Unisa’s claim to be 150 years old is historically tenuous given the year its name originated (The Mercury, February 13).
In 1873, the Cape Parliament approved the establishment of the University of the Cape of Good Hope which was renamed the University of South Africa in 1916. In 1918 Unisa came to be located in Pretoria. On that basis, Unisa’s direct vintage amounts to 107 years.
Nonetheless, the willingness of those who administer Unisa to acknowledge its roots, is commendable in the wake of the denigrating of Eurocentric roots and crusades to “decolonise” by trashing and vandalising historical monuments on various campuses.
Celebrating the founding of an institution like Unisa is also a reminder that not all the legacies of the past are disreputable. It also reflects the exhortation contained in the preamble of our constitution: recognition of those who have worked to build and develop the country.