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Dear alumni


Throughout the ages, pandemics have changed the behaviour of people and therefore the course of history. The Covid-19 pandemic also forced us to change our way of living: we now wear masks, keep a social distance and work online, for instance.


And yet it seems as if the slow assassin, pollution, and its equally sneaky spawn, plastic pollution, do not trigger the same sense of urgency in humankind.


Despite all the evidence of the threat to not only mankind but to all life on Earth, we continue to use single-use plastic items such as bags, straws and food packaging that end up in our rivers and oceans. Our factories and cars keep on spewing dangerous gasses into our atmosphere.


Two of the articles in this edition focus on pollution. In “Frog Lady wins a ‘Green Oscar’” we learn that water pollution is one of the biggest threats to the world’s amphibians. In “Protecting our oceans is Veronica’s passion” we read that plastic pollution is a huge threat to our oceans and all the creatures that inhabit these vast water masses.


We have to face the facts: our planet is terminally ill and we have to change our behaviour to prevent its slow death. We need to nurse Earth back to health.


For the sake of our children and their children, we must confront this environmental pandemic with the same fervour that we currently show in the fight against Covid-19.



Happy reading,


Nelia and the

NWU & U team

Heed the pollution pandemic



Nelia Engelbrecht


Editorial team

Belinda Bantham

Willie du Plessis

Bertie Jacobs

Maryke Laas

Phenyo Mokgothu

Christopher Motabogi

Tumelo Muteme

Marelize Santana

Kiewiet Scheppel


Language editing

Clairwyn van der Merwe


Design and layout

Karen Viljoen



Editorial team and service providers


For further enquiries / correspondence

Nelia Engelbrecht

Tel 018 299 4937 or


The NWU & U is produced and published in English and Afrikaans by the Corporate Communication department of the NWU.



Alumni relations practitioners


Tshepisho Sebeela (Mahikeng)


Abigail Leshope (Potchefstroom)


Zanele Ngobese (Vanderbijlpark)





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