KZN’s Top Two Matriculants Make UKZN Their “University of Choice”

KZN’s Top Two Matriculants Make UKZN Their “University of Choice”
Top KZN matriculants, Mr Aaron Naidu and Ms Shweta Harilal, who have chosen to study at UKZN.Click here for isiZulu version

KwaZulu-Natal’s top two achievers in the 2019 NSC matric exams have placed their faith in UKZN.

Mr Aaron Naidu has registered for a BSc degree majoring in Data Science, whilst Ms Shweta Harilal will be studying towards her MBChB (Medicine). The pair is part of 136 first entry undergraduates who achieved seven or more As in their final matric exams to make UKZN their university of choice this year.

Harilal was the top NSC candidate from KZN public schools, whilst Naidu was the top NSC achiever from KZN independent schools - he also came first in the province overall and second in South Africa.

Harilal joined the “University of Choice” to study Medicine as her dream has always been to help others. Her mother, Mrs Sunitha Harilal, said from a very young age, her daughter would give injections to her dolls and act as a doctor. As parents, they encouraged her to work hard so that she would qualify for medical school.

Said Harilal: ‘I am very excited to be joining UKZN. I chose this university because it’s closer to home and has the best facilities that any Medical student could hope for. I couldn’t have chosen better. I am grateful to God for enabling me to fulfil my dream of studying Medicine. I’m also grateful to my family and my parents, Sunitha and Rajesh Harilal, for their support and encouragement. They are my pillars of strength.’

The 18-year-old who attended Durban North College, achieved seven distinctions and still cannot believe that of the 116 937 grade 12 government school pupils who sat for the 2019 NSC exams in KZN, she received the highest marks – with 96% in Core Maths, 95% in Life Sciences, 97% for Accounting, 97% in Afrikaans, 94% for English, 99% in Physics, and 90% for Life Orientation. She says her recipe for success was simply ‘long hours dedicated to studying and practicing Maths over and over again. Anyone can do it. It’s possible,’ she said.

Dean and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at UKZN, Professor Ncoza Dlova, said: ‘We pride ourselves on being an Institution of Choice for many high flyers like Shweta. UKZN was recently ranked number one in Africa on the prestigious Times Higher Education Young University Rankings which lists the world’s best universities. This shows how serious we are when it comes to academic and research excellence.’

Whilst Harilal has opted for the Health Sciences, super achiever Mr Aaron Naidu always knew that Mathematics was his area of choice. With a 100% score for Core Maths in the NSC matric exam and 99% for Advanced Programme (AP) Mathematics (written through the IEB), his decision to register for a BSc majoring in Data Science was easy. 

Naidu obtained an overall matric aggregate of 96.71% and a total of nine As. In addition to Core Maths and AP Maths, his other marks were 96% for Accounting, 92% for English, 98% for Information Technology, 99% for Life Orientation, 94% for Life Sciences, 94% for Afrikaans, and 98% for Physical Sciences.

Dean and Head of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Professor Delia North, was delighted to receive Naidu. ‘I have deliberately worked to attract a core group of top performers to UKZN and to Data Science in particular. The VC of UCT phoned Aaron to try and persuade him to go there, so I am overjoyed that he has decided to come study with us. We have excellent staff who will support and extend him all the way,’ she said.

Naidu is no stranger to UKZN, as he has been a member of the Siyanqoba Mathematics Extension Programme since 2014. This project, run under the auspices of Emeritus Professor Poobhalan Pillay, provides extension and training to top mathematical performers competing in the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO).

Last year (2019) Naidu – who in 2014 represented South Africa at the World Youth Chess Championships – not only won the SAMO for a record third time, beating 90 000 pupils from across the county, but also won the Tertiary Mathematics Olympiad where he beat all competing university students, even though he was still at high school. He also represented South Africa at the International Mathematics Olympiad where he received a Bronze Medal, and received silver medals in the Computer Programming and Physics Olympiads.

Naidu said he loves mathematics not only because he is good at it, but because it is the foundation for many different fields. He attributed part of his success to his grandmother. ‘When I was young my grandmother, who was a retired primary school teacher, taught me multiplication tables, basic addition and subtraction. By the time I got to school, I was already proficient,’ he said.

Naidu praised his parents for their support, guidance and encouragement. ‘They were willing to travel around the country and the world with me for various competitions,’ he said.

Words: Lihle Sosibo and Sally Frost

Photographs: Lihle Sosibo and supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN: A Call for Perspective on our Issues and a Request for Creative Engagement on the Way Forward

UKZN: A Call for Perspective on our Issues and a Request for Creative Engagement on the Way Forward
.

I was startled to read Professor Jonathan Jansen’s piece titled ‘UKZN: It’s terrible seeing a varsity die, especially as it was preventable’ in his column published in the Times Live on 6 February 2020. As a former Vice-Chancellor, I think his piece should have been better informed, less sensationalist and considerably more constructive. What follows below is not an engagement with Professor Jansen or his piece, though I have issues with it; rather, it is a statement of the position of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

The recent outbreaks of violent protests on our campuses might easily suggest that the impasse in negotiations between student representatives (SRC) and University management is essentially a matter of inflexibility or narrow-mindedness on one or both sides and that the disruption could have been avoided had the parties come to an early, sensible compromise on their positions. The reality is less simple and more impacted. Both the SRC and University management are in a difficult bind. We must not only find a way through the current deadlock, but also create a means of reconciling the University’s financial obligations and the serious needs of our students on a longer-term basis.

What needs to be said first, however, is the obvious: violence and intimidation are entirely opposing to the idea and ideal of University life. Those who engage in such conduct do not represent anyone. Threatening behaviour and the destruction of property are not a form of politics—they are the negation of politics and reason. Nor are they in any sense a legitimate form of protest: they are criminal acts and the University will seek to bring those responsible to justice. Let’s also dispel the rhetorical recourse to Franz Fanon. Across the continent Fanon’s eulogisation of violence has become nothing more than an ultimate betrayal: violence has begotten more violence and the legacy is what we see today.

