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Membership is open to anyone, but because U3A is structured for the benefit of retired and semi-retired persons, most interest groups and meetings take place during the day.  Membership fee is R50 per person, per year. You can obtain a new membership form at any General Meeting, or from this website.
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Next Speakers/Artists

DATE:  THURSDAY 25 APRIL 2019: 10:00


GUEST SPEAKER:   David Bristow, Journalist and writer 


As well as being South Africa’s most experienced travel writer, David Bristow – also known as The Eardstapper – is the author of more than 20 books on South Africa and Africa beyond.

Colleagues at Getaway travel magazine – where he was editor for 14 years – dubbed him the walking enviro-pedia. “It’s unlikely there is anyone better travelled than him and his knowledge of The Cape and indeed all of South Africa is encylopaediac,” commented Don Pinnock who succeeded him as editor.

With degrees in journalism and environmental sciences, you could say he has a well-rounded grasp on most things that do not involve rocket science. David has an abiding passion for all things pertaining to nature, culture, travel, history, Africa and just about anything else that is interesting.

But it is his love of life and the world around him that has led to him to be the pre-eminent story teller of the Cape – dramatic stories, racy stories, ghost or horror stories, love stories, comedies and tragedies; stories about the places and people who created the Cape. Interwoven with all this will be current issues, international trends and local anecdotes – you name it and he’ll provide the details.

DATE:  THURSDAY 9 MAY 2019: 10:00


GUEST SPEAKERS:   WWF - Justin Smith Western Cape Head of Business Development Fund



Justin Smith joined WWF in October 2017 to head up business development, marketing and fundraising.

Justin brings a unique perspective to WWF. His business insight, marketing experience and his enthusiasm for WWF are significant. Justin is inspired most by the depth and breadth of work done by WWF and by the amazing people who champion the conservation cause with such great commitment regardless of the daily challenges.

History of U3As 

U3A began in France in 1972, under the aegis of the University of Toulouse. In the French model, faculty members and working academics are course facilitators and lecturers. With its spread to the UK and the realization that Third Ager's had the skills to organize and teach their own autonomous learning groups, the nature of the organisation changed and this model has been enthusiastically adopted in more than 30 countries around the world. Today, U3A is a learning co-operative with objects and principles, inter alia, “to assail the dogma of intellectual decline with age”, “to provide from amongst the retired, the resources for the development and intensification of their intellectual, cultural and aesthetic lives”, “to create an institution where there is no distinction between the class of those who teach and those who learn ….” The word ‘university’ in the name of the institution is used in its original sense, meaning a corporation of persons devoted to a particular activity, not necessarily intellectual. Its course leaders therefore are experienced volunteers. While some may be retired academics, many are amateur enthusiasts!

U3A in South Africa 

The first local example of the UK model was launched in Cape Town in February 2000 by Sylvia and Arthur Schrire. The response was overwhelming. Greater Cape Town currently has over 8,000 members, and the current national membership of around 11,000 comprises 26 independent local U3As in Gauteng, Free State,  Kwazulu-Natal, Western Cape and Eastern Cape. Interest groups range from Afrikaans to Yoga, but a core curriculum has emerged. Most U3As have a language group, a creative writing group and others that represent an amazing breadth of experience and interest. There are science and technology studies, history and of course all the 'ologies’. Many social and cultural activities, such as bird watching and wine appreciation, are also on offer.

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