Sherlayne McFarlane, Chairperson, U3A Cape Town

Sylvia Schrire and her husband started U3A in South Africa in January 2000 as a result of their wonderful experiences of U3A when visiting their children in Sydney and Ealing. It caught on like the measles, and has grown exponentially.
   Around Cape Town we now have 7 U3A groups. There are another 13 local U3As established around the country -- Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Johannesburg East, Pretoria, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay, Port Alfred, Greyton, Howick, George/Wilderness and Knysna. Most U3As offer 25 to 50 courses at a time, held in private homes, libraries, church halls, etc. In addition, we all hold General Meetings monthly, addressed by eminent guest speakers.
   There are also frequent local excursions and we hold "summer socials" during our 2 month recess. An unprecedented 21-day tour by U3A Cape Town and George members to Central Europe took place in June 2008. A reciprocal tour to South Africa by members of Prague U3A to South Africa took place the following month.
   In 2009 annual subs are between 2 pounds and 4 pounds with all activities free, plus free access to all other U3As. Our website is www.u3a.org.za
   U3A in South Africa has been more successful than we ever expected, purely because of the very real and deep need for affordable stimulation for senior citizens.