Public Protector Nurtures Legal Talent

Public Protector Nurtures Legal Talent
Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela taking photos with Law students after her address.

Advocate Thuli Madonsela encouraged scores of young Law students who attended her recent address at the Pietermaritzburg campus to use their legal talent to transform society for the better.

The address was part of the Law Profession’s Day organised by the School of Law and held annually in Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

The event involves South Africa’s top legal firms advising students on a variety of career paths available to them within the legal profession and also provides a platform for firms to recruit the University’s top Law students.

Madonsela’s inspirational talk covered how she executes her role as the Public Protector independently, transparently, ethically and in line with the Constitution and how President Jacob Zuma is happy with her performance; she shared how her daughter who was in her second year of Law studies at the time, had pointed out immediately after the Oscar Pistorius judgment, why Judge Thokozile Masipa was mistaken about the concept of dolus eventualis. Remarking that this was evidence of the power of young legal minds, Advocate Madonsela called on students to find their place within the legal profession and to start their own social justice movement.

‘The role played by lawyers in society gives meaning to the provisions of our Constitution. The role of young lawyers is in supporting Chapter 9 of the Constitution, strengthening our constitutional democracy and guiding citizens of their legal rights. Don’t do what you found being done but read the law for yourself,’ she said.

Madonsela also advised students not to think that law was limited to the courtroom but to also consider careers in the office of the Public Protector and in academia especially in institutions such as the African Ombudsman Research Centre where fresh ideas and skills were needed to strengthen good governance in Africa.

The Dean and Head of the School of Law, Professor Managay Reddi, said through events such as Law Professions Day, the School not only strengthened ties with the legal profession but it was also a way of ensuring that the legal training offered at the School was of the highest standard and up to date with the latest developments in the profession.

In his message, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John Mubangizi, emphasised that the College remained committed to providing excellent legal education with the aim of producing responsible graduates who would in turn contribute to the strengthening of the legal profession and the development and consolidation of a constitutional and democratic society.

 Thandiwe Jumo


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UKZN Academic Authors Book on Globalisation and Seafaring Labour Markets

UKZN Academic Authors Book on Globalisation and Seafaring Labour Markets
Dr Shaun Ruggunan with the newly published book.

Human Resources Management expert, Dr Shaun Ruggunan’s book titled: Waves of Change, Globalisation and seafaring labour markets published by HSRC Press aims to create awareness of the importance of seafarers and the shipping industry to South Africa’s economy.

‘The story of seafarers and shipping that I tell in this book is really an account of how global capitalism is reshaping every aspect of work and workplaces. Whilst the book focuses specifically on the maritime industry, its arguments can easily be extrapolated to most other occupations and industries,’ explained Ruggunan.

The book which is linked to Ruggunan’s decade long research and interest in global labour markets and seafaring as an occupation explores how the cargo shipping industry is the most globalised industry in the world and yet there is very little about the context in which these ships operate or the ways in which seafaring labour is organised.

‘I am continuing with this vein of research by examining how other professions reconfigure as a consequence of global capitalism.  The book is targeted at those with scholarly interest in how global labour markets are formed under capitalism. However, it will also be of interest to those outside of academia who have a lay interest in these matters. Industrial Relations, Human Resources Development, Labour Studies, Industrial Sociology and Economics scholars and students may also find it of some interest,’ said Ruggunan.

The book’s chapters are: Rupture! Capitalism and labour marketsMaking sense of the puzzle of seafaring labour marketsProducing labour markets: The role of organised labourThe role of state institutions in shaping the labour market for seafarers and The Kraken released: Reflections on global capital, labour and the state.

Dr Marcus Bowles, Director of the Institute for Working Futures and Professor at the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania said the book ‘highlights the complex and often poorly understood world of the global shipping industry and the seafarers who carry more than 90% of the world’s trade by volume.’

‘As one of the oldest global industries, the book challenges the simplistic capitalistic and neoclassical ideals that subsequently argue for nation states to leave the commercial fate of any domestic shipping industry to global market forces. Instead the author asks many critical questions, the author shows that globalisation does not always mean a “race to the bottom” for workers: labour solidarity and interventionist states shape globalisation as much as ship owners do,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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UKZN Students give Career Guidance to High School Pupils

UKZN Students give Career Guidance to High School Pupils
The UKZN Moshal Scholarship Programme students with pupils from Nhlanhlayethu Secondary School and Senzokwethu High School.

The UKZN Moshal Scholarship Programme students recently conducted career guidance sessions at Durban’s Nhlanhlayethu Secondary School in Inanda and Senzokwethu High School in Ntuzuma.

The students also took the pupils on a tour of the Howard College campus.

College of Humanities student, Mr Nathie Hadebe, said: ‘The purpose of the career guidance was to inform students from disadvantaged schools about how they can empower themselves through education. Last year, we were assigned to come up with a project that would help put the foundational values of our scholarship into practice.

‘We came up with the idea to tutor and provide career guidance to matric and Grade 9 pupils from disadvantaged schools and, making the most of the limited resources, to help them realise their dreams,’ he said.

The career guidance sessions provided the learners with information on available courses at the University and knowledge of the procedures for applications for bursaries and scholarships. The sessions also examined filling out Central Application Office forms and how to construct a motivational letter when applying for financial aid.

The UKZN Moshal Scholarship Students hope to provide career guidance to more learners in the future.

Melissa Mungroo


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UKZN Academics part of International Congress on Islamic Civilisation

UKZN Academics part of International Congress on Islamic Civilisation
UKZN’s Professor Suleman Dangor (fourth left) and Professor Donal McCracken (fourth right) with participants at the International Congress.

UKZN together with Awqaf South Africa, the Research Institute for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), and the International Peace College South Africa (IPSA) hosted the 2nd International Congress on Islamic Civilisation in Southern Africa.

The congress on the Westville campus aimed to increase knowledge and heritage of Islam in southern Africa while strengthening ties among Muslim and African nations by disseminating Islamic and cultural knowledge.

‘This is a forum for the true understanding of Islamic culture in the world and to promote better understanding and dialogue among Muslim people and people of other faiths and cultural communities,’ said Mr Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, CEO of Awqaf South Africa.

Professor Suleman Dangor of the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics delivered the keynote address on Civilisations in Crisis, in particular, the crisis of Islamic and Western civilisations. He described the characteristics of ancient, modern Western and Islamic civilisations and discussed the challenges posed by issues relating to individualism, relativism, democracy, sustainable development and nationalism. 

Linking to the revival of Islamic civilisation, Dangor said: ‘Muslim youth believe that Islam cannot assimilate new knowledge but that is a complete fallacy. Islam has always accommodated customs from other societies which do not contradict Islamic teachings.’ He questioned Huntington’s prediction of a clash of civilisations and pointed to the proposal at the United Nations by the Spanish and Turkish presidents for a dialogue among civilisations.

Other UKZN academics who participated in the congress were Dr Lubna Nadvi of the School of Social Sciences who spoke about leadership and public participation among young Muslim South Africans under the segment on Politics and Civics chaired by UKZN’s Mr Tahir Sitoto.

Ms Cherry Muslim chaired a session on History and Identity.

During the congress, Dangor also spoke about Natal Muslims and International Relations.

Professor Donal McCracken from the College of Humanities, said Islamic Studies was important and UKZN supported the Discipline. ‘We have esteemed intellectual academics and experts on Islamic Studies at UKZN and we are proud to be partners in this Congress.’

Melissa Mungroo


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College of Humanities partners with CODESRIA and Comparative Research Programme on Poverty for Poverty Research

College of Humanities partners with CODESRIA and Comparative Research Programme on Poverty for Poverty Research
Back, from left: Professors Donal McCracken, Stephen Mutula, Pholoho Morojele, Alberto Cimadamore, and Mr Andrew Okem; and (front) Dr Sharmla Rama, Professors Betty Mubangizi, Oliver Mtapuri, Cheryl Potgieter, Sarah Bracking, Ms Kathleen Diga, and Professor Sozinho Franscisco Matsinhe.

The College of Humanities hosted a two-day workshop to facilitate the formation of an international collaboration on capacity building and poverty reduction.

The overall purpose of the workshop was to review and develop plans for a partnership between UKZN and the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) - a programme of the International Social Science Council (ISSC) hosted by the University of Bergen, and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research (CODESRIA) in Africa, headquartered in Dakar, Senegal.

Among those at the workshop, facilitated by the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, were the DVC of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter as well as the Acting Dean of the School of Arts, Professor Donal McCracken; the Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Professor Stephen Mutula; the Interim Dean of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, Professor Betty Mubangizi, and the College’s Acting Dean of Research, Professor Pholoho Morojele.

Providing valuable input to proceedings were researchers, Dr Andrew Okem and Ms Kathleen Diga of the South African Research Chair initiative (SARChI) in Poverty Reduction; Dr Sharmla Rama of Sociology, and Professor Oliver Mtupuri of Development Studies.

The workshop allowed participants the opportunity to brainstorm on the best approach for establishing a Pan-African epistemic community of young scholars passionate about issues of poverty and sustainable development.

Welcoming everyone, Potgieter said: ‘The College of Humanities has a number of strategic Memorandums of Understanding with universities around the world and the current partnership is in line with the College’s strategic goal of collaborative research.’ She added that the College was committed to addressing challenges of poverty from a transdisciplinary approach.

Director of CROP, Professor Alberto Cimadamore, said he was excited about the partnership as it would enable partners to work in collaboration with knowledge networks, institutions and scholars, while CODESRIA’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Professor Sozinho Franscisco Matsinhe, stated that his organisation was committed to filling the research gap in social science and humanities in Africa.

Professor Sarah Bracking, the South African Research Chair in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment, highlighted the poverty reduction research initiatives being implemented by the Chair and expressed confidence the partnership would contribute to furthering the frontier of poverty reduction research in Africa.

The workshop ended with parties agreeing to some tangible outcomes, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the partnership as well as plans for a meeting in Dakar later in the year and a workshop in 2017.

There were also discussions on the contribution of a summer school and further commitment by the Director of the Library, Ms Joyce Myeza, who will help develop a virtual library platform to allow for access to resources and materials in the area of poverty studies.


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Institutionalisation of African Traditional Medicine in SA discussed in Public Lecture

Institutionalisation of African Traditional Medicine in SA discussed in Public Lecture
Professor Nceba Gqaleni (centre) with Community Development Lecturer Ms Phindile Shangase (second left) and students.

Hosted by the Discipline of Community Development (School of Built Environment and Development Studies), the SA Research Chair in Indigenous Health Care Systems, Professor Nceba Gqaleni, presented a public lecture titled: “Institutionalisation and Professionalisation of African Traditional Medicine in South Africa”.

Gqaleni conducts basic and applied research into traditional medicine and Indigenous Health Care Systems. 

In his lecture, Gqaleni provided a historical account of the policy framework on the Institutionalisation of African Traditional Medicine in South Africa, emphasising that the traditional medicine sector required developmental support as it was used by a large percentage of the South African population.  

Explaining the role of traditional healers and their link to Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), Gqaleni said: ‘When a patient visits a healer, the healer checks the person’s spiritually. They want to restore the individual as a person. Modern medicine would treat the TB bacteria in the patient, while the healers will treat patients as whole people. Traditional medicine is embedded in Ubuntu and Africanism and there is wisdom in traditional knowledge.’

Gqaleni sees traditional technologies and innovations as a viable, humane and sustainable path to economic development. ‘Access to resources and the associated traditional knowledge can provide substantial benefits to public health,’ he said.

He had this advice for students: ‘African Traditional Medicine needs to be treated with respect. As future community developers, you need to be conscious of this as you go about enriching the lives of people within communities.’

In his closing remarks, Gqaleni said a national policy on Traditional Medicine was in its final stage of development which will lead to changes in legislation.

Melissa Mungroo


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Edgewood Campus Wins KZN University Soccer Championships

Edgewood Campus Wins KZN University Soccer Championships
UKZN’s Edgewood campus soccer team.

UKZN’s Edgewood campus soccer team was crowned KwaZulu-Natal university champions at the recent University Sport South Africa league.

An Edgewood player, Mr Tebogo Hlao, said: ‘We competed against tough opponents including teams from UKZN’s Pieternmaritzburg, Westville, and Howard College campuses as well as  DUT Durban, DUT Midlands, Unizulu and MUT but managed to finish as overall winners. It wasn’t easy but hard work, determination and sacrifices from both players and management gave us the result,’ said Hlao.

Players acknowledged the coach, Mr Zweli Sapula, for his good recruitment strategy that has kept the team strong since 2012. ‘When good players graduate and leave, replacements are always there to take over. Our team contains both graduate and postgraduate students,’ said Hlao.

Edgewood will represent UKZN and KwaZulu-Natal at the USSA National Championships in Bloemfontein later this month.

Tebogo Hlao


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Owayengumfundi WezoLimo Uqokwe Njengenxusa Lenhlangano i-REJEUFEA

Owayengumfundi WezoLimo Uqokwe Njengenxusa Lenhlangano i-REJEUFEA
Owayengumfundi wase-UKZN, uMnu Nkosinathi Nkosi.

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UMnu Nkosinathi Nkosi, oneziqu emkhakheni wezoLimo i-Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management eSikoleni sase-UKZN seSayensi YezoLimo, YezoMhlaba NeyezeMvelo, uqokwe  njengenxusa lenhlangano ezinze eBenin yentsha nabesifazane abangosomabhizinisi abangabalimi (REJEUFEA). 

UNkosi nguye yedwa ongowase-Ningizimu Afrika kwabayi- 19 abangamanxusa naye.

 I-RÉJEUFEA igqugquzela ukuba osomabhizinisi bezolimo, ukuthuthukisa abesifazane nentsha ukuze kuqinisekiswe ukuzimela kwezezimali, ukutholakala kokudla, ukuthuthukiswa kwezindawo zasemaphandleni, nomkhakha wezolimo oqinile. Ihlose ukukhulisa isibalo sabesifazane abangosomabhizinisi bezolimo nokugqugquzela ezobuholi entsheni nokuthuthukisa ulwazi ngamathuba atholakalayo.    

UNkosi wafaka isicelo sokuba kulesi sikhundla ngenkathi eyivolontiya enqgungqutheleni yentsha engabalimi eyayihlelwe yi-Centre for Coerdination of Agriculture Research and Development and Extension of Southern Africa ngonyaka wezi-2015.

Njengenxusa, uNkosi uzonxenxa intsha yaseNingizimu Afrika ukuba ibe ngamalungu aphinde asungule osomabhizinisi bengabadi abangabalimi, akiqize ividiyo ekhuluma ngentuthuko kwezolimo nezindaba zaseNingizimu Afrika, futhi abe nomkhankaso njalo ezinyangeni ezine ozokhuthaza abantu abasha nabesifazane ukuthi bangene emkhakheni wezolimo.    

Uzobhala njalo esizindalwazini se-RÉJEUFEA, alekelele ekuhlelweni kwenguqngquthela yonyaka yenhlangano, abe nemicimbi yezifunda, abambe iqhaza emicimbini yomhlaba futhi abe nezingxoxo nabantu abasha base-Afrika ngezolimo. 

UNkosi unentshisekelo yokubona izimpilo zabantu abasha ziguqukile ngokuba yingxenye yalomkhakha. Uyi-CEO yeqembu i-Agri-Groomers okuyingosi lapho kuthuthukiswa khona intsha ngemisebenzi etholakala emkhakheni wezolimo e-UKZN neKolishi Yezolimo iCedara. Ungumlawuli wenkampani yezolimokuvakasha i-Ebukhosini Agritourism ne-Rural Wealth Creators okuwuhlelo oluhlinzeka ngezeluleko.

UNkosi ubonge umndeni wakhe ngempumelelo asebe nayo ikakhulukazi umkhulu wakhe waphinde wabonga abasebenzi base-Cedara, umfundisi wakhe nozakwabo bakwa-Agri-Groomers ngokumeseka.   

UNkosi ubehlele ukuqhuba izifundo zakhe ze-Onazi e-UKZN kodwa wavinjwa ukuntuleka kwezimali. Unesifiso sokubhalisela uhlelo lwezifundo ze-Masitazi emkhakheni we-Global Management eziseNyuvesi yase-Salford e-United Kingdom

 Christine Cuénod


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Fulbright Scholar from Virginia Commonwealth University visits UKZN

Fulbright Scholar from Virginia Commonwealth University visits UKZN
Professor Colleen Downs with Dr James Vonesh.

Dr James Vonesh of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the United States visited UKZN’s School of Life Sciences to present a lecture based on his work as Principal Investigator at VCU’s Vonesh lab.

Vonesh is currently conducting research and teaching at Stellenbosch University on a Fulbright Scholarship sabbatical.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between UKZN and VCU in 2005 to facilitate collaboration in research and teaching. Since 2013, the exchange of staff and students has been taking place in UKZN’s Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.

Vonesh’s visit explored prospects for engagement in Life Sciences with his presentation giving an overview of the history, environmental context and research focuses of VCU, and of his work predicting the effects of sequential predators across prey life stages.

Arising from his research on predator-prey ecology, he gave some interesting insights into the consequences that an increase in predator diversity has on ecosystems. The presentation covered experimental designs and simulations to predict these consequences in aquatic systems.

Vonesh’s interaction with staff at UKZN revealed common points of interest and opportunities for collaboration.

His experiences in KwaZulu-Natal included a visit to the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary with UKZN students, and a trip with alumnus Dr Peter Calverly to a game reserve on the Tugela River.

‘South Africa’s biodiversity is astounding, and would greatly interest students and researchers at VCU,’ said Vonesh.

Professor Colleen Downs, UKZN’s South African Research Chair in Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, who hosted Vonesh, said his visit was important for furthering interactions between the universities.

Christine Cuénod


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Sharing Every Drop

Sharing Every Drop
A resident benefiting from a communal borehole tap placed by Africa Centre.

UKZN’s Africa Centre for Population Health is sharing what water it has with the community of Somkhele in drought-ravaged northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Estates Manager at the Africa Centre, Ms Rene Stroebel, said the research institution was in danger of running dry. ‘However, the borehole the institution invested in is still providing water and we’ll share what we have with the people in the area.

‘This is the community where we conduct research and unless we all join hands, we will simply not be able to get through this prolonged drought,’ said Stroebel.

‘However, we have restricted supplies to one 5 000 litre tank a week. We realise that this is only a drop to the community, however, if everyone takes one drum at a time, the supply will go so much further to assist more people and give a fair chance to all to have at least drinking water,’ said Stroebel.

The Centre has appealed to the community to understand the need to change water consumption patterns and save every drop. 

It has the following advice on how to save water:

  1. RESPECT water and all life
  2. Don’t  WASTE  water
  3. Don’t POLLUTE rivers with liquid and solid waste
  4. PAY for water services
  5. Take  ACTION to solve any water problems
  6. CONSERVE water, and thereby CONSERVE the natural environment.

Lihle Sosibo


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Colonialism and Racialism among Issues addressed at Student Workshop

Colonialism and Racialism among Issues addressed at Student Workshop
UKZN Law students participating in the Umtapo workshop.

Non-profit development organisation, Umtapo, recently hosted a five-day workshop aimed at educating students on how to address issues of colonialism, racism, human rights, Ubuntu and democracy.

Among the 25 students selected, 10 were from UKZN, seven of whom were law students and members of the Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) and the Black Lawyers Association (BLA).

Speaking on behalf of Umtapo, Ms Thanusha Govender, said it was imperative for the youth, South Africa’s future leaders, to come up with a plan of action on how the social issues identified could be addressed.

‘Through this medium, we hope to educate people on the mission and values of Umtapo, reawaken the spirit of Ubuntu and assure the youth that even if there is a problem such as corruption, there is always a solution, it just takes the right mind-set and determination to create effective change,’ said Govender.

Fourth-year Law student, Ms Pearl Khumalo, said the workshop not only widened participants’ understanding of democracy and human rights but also equipped them with vital skills to be teachers, leaders and custodians of the constitution.

‘We met like-minded young leaders and put our heads together to think of solutions for the future of our country in the light of its apartheid and post-apartheid problems,’ said Khumalo. ‘We looked at ways to bridge the gap between knowledge of rights such as socio-economic rights and the actual realisation of rights. This experience was life-changing and unforgettable. My mind is fixed on making our country a better place.’ 

Third-year Law students Mr Andile Mcineka and Ms Nokwanda Khumalo said the experience had been an eye opener as it made them realise how uniform their thinking was on these issues.

‘The training emphasised that if we wanted social ills to end we need to put our hands to work. We have to do something about the problems and encourage others to do the same,’ said Khumalo.

Said Mcineka: ‘Law students are inclined to think along legal lines and restraints.  However, the training has transformed my perception of things that affect our daily lives and the way I perceive issues affecting our country. It has further moulded me to be an effective instrument striving for the eradication of injustice.’ 

Thandiwe Jumo


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Students Champion Mariannridge Wheelchair Project

Students Champion Mariannridge Wheelchair Project
Students interact with Mariannridge wheelchair owners.

Changing lives for the better in the Mariannridge community of Durban is the driving force for UKZN Occupational Therapy (OT) students involved in a thriving wheelchair project.

The township, established in September 1976 to house Coloured families relocated from Durban, faces several health and socio-economic challenges that need urgent attention.

The UKZN project was launched in 2015 when final year OT students, led by their Lecturer, Mrs June McIntyre, screened the Mariannridge community for clients who needed wheelchairs but were unable to afford them.

Two months into 2016, final-year students Bicole Andrews, Nosiphiwe Radebe and Anychia Ramracheya successfully championed the rollout of six new wheelchairs to members of the community with the help of local Community Care Giver, Mrs Sharon Sithole, and the academic supervision of OT Lecturer, Ms Chantal Christopher.

‘I’m so, so happy,’ said wheelchair recipient, Ms Granny July (85), who moved to Mariannridge in 1976. ‘It was very hard for me get out the house and walk up the hill using a walking stick.’

The new wheelchair replaced one on loan and July now looks forward to Sundays when she can join the Church congregation in her own seat.

And things have also improved in the Olifant household following the delivery of a second wheelchair. Ms Mary-Ann Olifant said the additional new wheelchair made it possible for her to provide better care for her disabled elderly mother and brother, who both need to use a taxi to get to the clinic and collect their monthly grants.

The same relief was felt by the family of Ms Aunty Rose, a paraplegic, who had been using a borrowed wheelchair for more than 25 years. Her family and son, who suffers from epilepsy, take care of her. She too often needs to travel to the clinic, church and Pinetown to run errands.

‘Going out into the community really promotes what our profession is about,’ said the students. ‘It’s a profession that grows on you. Seeing the impact you make and improving your clients’ quality of life is really rewarding.’

The students explained that roles were reversed when the healthcare professional visited the client at home. ‘You get a holistic view of who the client is and where they come from - unlike in hospital. You connect on a different level and treat their whole family,’ said a student.

On some visits, the students are joined by their Speech-Language Pathology peer, Ms Kayla Campbell. ‘It's interesting to see her applying her knowledge. It's about skills transfer and working towards common purpose,’ they said.

The students are part of a larger School of Health Sciences community placement programme, geared to produce next generation ‘fit-for-purpose’ graduates.

Lunga Memela 


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UKZN Linguistics Expert Appointed to Language Policy Working Group

UKZN Linguistics Expert Appointed to Language Policy Working Group
Dr Langa Khumalo.

The Director of UKZN’s Language Planning and Development Office, Dr Langa Khumalo, has been appointed to the Higher Education Language Policy Review Working Group by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

The Higher Education Language Policy Review Working Group is tasked with reviewing the current Language Policy in Higher Education.

Khumalo said he was pleased to have been recognised by his peers and was quietly confident he would add value to the convened group. ‘It is such an honour to be called upon by the Department of Higher Education and Training to serve in this capacity. The imperative to revise the current policy is there, particularly within the current context. It is a huge responsibility,’ he said.

