According to RAG chairperson and TSC member for Facilities and RAG, Roahan Gouws, the initiative is currently undergoing changes meant to increase its efforts to serve and reach out to broader communities.
Gouws said that in previous years RAG was not efficient in its procession format, as too much money was spent on building RAG floats, which meant fewer funds were available for assisting fund raising. According to Gouws, “[Reses] build these huge floats, which is a great tradition to have, but at the end of the day the floats get scrapped … and so they don’t serve the community in any way [and] we can’t as a community engagement structure go on and on every year [in that way].” Gouws further explained that moving the procession to LC de Villiers last year made it even less feasible and more restrictive.
Gouws explained: “What we did this year is we came up with a new format to serve the community [because] this year we are all about the community and community engagement, and essentially what we are doing is having a chest of hope, where the residence partnerships build a chest … which is filled up with things that all charities need.” Among these include food and toiletries as minimum requirements, but may include anything a selected charity may specifically need.
Another part of RAG will involve making blankets out of clothing, which will also be donated to charities.
According to Gouws, RAG is currently negotiating a benefit concert to complement the activities of the day, although it has not yet been confirmed.
Gouws added that the change to the format of RAG includes checking up on residences and their chests in order to ensure accountability, proper management, and contribution by the residences to their charities.
Tuks Reach out and Give, commonly known as TuksRAG, is the largest non-profit student organisation in South Africa and, according to UP, it is the third largest of its kind in the world.
Photo: Fezekile Msimang