The dedicated staff of UKZN have worked tirelessly to secure the best possible conditions for all our students, so it is distressing for all of us to suffer these recent reversals. The recourse to violence which has shaped the political landscape and scarred the lived experience of the majority of South Africans is a national issue and not just specific to UKZN, though I concede that we suffer from it more than most. But it must cease: it undermines everything that generations before us risked their lives to secure; it is morally indefensible; and self-harming both immediately and long-term.

Our public Universities have a vital role to play in redressing the structural injustices of our past. By extending the opportunity of a University education ever more widely to previously disadvantaged communities, we fulfil our social commitment and lay the foundations for a more equitable and prosperous society. But no University stands above or outside the prevailing conditions in which it operates. That includes everything from the state of the nation’s economy and the priorities of the government to the local conditions in which individuals and families must make their way. 

The Province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has one of the highest rates of poverty in the country, with the adult rate above 60 percent. The spectre unemployment, which is alarmingly high even for graduates, tempts many students to remain in the system without momentum and purpose; and subsequent academic exclusion, either through indebtedness or lack of progression, triggers political agitation and sometimes, violence. And the cycle repeats.

The SRC’s key demand is that the University allows all students whose annual family income is below R350 000 to register without being required to make any payments for registration fees and towards their debt. The problem we face is that this is approximately 78 percent of the student population at UKZN. Moreover, it would amount to free education at UKZN for all students whose annual family income is below R350 000; a demand which, should UKZN accede to, would extend beyond current government policy and leave the institution in financial ruin.

UKZN’s student debt at the end of December 2019 stood at R1,7 billion. In spite of this, we have continued to implement processes (through financial clearance concessions) that effectively ensure that no single student of the University is required to pay 100% of their debt prior to registration. In fact, the maximum amount payable towards debt has been capped at R45,000 per student with 67% of the student population being required to pay a maximum of R10,000 per student towards their debt.

The University’s position on this matter has been guided by the principle of enabling access for students whilst ensuring that the University remains financially viable and sustainable for the foreseeable future; manages cash flows at a level that maintains daily service provision; maintains its ability to meet its financial obligations to staff, students, suppliers and service providers; and manages its already high level of student debt—the highest of all the public Universities in South Africa.

Clearly, any additional financial concessions that would risk imperilling the University’s sustainability would be self-defeating for all concerned. At the same time, we recognise that financial hardship on our campuses is widespread; and indebted students can easily begin to fail academically, leaving them trapped, without secure tenure either inside or outside the University. On this point, the second key demand from student leadership has been that academic exclusions be suspended. But again, University management has an obligation to maintain academic standards and the integrity of the UKZN qualifications.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal not only accepts but also embraces its responsibilities towards the communities within which it is sited. We have an outstanding record of broadening access and very generous levels of fee remission: The financial clearance concessions are the most substantial, at a cash flow cost to UKZN in excess of R1 billion. But neither our own budget nor the government’s is endlessly elastic. In fact, there is almost no ‘give’ in either.

How can we honour our mission as a public University in KwaZulu-Natal — maintaining institutional viability while trying to ensure that the largest number of our students are not left vulnerable, financially and academically? Since I commenced my tenure as Vice-Chancellor, I have worked persistently and in good faith with my management team and the student leadership, trying to square their obvious needs with the necessity of ensuring that the University remains financially sound. Our stance is not a negotiating bluff — it is an honest depiction of hard circumstances from which we cannot evade. Even as all South Africans of goodwill aspire to a nation transformed and rightly look to Universities for leadership, we cannot conjure a better world into existence, any more than can government or private enterprise.

So what is the way forward?

First, we need better politics. The violence must stop – immediately and permanently. Similarly, the decade-long cycles of demands and concessions must come to an end. Of course, all parties come to a negotiation with goals, but our shared goal of maintaining the viability and standing of the University is no longer a background that we can take for granted. It needs to be a primary consideration for all of us—and that will require new forms of shared responsibility and truly creative leadership—and that applies to University management as much as to the student leadership.

Second, to break the current impasse we need to be realistic about what is achievable by the University and what is not. The university cannot enrol every student who is financially eligible for NSFAS funding when even NSFAS itself has other qualifying criteria for accessing and allocating funding to financially eligible students. The University is, and has always been ready to assist 2020 NSFAS qualifying students with debt. There is a greater legitimacy for finding solutions to the challenges facing this cohort because they are less likely to incur future debt if supported appropriately and are also more likely to complete on time if additional support by the University is offered. The University is committed to working with the Student Leadership on this group for solutions.

Thirdly, the University is committed to working with all our students who are left with one or two modules to complete their qualifications. Senate will apply its mind to find academically acceptable solutions to enabling this cohort of students to complete their qualifications using – if necessary - alternative modes of assessment where formal examinations have proved to be unsuitable or deleterious to the needs of the students. Our DVC and Deans of Teaching and Learning are tasked with generating a list of these students for consideration by relevant bodies of the University.

As Vice-Chancellor of UKZN, I can assure all members of the University community and the population at large that senior management and I will continue to act in good faith, with both principle and strategic vision to the fore.

Professor Nana Poku
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of KwaZulu-Natal


author : .
author email : .

Isifundiswa Sihlonishwe yiNyuvesi Yase-Norway Ngeziqu

Isifundiswa Sihlonishwe yiNyuvesi Yase-Norway Ngeziqu
USolwazi Vishanthie Sewpaul noMphathinyuvesi we-Norwegian University of Science and Technology, uDkt Anne Borg.Click here for English version

Uthisha wase-UKZN wezeNhlalakahle, uSolwazi Vishanthie Sewpaul, uhlonishwe ngeziqu zobudokotela i-Norwegian University of Science and Technology (i-NTNU), obekungokokuqala emlandweni weNyuvesi ukuthi kuhlonishwe isifundiswa somkhakha wezeNhlalakahle.

USewpaul usake wahlonishwa ngeziqu zobudokotela ezimbili, eyodwa ivela enyuvesi yase-Chile nenye yasesikhungweni semfundo ephakeme sase-Sweden.

‘Nakuba kuhlonishwe mina lapha, kepha kusho ukuthi kuhlonishwe umkhakha wezenhlalakahle, okuwumkhakha ohloniphekile ongibumbile,’ kusho uSewpaul.

I-NTNU ihloniphe amagalelo ka-Sewpaul emazingeni kazwelonke, esifunda nelomhlaba nangokuzinikela emfundweni yezenhlalakahle, ocwaningweni nasemsebenzini ogxile kubulungiswa bezenhlalo, amalungelo abantu nezenkululeko kwezemfundo. Babalule izibonelo zokuhola kwakhe kwezokukhiqiza imibhalo yomhlaba ngokusebenzisa izinqubo ezisatshalalisiwe okubalwa kuzona i-Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training (2004); the Global Social Work Definition (2014) and the Global Social Work Statement of Ethical Principles (2018).

Ukuxhumana kuka-Sewpaul ne-NTNU kuzale izifundo ezintsha ezihlanganisa imikhakha ehlukene ezibizwa nge-Global Ethics and Human Rights, azozifundisa ngokuhlanganyela nabanye.

USewpaul ungusolwazi osathatha umhlalaphansi kodwa osasebenza kanti ungusolwazi e-University of Stavanger e-Norway nosolwazi ovakashile eMid-Sweden University, e-Instituto Universitario de Lisboa (ISCTE) e-Portugal, e-University of Gondar eTopiya, nase-Florida State University eMelika.

Wethule isifundo esihlonishwayo i-Tony Tripodi e-International Social Work e-Columbia University, wethula esinye isifundo e-Fordham University e-New York.

Amagama: nguMelissa Mungroo

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Mourns Dr Joseph Shabalala’s Passing

UKZN Mourns Dr Joseph Shabalala’s Passing
Fallen music legend, Dr Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music by UKZN in 2010 for his distinguished contributions to the advancement of South African music.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal joins South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world in mourning the death of Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala – the legendary musician and founding member of multiple Grammy award-winning vocal group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Shabalala, who had close connections with UKZN, passed on in a Pretoria hospital this week. In 2004, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the late Lebo M delivered a soul stirring performance at the installation ceremony of Dr Frene Ginwala, the first Chancellor of UKZN, and Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, the first Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University.

UKZN Corporate Relations Executive Director, Mr Ashton Bodrick, said the University had in 2010 awarded the world-acclaimed musician its highest honour - an Honorary Doctorate in Music for his distinguished contributions to the advancement of South African music.

‘Dr Shabalala was also an Honorary Professor of Music at the University in the early 1990s. Music students of that time will fondly remember his workshops on Isicathamiya (a Zulu singing style similar to that of a cappella). The University community is deeply shocked and saddened by Dr Shabalala’s passing. On behalf of the entire UKZN fraternity, I extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and multitude of fans across the world,’ said Bodrick.

Tributes and condolences have been pouring in from around the globe, including from renowned singer/musician Paul Simon who worked with Shabalala on the iconic hit song Homeless. The two sang and performed together on numerous occasions, both in South Africa and a variety of world venues.

Said Simon in his tribute: ‘Joseph Shabalala took Ladysmith Black Mambazo and brought their music all over the world. Imagine! What a great accomplishment for a boy from apartheid South Africa. I admired him for his music and Godly spirit. People love Mambazo. I love Joseph. We had a great time.’

Shabalala started singing in his youth and formed Ezimnyama in 1959, later changing the name to Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Ladysmith being his hometown, Black for the cattle in the area and Mambazo (axe) indicating the group’s “sharpness”.

The group released their debut album in 1973, going on to convert to Christianity and include religious music in their performances.

The group gained international attention when they worked with Simon in 1986 on his album Graceland, co-writing Homeless, the tune being based on an isiZulu wedding song. They also sang the backing to another Simon hit: Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes.

They worked with a variety of music stars including Dolly Parton, Josh Groban and Emmylou Harris; appeared in the Michael Jackson movie, Moon walker; and in 1993, accompanied the late statesman, Nelson Mandela to Oslo where he received the Nobel Peace prize.

Shabalala retired from the group in 2014, leaving four of his sons in the current line-up.

Professor Christopher Ballantine, LG Joel Professor Emeritus of Music and Fellow at UKZN, who was 'close friends for decades' with Shabalala, described the fallen music icon as an 'extraordinary, generous and loveable human being'. He said he was eager to help, kind, gracious to everyone, immensely humble and importantly, keen to do whatever he could to bring about a better, more humble and humane world. 'Franky, these were the values he lived for. They were also the values he expressed so articulately in his huge output of songs for his multiple Grammy award winning vocal group. He left us a legacy not to just admire, but to also ponder and learn from,' he said

Xolani Majozi, the Manager of the group, said the funeral - which is open to the public - would be held in Ladysmith on 22 February with memorial services taking place in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Words: Greg Dardagan

Photograph: GlobalGiving


author : .
author email : .

Ukukleliswa Kwesigaba-A Kungonti Wama-Peptide Wase-UKZN

Ukukleliswa Kwesigaba-A Kungonti Wama-Peptide Wase-UKZN
USolwazi u-Fernando Albericio.Click here for English version

USolwazi u-Fernando Albericio, ongumcwaningi ohlonishwayo eSikoleni SezeKhemistri NeFiziksi ngomsebenzi wakhe kuma-amino acid aziwa ngokuthi ngama-peptide, uphinde wathola ukukleliswa kwesigaba-A2 yi-National Research Foundation (i-NRF) yaseNingizimu Afrika.

Lesi sigaba sisho ukuthi u-Albericio uyisifundiswa esivelele emhlabeni emkhakheni wakhe omiphumela yocwaningo lwakhe lukhombisa izinga eliphezulu negalelo elimqoka.

IDini eyiNhloko yase-SCP, uSolwazi Ross Robinson, uhalalisele u-Albericio ngakubize ‘ngomsebenzi omuhle kakhulu’.

U-Albericio uthole imibiko ethi ungomunye wongoti abathathu emhlabeni endimeni yakhe, omunye umhlaziyi wathi lo mcwaningi usahlalelwe ngomunye umsebenzi obalulekile. Omunye umcwaningi ubalule ubumqoka begalelo lomsebenzi ka-Albericio kwisayensi yamakhemikhali okubumbeka kwama-peptide njengoba ama-peptide amaningi enzeka emhlabeni isisekelo sawo kuwumsebenzi wethimba lakhe lase-UKZN.