An alumnus of the University of Oslo in Norway and Cambridge University, Khumalo is acknowledged for his commitment to developing languages. At present, his office is building a Zulu National Corpus and a Zulu Term Bank and he has played a major role in the development and implementation of UKZN’s Language Policy.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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UKZN Scoops Top Spot Third Year in a Row

UKZN Scoops Top Spot Third Year in a Row
UKZN recognised for its research capabilities in 2014.

UKZN has been recognised by the Department of Higher Education and Training for the most published output units in South Africa in 2014 (1708.61) – this is the third consecutive year the University has been in the top spot.

UKZN was followed by the University of Pretoria, the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and Wits.

Additionally, UKZN contributed the highest proportion of the total output units awarded by volume (i.e. un-weighted number of publications units), with 11.2%, followed closely by the University of Pretoria on 11%.

UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Professor Jonathan Blackledge, commended UKZN academics who have ‘consistently strived for excellence in research’.

The 2014 research statistics, issued by DHET, seek to ‘encourage research productivity by rewarding quality research output at public Higher Education Institutions’.

According to the Policy and Procedures for the Measurement of Research Output of Public Higher Education Institutions (Research Output Policy) (2003), all public Higher Education Institutions must annually submit their subsidy funding claims for research outputs to DHET. Based on calculations of units for approved publications, the Department allocates research subsidies.

The report states that rewarding quality research output at public Higher Education Institutions forms the basis for ‘sustaining current research and promoting increased productivity of research outputs and other knowledge outputs required to meet national development needs’.

DHET further states that the research output policy is a ‘goal-oriented and performance-related mechanism that explicitly links the allocation of funds for research output thus contributing to the social and economic development of the country’.

In the area of Journal Publication Output Units, the report acknowledged UKZN for being one of eight institutions which had 70-78% of their publications in international indices. The DHET report emphasised: ‘This is great for global exposure as it exposes South African research to a global audience.’

The report also noted ‘Overall, UKZN accrued the most journal publications with 75% in international indices and 25% in the DHET list.’

  Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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UKZN Launches Future Afrika Forum

UKZN Launches Future Afrika Forum
From left: Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, Mr Nhlanhla Ngubane, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, Dr Nomalanga Mkhize, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Mr Meliqiniso Sibisi, Dr Bandile Hadebe, and Mr Mbonisi Sibisi.

UKZN partnered with Ikusasa Le-Afrika Foundation and Gagasi FM to launch Future Afrika Forum, an organisation geared towards mobilising young people - irrespective of race, political background and area of focus, - in the field of progressive engagements which seek to build a better South Africa and Africa.

The inaugural event, the first in a series of monthly panel discussions, examined dismantling the legacy of apartheid.

UKZN’s Executive Director of Student Services, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu and the CSRC President, Mr Senzo Ngidi, welcomed delegates to the University and expressed their gratitude for the Foundation’s choice of UKZN as the launch pad for the initiative.

In his welcoming address, Chalufu said opportunities for critical discourse on critical matters affecting South Africa in general and the youth, in particular, should not be taken for granted. ‘One of the goals we have set out for ourselves is to bring back the culture of vibrant and robust engagement on our campuses where issues of importance are debated and possible solutions crafted and placed on the national agenda. We therefore hope that our partnership with Ikusasa Le-Afrika Foundation will bolster our efforts and assist us going forward.’

Chairperson of the Ikusasa Le Afrika Foundation, Dr Zweli Mkhize, who is also the UKZN Chancellor, delivered the keynote address.

‘Today I address you in my personal capacity as the Chairperson of Ikusasa Le-Afrika Foundation, which is hosting this forum for public discourse aimed at engaging the youth on important issues in our country. We call these platforms the “Future Africa Forum” and we want to encourage critical thinking among the youth as they engage in matters affecting our country and stimulate them to imagine the future of Africa and what role they wish to play in shaping its future,’ said Mkhize.

‘We will host lectures and seminars and invite leaders, professionals and various personalities to initiate debate and get the youth to propose solutions to the challenges of our country and the African continent. Solutions for the country’s challenges require the participation of all South Africans not just government. This is an effort to create civil society mobilisation to shape the future and the development of leaders to lead us into such a future.

‘We need to connect young leaders with the reality of the life challenges that their education is meant to resolve. There is passion and anger among the youth. With so much youth energy there is guidance the youth need for their energies to be positive and productive.

‘Youth is our best asset and the best guarantee for a positive future. We therefore need to invest heavily on youth development and the creation of an environment that will build a leadership of integrity steeped in the best of human values, which is also a product of knowledge acquisition and intellectual development programmes as well as to have a full grasp of the philosophy of progressive Pan-Africanism,’ said Mkhize.

Panelists on the Forum were a History Lecturer at Rhodes University,  Dr Nomalanga Mkhize; the Progressive Youth in Business National Head Strategy and Organisational Development Officer; Dr Bandile Hadebe; the African National Congress Youth League Provincial Secretary, Mr Thanduxolo Sabelo, and CEO of MiET Africa, Mr Nhlanhla Ngubane.

The event was broadcast on Gagasi FM and enjoyed by participants.

Raylene Captain Hasthibeer and Meliqiniso Sibisi


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HIV and AIDS Programme Staff at Capacity Building Event

HIV and AIDS Programme Staff at Capacity Building Event
Staff from UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme.

UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme recently reflected on 2015 during a capacity building event organised for staff members at the Salt Rock Hotel on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast.

The purpose of the event was, among other things, to recognise the outstanding job done by staff throughout 2015, to strengthen their capacity to deal with the daily challenges they face in the University community while discharging their responsibilities, and to assess the progress made by the department last year.

Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD) Senior Research Specialist, Dr Jill Hanass-Hancock delivered a presentation on Disability/HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), explaining the link between Disability/HIV and SRHR, and developments in Disability/HIV and SRHR in relation to latest research and policy proposals.

The UKZN Co-Ordinator for the Disability Unit, Mr Nevil Balakrishna, presented a workshop on Disability and Sexuality aimed at explaining that people with disabilities also had sexual diversity and sexual needs and thus required the same amount of respect and level of service as those without disabilities. 

UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme Coordinator, Ms Nomonde Magantolo, spoke on working alone and in a team to achieve a collective desired outcome. She said there was a need to appreciate different conflict resolution strategies in the work place and the importance of self-development.

A dynamic debriefing session was done by a Psychologist, Ms Hameeda Bassa, which empowered staff to deal with work related trauma and other general life ordeals.

Mr Amith Ramballie, Senior Student Development Specialist (Manager: UKZN Disability Support Unit, Central Information Coordinator and HIV and AIDS Programme) demonstrated relaxation sessions employees could use at work or at home.

A workshop on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Family Planning was facilitated by Sister Khalelani Terry, who is based at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg Campus Health Clinic.

Staff members also took part in different team building sessions.

Sithembile Shabangu


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UKZN Impi back with a Bang Against Wits!

UKZN Impi back with a Bang Against Wits!
UKZN Impi beat Wits University 26-21 at the Varsity Shield game earlier this week.

The Varsity Cup Executive Board took a decision last week to resume all Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield games as of Monday, 14 March and to have all the games played at the FNB Stadium precinct and main stadium in Johannesburg.

The decision to remove games from universities was not supported by some of the universities including UKZN; however, our Impi team had to abide by the decision and continue with the games being played away from their loyal supporters.

Our Impi took on their arch rivals, Wits University, on Monday, 14 March with just the two teams on the field and no spectators. The first half saw our Impi taking on pressure as Wits scored 3 tries against our penalty kick which ended the 1st half at 21-2 to Wits.

Michael Horak and his coaching team managed to calm our boys down during the halftime break and this led to the team playing the game at their pace during the second half. UKZN Impi turned up the heat on the Wits defense and were rewarded with an early try coming from winger Thobekani Buthelezi taking the score to 21-10 to Wits. Our Boytjies continued their attack and got another great try from fly half Tristan Tedder, taking the score to 21-18 with 10 minutes left.

Our UKZN Impi gave it their all and a moment of brilliance from the team saw winger Thobekani Buthelezi score his second try of the game which secured the victory for our Impi with a score of 26-21.

UKZN winger and try scorer Thobekani Buthelezi was awarded the Player that Rocks for his outstanding performance and his contribution of two tries to our victory.

Sibusiso Chalufu


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