The activities of two departments of the Faculty of AgriSciences have received financial support from the PA and Alize Malan Memorial Trust. It supports the efforts of the Department of Food Sciences to investigate the use of ultraviolet light to clean sewage from rivers. The Trust further also supports the activities and research of one master's student and one staff member in the Department of Viticulture and Oenology.
According to one of the trustee members, Mr Andre de Wit, the PA and Alize Malan Memorial Trust support initiatives at schools and tertiary institutions in South Africa whose activities relate to culture, food, wine and the law.
The Memorial Trust was founded about 15 years ago by the estate of Pieter and Alize Malan of Worcester. Mr Malan was a lawyer in this Boland town and had wide business interests. He was a founding member of Santam and Sanlam in the 1910s and served on the boards of these companies for many years. Mr Malan was also chair of Nasionale Pers, the predecessor of Naspers.
After his first wife passed away, Mr Malan was married for 12 years to a speech therapist, Alize Wilmot. He passed away at the age of 80. Mrs Alize Malan was also a formidable businesswoman who invested in properties, shares and art. She was a member of an international food and wine association for many years, travelled often and had a wide circle of friends in the world of arts and theatre. She passed away at the age of 90.
It was her idea to establish a trust in support of especially tertiary education endeavours. The Trust has over the years supported various schools and institutions, including Stellenbosch University.
"We are grateful for every donation, no matter its size, which helps our faculty and its people to continue their work in support of the South African agricultural and food industry in general," says Prof Danie Brink, Dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences.
The support of the AP and Alize Malan Memorial Trust supports the Department of Food Science's studies on how ultraviolet (UV) light can best be used to purify sewage from river water.
According to Prof Gunnar Sigge, chair of the Department of Food Science, the problem of sewage that ends up in rivers creates many headaches. It, in particular, becomes an issue when crops are irrigated from such polluted rivers. Alternatives to the use of chemicals to clean contaminated water are increasingly being sought, and the use of UV light looks promising as a quick and relatively easy solution.
"We want to determine, among other things, the correct doses of UV light needed to purify certain disease-causing bacteria and other pathogens from water," says Prof Sigge.
Thanks to the Trust's support, the Department of Viticulture and Oenology is able to fund one staff member's activities this year, while the studies of a master's student in the department, Isabelle dos Santos, are also supported.
An ultraviolet light device such as this one is used to test how disease-causing bacteria can be purified from river water.