‘Ngiyaziqhenya ngalo mklomelo ngoba kuhlolwe, kwaklonyeliswa umsebenzi we-Peptide Science Laboratory yase-UKZN,’ kusho u-Albericio. ‘Ngemva kweminyaka ecela kweyisishiyagalombili sisebenza e-UKZN, sikwazile ukwenza igumbi lokucwaninga eligxile ekubumbekeni nasekusebenzeni kwama-peptide.’

U-Albericio wethemba ukuthi leli zinga ligcwalisa indawo ye-Peptide Science Laboratory, liphendle indlela yokusungulwa kukaSihlalo wama-Peptide ukuqinisa indawo ye-UKZN endimeni yama-Peptide emhlabeni. Ukholwa wukuthi loku kuzokwenza kuhlonishwe umsebenzi wethimba lonke, elinabantu abevile kuma-20, okukhona kulona izitshudeni ezenza iziqu zeMastazi nezobudokotela, asebeneziqu zobudokotela nomcwaningi omkhulu uSolwazi Garcia de la Torre.

Ngesingaye, u-Albericio wethemba ukuthi lesi sigba sizokwelula isikhathi azosihlala e-UKZN. U-Albericio uvame ukuba kwi-Top 30 yabacwaningi kanti usebhale amaphepha ocwaningo evile kuma-950. Unezincwadi ezine azibhale ngokuhlanganyela nabanye, uwumHleli omKhulu wamabhuku ocwaningo amaningi ezesayensi kanti ukwezinye izigungu zabahleli.

U-Albericio usebe wusolwazi wezocwaningo e-UKZN kusukela ngonyaka wezi-2012, wazibonakalisa ngomsebenzi wakhe ngama-peptide ngocwaningo lwakhe emsebenzini wokwelapha umdlavuza nezinye izifo ezithelelanayo. Ungomunye wabasungula i-Peptide Science Laboratory, engukuphela kwegumbi locwaningo eNingizimu Afrika eligxile ekubumbekeni kwama-peptide okwelapha.

Uhlonishwa kakhulu emhlabeni ngomsebenzi wakhe, okukhona kuwona i-2019 Murray Goodman Scientific Excellence & Mentorship Award kwi-American Peptide Society.

U-Albericio, odabuka e-Spain, wathola iziqu zobudokotela kwezamakhemikhali e-University of Barcelona waqedela ucwaningo lweziqu ezelama ezobudokotela eMelika nase-France. Useke wafundisa izikhawu ezimbili e-University of Barcelona, okubalwa kukona ukuba wumQondisi we-Peptide Research e-Millipore e-Boston. Iminyaka eli-12, wayewuMholi weThimba e-Institute for Research in Biomedicine e-Barcelona no-Rector wokuqala wase-Yachay Tech e-Ecuador.

U-Albericio usebe wumeluleki noma omunye wabeluleki bezitshudeni bezifundo zobudokotela abangama-72 nabangama-70 beziqu zeMastazi. Uwumqambi nomsunguli wezinto kanti indlela enza izinto ngayo ihlanganisa ukufundisa nokucwaninga okugxile ekucobeleleni ulwazi locwaningo emphakathini.

Usefake izicelo zamalayisensi okwenza ama-peptide nokusetshenziswa kwawo kanti ithimba lakhe licwaninga izindlela ezintsha zokuletha imithi nokuhlola ngokubumbeka kwama-peptide, wenza imikhiqizo edayisayo eyevile kuma-30.

U-Albericio ukhuthaza ezamabhizinisi nokuqamba izinto ezintsha njengoba asungula waphinda waba nguMqondisi we-Barcelona Science Park, okwaholela ekusungulweni kwezinkampani ezintsha eziyikhulu.

Uphezu kombhidlango wokusungula i-BioDurban, eyisikhowa sobuchwepheshe bezinto ezingacekeli phansi imvelo, kanti usezigungwini zabaqondisi bezinkampani nezinhlangano ezingenzi nzuzo eziningi.

Amagama: nguChristine Cuénod

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


author : .
author email : .

I-UKZN Igqugquzela Impilonhle

I-UKZN Igqugquzela Impilonhle
I-UKZN yethule uhlelo olwehlukile lwezempilonhle yabasebenzi.Click here for English version

ISekelashansela NoMphathi wase-UKZN, uSolwazi Nana Poku, umemezele uhlelo lwabasebenzi olusha lwempilonhle olwenzelwe abasebenzi nemindeni yabo.

Uhlelo lunezeluleko zongoti ezitholakala ubusuku nemini; okuyizeluleko kwezomthetho, ezezimali nezomndeni nolunye usizo ngezempilo nezokwelashwa.

Encwadini ayibhalele abantu baseNyuvesi, uPoku uthe: ‘Sethemba ukuthi uhlelo luzonisiza niphile kahle emsebenzini nasemakhaya.’

UMqondisi wezaBasebenzi, uNkk Busi Ramabodu, ufakazele ukuzibophezela kweNyuvesi kwezempilonhle yabasebenzi. ‘Inhloso wukuqinisekisa ukuthi bonke abasebenzi bayayijabulela indlelakuphila enempilo nokuthi uma kuba khona izinselelo, bakwazi ukuthola usizo.’

URamabodu uthe uhlelo luhambisana nesu leNyuvesi ‘lokugqugquzela indawo yokusebenza emnandi lapho abasebenzi bechuma khona’.

Ube namazwi okukhuthaza abalingani abathwele kanzima. Uthe: ‘Singabantu, kanti ngenxa yaloko sibhekana nezinselelo eziningi ezindabeni ezifana nempilo yomuntu nezezimali, ezengqondo, ezenhlalomnotho nezindaba zomndeni. Kubalulekile ukwazi ukuthi iningi lalezi zinselelo ezesikhashana. Noma kunjalo, ukuthola usizo olufanele ngenye yezindlela ezibaluleke kakhulu zokwelapheka nezokwenza ukuthi sikwazi ukubhekana nalezi zinselelo ngaphambi kokuthi zibe nkulu.’

URamabodu uthe kubalulekile ukuthi iNyuvesi ibe nohlelo lokweseka abantu, nge-ICAS Southern Africa, lapho abasebenzi bekwazi ukusizwa umuntu ongachemile; bakwazi ukumhlebela ngezinselelo ababhekene nazo.

Lolu sizo lutholakala ubusuku nemini kubasebenzi nemindeni yabo abahlala nayo enombolweni yamahhala ethi: 0800-254-255.

UPhiko lwezaBasebenzi luphucula isizindalwazisezempilonhle yabasebenzi kanti kuzoba nemijikelezo emasontweni ezayo. Ungabheka lesi sigcawu nezinye izindaba zaseNyuvesi ngeminye imininingwane!

Amagama: nguRaylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Isithombe: u-Shutterstock


author : .
author email : .

Best Paper Award for UKZN PhD Student

Best Paper Award for UKZN PhD Student
From left: UKZN’s Mr Bonga Ngcobo; Dr Riana Kleynhans from Tshwane University of Technology; and Dr Karin Hannweg from Agricultural Research Council’s Tropical and Subtropical Crops Division.

UKZN Doctoral student, Mr Bonga Ngcobo, has received an award for the best Horticultural Science PhD paper presented at a combined agricultural congress in Bloemfontein.

The event was the annual Combined Congress of the Soil Science Society of South Africa, the South African Weed Science Society, the South African Society of Crop Production and the Southern African Society for Horticultural Sciences (SASHS).

Ngcobo, together with UKZN staff and students from the Disciplines of Soil Science, Plant Pathology and Horticultural Science, was among 250 delegates at the Congress hosted by the Southern African Plant and Soil Sciences Committee. The theme was basic and applied sciences as the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture, with conversations around ensuring sustainable food production despite adverse conditions arising from climate and environmental change.

Ngcobo is conducting research on the use of innovative and sustainable practices to enhance quality and yield of Solanaceous (nightshade) crops for a green South African economy. His research, supervised by Professor Isa Bertling and Dr Alistair Clulow, focuses on improving quality and yield of selected vegetables and fruits in the Solanaceae family that form part of people’s diets in South Africa, using environmentally friendly practices to promote a green economy.

Ngcobo’s presentation at the Congress, one of 195 abstracts received for the event, examined the influence of foliar application of Moringa Oleifera Leaf Extract (MLE) on the growth, yield and nutritional quality of tomatoes. This formed part of his PhD research, with other aspects of his research having been presented previously at the 2nd International Symposium on Moringa, where he won the ISHS Young Minds Award.

At the congress, Ngcobo highlighted the need to find innovative and environmentally friendly horticultural practices to address issues related to the food and nutrition insecurity experienced by poor, rural households and smallholder subsistence farmers in South Africa, and meet world targets to eradicate hunger.

His Combined Congress presentation demonstrated that foliar application with a low concentration of MLE can accelerate growth, improve yield and has the potential to increase nutritional quality and colour of cherry tomatoes. Ngcobo noted the need to find environmentally friendly methods to extract moringa leaves to promote a green economy.

‘Moringa has the potential to partly replace inorganic fertilisers and be used as a biostimulant to improve quality and yield of crops, thereby providing food to feed our nation in a sustainable manner that conserves natural resources,’ said Ngcobo.

‘Various parts of the moringa tree are rich in natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and parts of moringa, including leaves, seeds, and even roots, have a wide range of uses, from medicinal to horticultural and industrial applications,’ he said.

Ngcobo said the award he received at the Combined Congress would not have been possible without the support of Bertling, who provided him with academic experiences and research opportunities he had never imagined possible before he arrived at UKZN.

He enjoyed the Congress experience, particularly being able to exchange and test new ideas, meet other scientists, and stimulate new development and innovative research in the plant science arena.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Student Promotes Visibility of Africans in STEM

UKZN Student Promotes Visibility of Africans in STEM
Ms Anne Chisa.

UKZN student, Ms Anne Chisa, who recently completed her Master’s of Science in Agriculture degree specialising in Crop Science, has joined a new initiative aimed at increasing the visibility of Africans working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

The Visibility STEM Africa (VSA) initiative was founded by PhD candidates, Ms Nathasia Muwanigwa and Ms Nataša Lazarevic, who both grew up in Botswana. They are joined by Chisa and Zimbabwean health practitioner Ms Prue Chitekwe, who are correspondents for the VSA.

The VSA amplifies the voices of Africans working in STEM fields and contributing to modern life. Highlighting the achievements and efforts of diverse African contributors, they hope to create a new narrative concerning Africa’s position in the global STEM landscape. They promote collaboration, inspire the next generation of young Africans through mentorship, disseminate information about studying in STEM or pursuing careers in the field, and create outreach projects to promote careers in STEM.

Chisa, the group’s resident blogger, became involved after seeing a tweet from Muwanigwa about considering the founding of such a group. Chisa had noticed the need for a platform to promote the visibility of Africans in STEM, and offered to contribute. The Malawian-born student is currently doing a blog series for VSA about studying in South Africa as an African, wherein she describes her experiences as a student and why she chose to study in South Africa. The blog will delve into crucial information non-local students need to know, social and cultural experiences of her own journey, and perspectives of other international students studying in South Africa.

Chisa, who is keen to use this experience to expand her skills in science communication, highlighted the blog’s importance in hosting posts relating to personal experiences or scientific research.

Chisa was inspired to pursue studies in agricultural science after a family friend who was an agricultural engineer advised her on career choices, and by her mother’s passion for gardening and growing her own vegetables. Her love for Geography and Biology also led her to this field, however she says even she had misconceptions about a career in STEM, picturing white coats, laboratories and teaching. Her perspectives broadened after joining UKZN alumnus, Ms Ndoni Mcunu’s Black Women in Science organisation last year. Observing Mcunu, Chisa realised the networking and empowerment opportunities available to people working in STEM, encouraging her to join VSA.

‘The great thing about VSA is that it allows the current and upcoming generation of Africans in STEM to see visible role models who can inspire them to achieve so many great things,’ said Chisa.

Chisa recently completed her master’s thesis on the topic of screening improved short and medium duration pigeon pea genotypes for yield performance inKwaZulu-Natal under the supervision of Professor Paramu Mafongoya and Dr Alfred Odindo. She thanked her supervisors for their mentorship, and said she plans to continue to PhD studies in which she will adopt an interdisciplinary, sustainable science approach combining the natural and social sciences. She dreams of a career where she can combine her love of science, writing, interacting and helping people.

