bike riders.

The riders will arrive at CPUT on Friday, 21 March, which marks stage five of the race. On Saturday, March 21, they will set out on a 71 km race, which will also end at the Wellington Campus.

On Sunday, 22 March, the riders will head out on the last leg of the race, a 87 km route that will take them to the finish line at the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville.