Intrepid Rag committee has big plans for 2006

08 August 2005

Happy days: Rag members (front, from left) Tanya Weitz, Shingi Manjengwa, Eleanor Khupe and Tom Herbstein; and (back, from left) Faheem Kajee, chair Jones Gondo, Tim Sheer and Justin Ma brace themselves for the busy year ahead.

For some time now, RAG has been the cash cow for the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (Shawco), on whose behalf it has, in recent times, raised about a R1-million each year. To bring in that handsome sum, RAG stages a myriad of projects, like its annual float procession, the sale of the ever irreverent Sax Appeal magazine, and the mother of all UCT parties, Big Bash.

The aim for each committee, as always, is to go bigger and better of course. So the 15-member 2006 committee, chaired by business science student Jones Gondo, and the soon-to-be-appointed general committee (some 100 volunteers required) can expect a lot on their plate over the year ahead.

There are the usual money-spinning suspects like Sax Appeal, which was good for R500 000 this year, and its Diary Project, which raised R128 000 for 2005 through the sale of UCT-specific diaries, that need to hum along. But then there are also a number of more recent projects that the committee wants to move up a gear, and a few others they want to get off the ground.

This includes the annual concert in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens with the Soweto String Quartet; its 'O' Week activities with incoming first-years; its golf day and wine auction; the sale of its popular graduation wine, with the names of graduands (from A to Z) printed in super-small script on the bottle label (each sale comes with a magnifying glass); a proposed fashion showcase; and a family-oriented carnival that the committee would like to see round off the floats procession.

Not all of these are going to contribute greatly to Rag coffers. But, says Shingi Manjengwa, vice-chair in charge of Rag branding, the organisation has a few other achievables in mind. Like the skills students can pick up when they run Rag's projects.

"Rag's mandate is to raise money for Shawco," says Manjengwa. "So each year we aim to raise as much money as we can.

"But in the process, we also aim to develop students to their greatest capacity while they're with Rag. Students gain life experiences and hands-on skills they may not have got if they hadn't joined Rag."

That's stuff money can't buy.

[Rag is currently looking for students to serve on its large general committee. Applications are open until August 15. Please contact the Rag office on level five of the Student Development and Services Department Building for more information.]

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