VSA, active on social media platforms including FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram, invites the contributions of Africans working in STEM through joining the VSA network and sharing personal stories.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

CCMS Students visit Uzalo TV Show Studio

CCMS Students visit <em>Uzalo</em> TV Show Studio
CCMS students who visited the Uzalo TV show studio - (from left) Ms Rethabile Moeketsi, Ms Nolwazi Ngcobo, Mr Qiniso Mbili and Ms Shannon Landers.

Four Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) honours students - Ms Rethabile Moeketsi, Ms Nolwazi Ngcobo, Mr Qiniso Mbili and PhD candidate Ms Shannon Landers - recently visited the Uzalo TV show studio in Durban, accompanied by their supervisor, Professor Lauren Dyll.

Uzalo: Blood is Forever, produced by Stained Glass Productions, is South Africa’s most watched soap opera with its captivating drama narrative situated in the KwaZulu-Natal township of KwaMashu. The soapie, predominately targeted at Black African isiZulu speaking viewers, tells the story of two babies from different families who were accidentally swapped in hospital after birth, and the resulting drama and feud between the two families.

It also highlights aspects of culture, identity and social issues in KwaMashu.

The students, who had based their honours research project on the show, were given the opportunity to visit the Uzalo studio and interview executive producer Mmamitsi Thibedi, asking her questions relevant to their dissertations. They also presented their research findings to her.

Moeketsi said the Uzalo experience was both exciting and memorable. ‘The night before the trip to the studio, I was so excited I could not sleep as we were going to see most of the soap’s stars and take tons of pictures with the cast. It was my first visit to a television show studio.’

The students, who spoke to Thibedi about the production process - including scriptwriting and how the soapie comes to life on screen, were given a complete tour of the studio. They also met with two of the cast members, who were shooting on the day.

‘What was most thrilling about touring the studio was being able to link what I usually see on Uzalo and what I actually saw at their studio,’ said Moeketsi. ‘The studio was exceptionally well structured with each cubical symbolising each room shown on the soap. Each cubical held a realist portrayal of actual settings, including real and actual functioning, lights, taps, electrical plugs, stoves and other appliances. Our tour guide answered all our questions and showed us every aspect of the studio set which made our experience all the more special.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo and Rethabile Moeketsi

Photograph: Lauren Dyll


author : .
author email : .

Books Authored by Church of Scientology Founder Donated to UKZN

Books Authored by Church of Scientology Founder Donated to UKZN
The latest editions of American author and founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.

United States-based Bridge Publications has given UKZN Libraries 18 of the latest editions of American author and founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard’s non-fiction books.

In 1950, Hubbard authored Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and established a series of organisations to promote his controversial beliefs.

Now an international top-selling author, Hubbard is named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the globe’s “most translated author” and as the author with the most published works.

Bridge Publications, a non-profit organisation specialising in publishing Hubbard’s non-fiction writing, donated the latest editions of his work and DVDs which will be distributed among UKZN’s campuses and libraries.

Manager: Library Information Services on the Pietermaritzburg campus, Dr Nonhlanhla Ngcobo thanked Bridge Publications, saying: ‘We appreciate their kindness and will be putting these books to very good use.’

Ngcobo confirmed that the first shipment had already been received on the Westville campus, while the other consignment was expected soon and would be allocated among the other UKZN campuses.

Principal Librarian on the Westville campus, Dr Richard Beharilal also thanked Bridge Publications as well as the company’s representative Ms Melisa Graffam, and Ms Ashika Pramlal who handles Library donations at UKZN, and everyone else involved.

Words: Hlengiwe Khwela

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

Colloquium Zooms in on Social Justice for Children

Colloquium Zooms in on Social Justice for Children
Presenters at the Colloquium.

The Navi Pillay Research Group (NRPG) in collaboration with the Children’s Rights Research Interest Group (CRRIG) at UKZN’s School of Law hosted a one-day colloquium themed: Children at the Heart of Social Justice.

Presenters covered issues impacting on children such discipline; Gender-Based Violence; cyber-bullying; the protection of personal information in the digital space; treatment by the justice system, and sexual and reproductive rights.

Also debated were the treatment of refugee children and the protection of the rights of disabled youngsters.

Speakers at the conference included Mr Clement Marumoagae of the University of Witwatersrand, Ms Thandeka Duma of Lawyers for Human Rights, Mr Stanley Malematja of the Right2Protest Project, and Ms Nicci Whitear-Nel, Ms Willene Holness, Dr Lee Swales, Ms Dusty-Lee Donelly, Dr Norah Msuya, Professor Ann Strode and Dr Brigette Clark – all of UKZN’s School of Law.

Clark’s keynote address was titled: Why Can’t I Discipline my Child Properly? Banning Corporal Punishment and its Consequences, which examined the issue in the light of recent research into the effects on children of corporal punishment in the home and subsequent developments in the country. It also addressed the pros and cons of the ruling against corporal punishment and how it can be enforced in South African homes.

Dean and Head of School of Law, Professor Managay Reddi said: ‘We formally launched the NRPG in August last year and established the research group’s status as a collection of scholars with diverse research interests and agendas, but with one common goal which is: To promote the wellbeing of humankind primarily through the framework of the law. Today’s colloquium reflects this goal beautifully by focusing on issues of critical significance to the most important component of humankind, namely, our children.

‘Colloquia like today’s gathering are important initiatives as they cover the wide gambit of problems facing our children that need to be resolved urgently. I am therefore delighted to warmly welcome you to today’s colloquium as I am confident you will find every one of the presentations interesting and a source of useful recommendations aimed at achieving social justice for all,’ said Reddi. 

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Andile Ndlovu


author : .
author email : .

Decolonising Knowledge and Power

Decolonising Knowledge and Power
Highlights from the Summer School hosted by the College of Humanities.

The College of Humanities hosted their second annual Summer School on UKZN’s Howard College campus under the theme: Decolonising Knowledge and Power: Post-Colonial Studies, Decolonial Horizons.

The Summer School is part of a series of lectures, seminars and workshops under UKZN’s Social Cohesion Flagship (SCF) programme aimed at capacity building in the areas of theory, research methodology and academic/scientific writing.

At the forefront of the Summer School venture are School of Education academics Dr Saajidha Sader and Professor Relebohile Moletsane.

The Summer School is part of a larger intellectual and political initiative generally referred to as the modernity/ (de)coloniality research project. It is offered in collaboration with the Centre of Study and Investigation for Decolonial Dialogues (CSIDD) in Barcelona, Spain.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of UKZN’s College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize said: ‘Decoloniality is an integral aspect of the University. We need to decolonise knowledge in its entirety and not limit it to the Humanities and Social Sciences. We plan to integrate the decoloniality aspect into the doctoral programme.’

Professor Ramon Grosfoguel of the CSIDD added: ‘We must decolonise power and knowledge and have critical conversations to move universities to pluraversities.

He explained, ‘An underlying assumption of the project takes knowledge-making, since the European Renaissance, as a fundamental aspect of “coloniality” – the process of domination and exploitation of the Capitalist/Patriarchal/Imperial Western Metropolis over the rest of the world,’ he said. Decolonising knowledge and power becomes, then, a task and a process of liberation from assumed principles of knowledge and understanding of how the world is and should be, as well as from forms of organising the economy and political authority.’

According to Sader, the Summer School, which brings together local and international decoloniality/anti-coloniality scholars, aims to advance the scope of the dialogue on decoloniality/ decolonisation in the sphere of knowledge and Higher Education. 

The Summer School is further supported by Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Deresh Ramjugernath and Dr Rubby Dhunpath of UKZN’s Teaching and Learning Office.

The planning team this year included academics in the College of Humanities: Ms Luthando Ngema, Ms Ongezwa Mbele, Ms Pumelele Nqelenga, and Ms Tamantha Hammerschlag.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Albert Hirasen


author : .
author email : .

Hydrology PhD Candidate Benefits from Academic Visit to the UK

Hydrology PhD Candidate Benefits from Academic Visit to the UK
Mr Mlungisi Shabalala during his visit at Oxford University.

UKZN Hydrology PhD candidate, Mr Mlungisi Shabalala, has returned from a two-month academic visit to the United Kingdom which, he says, reaffirmed the value of the education he has received.

The visit was part of the new Advanced Academic and Professional Development Programme run by the Institute of Natural Resources (INR) in partnership with the International Water Security Network (IWSN), the University of West England (UWE) and UKZN’s Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR).

For the majority of the visit, Shabalala was hosted by Professor Chad Staddon, IWSN Chair based at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at UWE in Bristol. He also spent three weeks at Cranfield University, hosted by Professor Tim Hess, a Principal Investigator for the work package that includes INR in a project investigating the resilience of the UK Food System funded by Global Food Security Programme.

While at UWE, Shabalala presented a seminar titled: The Resilience of the UK Fresh Fruit System to Water- Related Risks: a Case Study from a Semi-Arid South African Catchment, and attended the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Conference in London. During his time at Cranfield he attended the About Drought meeting in London.

Shabalala, who is also lecturer in the Hydrology discipline at the University of Zululand, went on to spend two days at Oxford University, engaging in project-related meetings with Dr Monika ZurekDr John Ingram and Professor Rob Hope, and took the opportunity to tour the historic town.

‘During my time in the UK, I was able to accelerate my research, particularly into the UK Food Systems project, attract interest in my PhD research, and develop numerous connections for potential collaboration,’ he said.

Shabalala also used the opportunity to learn about how UK universities operate as opposed to their South African counterparts, and to visit as much of the country as he could, weather permitting.

‘I learned a lot of research-related skills through interacting with several experts in climate, water, land, food, energy and engineering relevant research,’ he said.

Shabalala thanked Mr Duncan Hay, Executive Director of the INR, for the opportunity, and also Staddon and Hess for their hospitality.

Shabalala said the most amazing (and unexpected) result of the trip was the effect it had on his family and friends, who were excited at the opportunity for him, and whose excitement motivated him to work harder.

‘That’s the biggest impact the trip had - a reflection of where I come from and how far I can go, through education,’ said Shabalala. He hoped to inspire young people, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, to believe that education can improve their lives and those of their families.

Shabalala is from eMaswazini-KwaSimahla near Winterton. His PhD, supervised by Dr Michele Toucher and Dr Alistair Clulow, investigates the potential hydrological impacts of replacing commercial forestry with macadamia nuts by measuring and comparing the water use of these two land use activities in the Maputaland Coastal Plain in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Teams Shine at National Computing Competitions

UKZN Teams Shine at National Computing Competitions
The Computer Science team receiving its award (top) and the Engineering team (bottom).

Three UKZN teams excelled in national competitions hosted at the annual Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) Conference.

Computer Science and Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering teams took part in the Cyber Security Challenge, while the Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering team competed in the high performance computing’s Student Cluster Competition.

The Computer Science team won the social engineering challenge, narrowly missed winning the hashing challenge, and finished joint fifth for the main “capture the flag” challenge. The Engineering team was placed fourth in the “capture the flag” challenge.

The Cyber Security Challenge is designed to allow participants to test their skills and learn in both defensive and offensive techniques in a safe environment. The aim is to increase skilled entries into the cyber security workforce in South Africa, where there is a shortage of cyber security professionals. The challenge was run by the South African National Research Network (SANReN), and sponsored by Microsoft, F-Secure, and Cyanre.

A total of 12 teams participated - nine from South Africa and one each from Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique. These teams qualified for the finals after participating in a preliminary round consisting of over 400 students from the four countries.

UKZN’s Computer Science team comprised, Mr Aidan Pellow-Jarman, Mr Cameron Raaf, and Mr Rowan Pellow-Jarman, while the Engineering team in the Cyber Security Challenge featured Mr André van der Walt, Mr Arshaad Jobraj, Mr Barnabas Tinarwo and Mr Sheheen Phekoo. Both teams in the Cyber Security Challenge were mentored by Dr Brett van Niekerk, a senior UKZN lecturer in Computer Science.

An Engineering team member, van der Walt, mentored the Cluster Competition team.

