True son of African soil

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THE sad news of Professor Kobus van Wyk’s tragic death while cycling in the Herald/VW Cycling event over the past weekend brought back a memory of our first meeting.

Some 20 years ago, Kobus and I visited Nceba Faku who was then the newly appointed mayor of Port Elizabeth. Our proposal was to encourage the new mayor to support a kibbutz concept to help the masses of unemployed in our city.

The mayor followed Kobus and I to a Kleinskool informal settlement that had no running water.

We reasoned that if the poorest of the poor could be convinced to leave their shanties and settle in the Greenbushes kibbutz then Kobus would motivate the PE Technikon to take on the project, which he would drive.

His passing is indeed a great loss to the university, our community and his beloved family. Although the initial project wasn’t realised, Kobus never gave up on his interest in pursuing workable solutions in the field of human settlement development. I salute him as a true son of the African soil.

Dr Bruce Woolard, Framseby

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