The Student Cluster Competition - run by the Centre for High Performance Computing - tasks students with designing the hardware and software of a high-performance computing cluster using a set budget. Following a preliminary selection and training round held at the University of Pretoria, a UKZN team consisting of four third-year students - Mr Justin Kistnan, Ms Kalreen Govender, Mr Benjamin Bedasi and Mr Karthigan Naidoo - was selected to progress to the national round.

Over the course of the competition, the team spent many sleepless nights in an attempt to achieve the highest score in a suite of benchmarks provided by the organisers.

At the conclusion, Govender was selected as a member of the team to represent South Africa at the International round of the competition to be held in Germany later this year. As part of the SA team,

Govender travelled to Texas in the United States for training, also fitting in some sightseeing, visiting NASA and the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

Van Niekerk was also invited to present at the National Integrated Cyber Infrastructure System (NICIS) Cyber Security Engagement Session on the day after the challenge. His presentation was titled: Evolving Cybersecurity: A South African Perspective.

Words: Ndabaonline

Photographs: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

German Exchange Programme for Social Work Students

German Exchange Programme for Social Work Students
Dr Maud Mthembu (extreme right) with Social Work students who visited Germany.

Six UKZN Social Work students were in Germany on an exchange programme for two weeks.

The students were Ms Nosipho Funeka, Ms Thenjiwe Mlotshwa, Ms Nosipho Ngema, Ms Kwena Tlhaku, Mr Ntuthuko Mabuyakhulu and Mr Siphelele Mosea.

The programme is part of the Internationalisation for Building Competencies Project (IFBC) - a partnership between UKZN, Facchochschule Dortmund University in Germany, and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The three principal investigators of the four-year project are Professor Michael Boecker of Facchochschule Dortmund University, Dr Maud Mthembu of UKZN and Professor Tanusha Raniga of UJ.

During the first week, the German and South African social work students deliberated on the consequences of globalisation and its implications for social work practice, specifically looking at the four key aspects of the global agenda which are promoting human rights and social justice, globalisation and poverty, working towards environmental sustainability, and promoting human rights and social cohesion.

In the second week, the students visited organisations such as Caritas to understand how social work services are implemented in Germany. The students also visited Sankt Jacobus Schule.

The visitors had the opportunity to visit tourist attractions such as the Old Industrial Mine, the City of Cologne and the Lernot Stadion.

For Mabuyakhulu, the programme was a dream come true. ‘This experience was humbling and has motivated me to work harder. It was my first time out of the country and I was able to be an ambassador for South Africa,’ he said.

Mosea said the trip had been an excellent learning experience. ‘This trip exposed me to different people. I learned that rules, morals and ethics change when you move to a different country so it is important to change the way you think about things.’

Funeka believes it’s important for students to participate in exchange programmes. ‘Students who take that leap of faith regardless of how stiff the competition seems or how daunting it is to step out of one’s comfort zone, become exceptional.’

Masters student Mlotshwa advised other students to apply when such opportunities arose. ‘Do not limit your goals, desires and knowledge just purely on South Africa - rather have a global or international outlook on life. It is also important to work hard because often in such things academic performance, community engagements, and leadership are among requirements when opportunities arise,’ she said.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN a Centre for Kiwifruit Research

UKZN a Centre for Kiwifruit Research
Ms Nomasonto Mahlaba, master’s student working on UKZN’s Golden Kiwi project, with Professor Samson Tesfay in a kiwifruit orchard.

UKZN is now a centre for innovative research that will contribute to the country’s nascent kiwifruit industry as a result of a new project being led by Professor Samson Tesfay in the Discipline of Horticultural Science.

Research at the University will investigate the optimum time for picking Golden Kiwis, establish the correct storage temperatures for harvested fruit to ensure the longest possible shelf life, and determine how best to cool the fruit once it has been packed for transport or sale.

The project, funded for an initial two years by the Post-Harvest Innovation Programme (PHI) and Specialist Kiwi Technical, is a partnership between industry and academia that will share resources and expertise. Fruit export company FreshWorld has independently funded the installation of state-of-the-art cold rooms and fridges for this project in the Rabie Saunders Building on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

Working with project co-ordinator, UKZN alumnus and independent consultant, Professor Malcolm Dodd, Tesfay is Principal Investigator for the project, which forms the basis of training a master’s student and two honours students, and employing an intern to assist with the sampling and laboratory work.

Using kiwifruit grown in the Richmond area, as well as fruit arriving via airfreight immediately after being harvested in Mpumalanga, researchers conduct a series of experiments involving the fruit being picked at various points of maturity, and then subjected to a series of step-down treatments at different temperatures over a six- to eight-week period.

Capitalising on the wealth of agricultural knowledge at UKZN, Tesfay is taking a team approach and working with colleagues in the Disciplines of Crop Science, Horticultural Science, Agricultural Engineering, Agrometeorology, Plant Pathology, Dietetics and Human Nutrition, among others, to enhance these research outputs.

‘We are looking forward to seeing the kiwifruit sector flourish,’ said Tesfay, ‘and are grateful for the input from FreshWorld and their decision to invest for the future of research into this industry.’

Kiwifruit, which originates in China and was commercialised in New Zealand, is a relatively new crop in South Africa, having been cultivated here for five years and currently occupying 75ha across the country. Given the small industry base producing the fruit, the time is ripe for investment in the industry, prompting further need for research into production practices.

Export of the fruit to international markets, where it is in high demand and popular for its lifestyle image and health benefits, means that research is needed into the timeframes for harvest and postharvest storage in South Africa, which differs geographically from other countries producing kiwifruit.

The knowledge base in South Africa is not advanced, and cultivars currently grown are imported from Italy, with local growers having minimal knowledge about cultivation practices such as plant nutrition, irrigation and pest control. The UKZN research team hopes to contribute in all these areas, particularly the development of new and more diverse cultivars, and in doing so fulfill the legacy of the late Professor Peter Allan, who had begun research on kiwifruit.

The installation of cold storage technology for these experiments is an important advance for agricultural research at UKZN, as the converted shipping containers that were previously used were not ideal. Despite this, UKZN has consistently produced excellent postharvest research, which will be accelerated by the new technology available.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .