Distinguished Teachers’ Award Recipient a Class Above the Rest

Distinguished Teachers’ Award Recipient a Class Above the Rest
Distinguished Teacher, Ms Rosemary Quilling receiving her award from Chancellor Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Law and Management Studies academic, Ms Rosemary Quilling, was one of the proud recipients of a UKZN Distinguished Teachers’ Award at this year’s Graduation ceremony.

The Information Systems and Technology lecturer received the award in recognition of her exceptional and outstanding contribution to teaching and learning at UKZN.

Quilling shared a few valuable insights she has learnt on her journey over two decades in Higher Education towards becoming a Distinguished Teacher:

Teaching is not a job nor a calling - but a way of life

‘I don’t view teaching as “just a job” or as a vocation or calling. To me it is a way of life - a way of “being” and “becoming”.  Teaching is one of the things that define how I see things and people; how I interact with others and what I choose to do. The essence of my teaching is thus grounded in who I am and what I believe constitutes a worthy endeavour. This award does not impact my view of my teaching; however the award does validate my sense of myself as a teacher and I see it as an acknowledgement that this is a worthwhile cause which is valued by my colleagues, peers and students,’ said Quilling.

Catering to students’ needs is a priority

‘I believe we face three main challenges in teaching and learning:

‘The media bombards our students with the message that they can become anything they want; though it rarely reinforces the commitment one has to make, and the responsibility one has to accept, to achieve this. Not only do we facilitate transfer and exploration of knowledge and skills but we should become vision-casters. We not only help our students to dream of a future filled with possibilities but we also supply the substance that allows them to achieve their goals, and the maturity to understand the related responsibilities,’ said Quilling.

Research leads to innovative teaching and learning

‘I am passionate about emerging, social, Web2.0- and subsequent technologies. These technologies, like social media, are redefining communication and the creation of information and are a key part of re-imagining our reality; in business, science, education, entertainment and socially. My current research focus is on how the use of these technologies is articulated within Higher Education in South Africa.

‘Since 2002 I have used more than 10 platforms and applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Second Life, Hipchat, and Edmodo. These approaches have been employed at all undergraduate levels and at honours level, as I diversified my own teaching experience. In the process I experimented with how students at different levels coped with, and could be challenged to take ownership of their own learning. This always included an underlying interest in observing how technology could facilitate this process without colonising and overpowering the students’ learning experience.

‘I believe this awareness and sensitivity to the nuanced demands of my discipline, students’ needs, our rapidly changing society and an openness to challenging assumptions and limitations placed on us by our circumstances, have been central to my teaching and the granting of this award,’ she said

* Quilling is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Research on Consumer Behavioural Practices Shares Valuable Insights on Poverty Alleviation

Research on Consumer Behavioural Practices Shares Valuable Insights on Poverty Alleviation
Dr Pravina Oodith.

Doctoral graduate and Marketing and Supply Chain Management Lecturer, Dr Pravina Devpersadh Oodith’s research on consumer behavioural practices and poverty alleviation gives insights into how the goal of poverty alleviation can be achieved.

The thesis titled: “Bottom of the Pyramid: Opportunity and Feasibility Analysis and Strategy Formulation” analysed the consumer behavioural practices and spending patterns of consumers at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) in South Africa.

‘I was inspired by the research of C. K. Prahalad, an internationally acclaimed business philosopher and corporate strategist who proposed an unorthodox approach to poverty reduction. Through his book entitled, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, he promulgated that a joint collaborative effort by government, non-governmental organisations, large domestic firms, multinational corporations and the poverty stricken citizens themselves will simultaneously alleviate poverty and generate profits for businesses that target consumers who are at the bottom of the economic pyramid,’ explained Oodith.

Since her research required Oodith to interact with rural communities, it presented a challenge as far as communication was concerned but her determination motivated her to overcome this obstacle.

‘The participants of this national study reside in rural areas of South Africa so gaining access to these consumers and overcoming the linguistic barriers presented major challenges. My family, friends and supervisor, Prof Sanjana Brijball Parumasur, were my supportive anchors throughout this study and kept me motivated and focused through those frustrating and uncertain moments where my faith was dwindling,’ she said.

As a top achiever who graduated with her BCom degree magna cum laude, BCom Honours degree magna cum laude and her MBA degree cum laude, Oodith uses lessons of determination, perseverance and overcoming challenges to inspire her students to also aspire to greatness.

‘The PhD experience has helped me grow by leaps and bounds, both personally and academically. I have gained immense knowledge from pursuing this qualification and will continue to draw on what I have learnt when delivering lectures to my students,’ she said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Doctorate Gives Graduate an Edge Over Competitors

Doctorate Gives Graduate an Edge Over Competitors
Dr Dhanesh Rampersad.

Using the skills and knowledge obtained through his Doctorate in Business Administration Dr Dhanesh Rampersad aims to maintain a competitive edge over his competitors in the automotive industry.

As the CEO of Zodiac Aerospace SA and Chairman of Nzamaramps Trading, Rampersad is conscious of the fact that broadening one’s knowledge through education is vital to a successful career therefore he did not stop after obtaining his MBA.

‘To climb up the corporate ladder of success, improving your academic qualification is essential. Having completed my MBA and achieving good results, the opportunity awarded to me was a stepping stone of success, which I strived to achieve throughout the journey.

The qualification has helped me grow in the area of research, improve and grow my business, as well as earn a CEO position in the manufacturing environment,’ said Rampersad.

Through his thesis titled: “Analysis of Global Competitiveness in the Light Motor Vehicle Component Industry of South Africa”, Rampersad identified the competitive advantages of each industry player and how they saw themselves in the future which gave him deeper insight of the developing world and the direction of the South African economy.

‘The findings of the research helped me to improve my service offering to my company and to be more vigilant of the developments in the automotive industry. When studying for a qualification, it must be a valuable learning experience that you can filter back into your own life as well into the success of your career. My studies impacted positively both in my work life, as well as my private business,’ said Rampersad.

While Rampersad has reached the end of his PhD journey, his career in academia is only beginning as he is a supervisor and examiner for MBA students and a supervisor for PhD students.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Research Based Doctoral Study Examined ‘Impact of Shame’

Research Based Doctoral Study Examined ‘Impact of Shame’
Dr Craig Brannan.

PhD in Leadership Studies graduate, Dr Craig Brannan, says UKZN is one of the few universities in the world allowing for a purely research based doctorate.  

‘Having your ideas challenged and tested by your peers in a research-based PhD is daunting.  It has been 10 years in the making, six years as a full-time registered student.’  

This is Brannan’s second PhD - he received his first doctorate from the North-West University.

His current research examines ‘the impact of shame experienced by people who come from homes where their primary caregiver, their mother and father, were often unavailable.

‘This created insecure attachments which led to the development of shame – a pervasive sense of being “exposed” and vulnerable.’ 

Brannan says the absence and insecurity of parents often leaves children doubting their worthiness to be loved which can spill over to adulthood.

‘This sense of feeling exposed and insecure, if not challenged and worked through, leaves an indelible mental working model that shapes the brain and mind of the child and spills over into adulthood with shame being a dominant feeling.

‘l started with 35 participants but 26 pulled out of the research not wanting to face their shame.  The eight who completed this research, validated my research finding, and understood the value of the 10 characteristics of servant leadership.

‘This PhD was an opportunity to prove that although shame is a prevalent default in all of us, we can move beyond a learned helplessness to choices of disciplined thinking and relationships when we choose to serve others through servant leadership principles.’

Brannan said his faith, family, supervisor Professor Rob Taylor and UKZN provided great support for him during his studies.

Brannan is a co-owner of Next Step Counselling and Coaching and is currently establishing a ‘non-profit organisation called Next Step Compassion to work with the iZulu Orphan Project in Empangeni.

‘I am committed to working with orphans and abused, hurting children especially at the iZulu Orphan Project.  I want this PhD to be the platform for taking orphans from their situations of despair and partnering with them so they develop secure attachments into their young adulthood.’

Sithembile Shabangu


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MBA Qualification Empowers Graduates for Success

MBA Qualification Empowers Graduates for Success
MBA cum laude graduates, Ms Sumeshnee Naidoo and Mr Navin Maharaj.

For Master of Business Administration (MBA) cum laude graduates, Mr Navin Maharaj and Ms Sumeshnee Naidoo, the learning experience gained through completing the qualification has not only resulted in their personal development but has also refined their strategic skills which are crucial for career growth.

A Senior Developer at Derivco, a leading software development company, Maharaj aims to use the findings of his research titled: “The Graduate Employability of ICT Graduates, to address the skills shortage problem in the software development sector”.

‘I am passionate about sharing knowledge and felt that the perceived skills shortage in the sector needed investigation,’ said Maharaj.

He added that the research findings revealed that a lack of collaboration between government and industry was the root cause of the problem.

‘The main criteria for selection of the companies to participate in the study was that they have a graduate programme so that the responsible individuals within the companies had first-hand experience in dealing with the graduates. The study revealed that graduates were not job ready and pointed to this lack of collaboration as being a major contributing factor to graduates not being adequately prepared for the job,’ he said.

As the TPN Dispensing Pharmacist/ Deputy RP at international pharmaceutical company Fresenius-Kabi Naidoo says the qualification gives her a competitive advantage over her peers.

‘OSD in the public sector has been the area of focus in most literature but the impact of this strategy in the private pharmaceutical sector in terms of retaining pharmacists has not been fully assessed. The research thus aimed to identify the affect that OSD has had on retaining pharmacists in the private sector and to make recommendations to enhance retention within this sector,’ said Naidoo.

‘Findings revealed that OSD is indeed changing pharmacists perceptions about the public pharmaceutical sector and their ability to work within it, thus impacting the private sectors ability to retain pharmacists.  I thus aim to utilise the findings to provide insight on enhancing retention within the private pharmaceutical sector (something I am passionate about and simultaneously help to decrease the number of skilled workers migrating,’ she added.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Use Education to Make the World a Better Place – Chief Justice tells Graduates

Use Education to Make the World a Better Place – Chief Justice tells Graduates
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng urging Law students to play a role in transforming society.

One has to wonder what would have become of our country without lawyers like Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Pius Langa, said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng during his inspirational address to Law graduates at UKZN’s Graduation ceremony.

The keynote address titled: “Our hope, Our future” was preceded by the 14th Victoria & Griffiths Mxenge Memorial Lecture which also saw Mogoeng motivate students to make a valuable contribution to the judicial system through upholding the values of the constitution.

‘I have known professionals and lawyers to be real decision-makers and game changers so now we are looking to you graduates because you are our future,’ said Mogoeng.

As a man who upholds the values of ethical leadership, Mogoeng advised graduates to adopt a spirit of patriotism and help the nation identify what could be done lawfully to build a just society for all.

‘We have economic challenges, so not everyone might find a job. However long it takes before you find a source of income, please make a vow to yourself to be a person of character and integrity because who you are will determine who your children will be and they will inform the type of community we are,’ he said.

Mogoeng added that graduates should aim to secure positions in international courts and to also get involved in shaping the youth to become future leaders. 

‘International courts complain that they never see South African lawyers appear before them, this is a challenge you must take hold of. Regarding our youth, many institutions of higher learning and community structures are being burnt down and in most cases these acts are done by the youth.

‘Your graduation today is a great source of inspiration to those who are on the verge of giving up, so I encourage you to take the tension out of the law and help us solve our problems together,’ he said.

 Thandiwe Jumo


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UKZN Awards Honorary Degree to UNAIDS Executive Director

UKZN Awards Honorary Degree to UNAIDS Executive Director
Honorary Graduate, Dr Michel Sidibé.

The Executive Director of UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS), Dr Michel Sidibé, received an honorary Doctor of Administration degree from UKZN for his contribution in the fight against AIDS.

Sidibé said UKZN is the first university in Africa to honour him with an honorary degree.

In his acceptance address, Sidibé told graduates they were beginning their ‘careers at a historic moment when the world has committed to the most ambitious development agenda of all time - the Sustainable Development Goals. 

‘Africa will be at the centre of this transformation, and you will lead it, you will be the “entrepreneurs” of a new era of sustainable human development and your energy, innovation, and optimism are the keys to unlock global and national transformation,’ said Sidibé. 

He also encouraged the private sector to step up and join the fight for Universal Health Care. ‘We are counting on you, the next generation of business leaders to help us scale up our work to help people, capturing innovation at every level.’ 

Sidibé’s vision of three zeros - a world with zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths - has been echoed around the world. His passionate advocacy has contributed significantly to the unprecedented global political commitment and funding for HIV and AIDS.

The Malian-born campaigner has also been at the forefront of the global campaign to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and to eliminate HIV infections among children.

Sidibé’s global advocacy has helped firmly secure the fight against HIV and AIDS at the top of political agendas, including those in South Africa, and has played a key role in supporting South Africa’s HIV and AIDS plans alongside its respective programmes through his personal advocacy and guidance.

He has provided support to South Africa through his regular meetings with the President, Minister of Finance and Minister of Health to facilitate high level consultations with opinion-makers and international organisations.

‘South Africa is leading the way in ensuring that all countries have access to affordable generic drugs.’ 

Under Sidibé’s leadership, UNAIDS works to ensure that no-one is left behind in the response to HIV and that everyone in need has access to lifesaving HIV treatment and prevention services, especially the marginalised and neglected.

Sithembile Shabangu


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Master’s Degree for Estcourt Mayor

Master’s Degree for Estcourt Mayor
Umtshezi Municipality Mayor, Mr Bongani Dlamini graduating with his Masters in Public Administration.

The need for practical and theoretical skills vital for a community leader to tackle developmental challenges faced by the community is what motivated the Mayor of Estcourt, Mr Bongani Dlamini, to complete a Masters in Public Administration degree.

Dlamini said as a public servant and society leader, possessing this qualification strategically empowered him with the knowledge to understand and effectively execute integrated service delivery.

‘My qualification provides a more nuanced study of the interface between politicians and the bureaucracy as well as the public service and the private sector. It capacitates me to understand the need for an effective government and beyond that, how it can be achieved through improved co-ordination and planning efforts of the developmental state by means of a planning entity to ensure faster change,’ he said.

Growing up in Estcourt’s rural area of uMshayazafe, Dlamini is familiar with the challenges facing rural communities hence he chose to explore the area of Integrated Development Planning for his thesis which was titled: “Evaluating the Implementation of the Integrated Development Plan with Reference to Umtshezi Local Municipality”.

‘An important aspect of a successful developmental state is investment in its people. My research through community engagements have shown that in many cases the process leading towards the development of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) is done just for compliance sake in many municipalities,’ he said.

‘The intended impact of the IDP is not fully realised since government in all three spheres plan individually, resulting in duplication of programmes or having projects that are white elephants. Where there is no robust engagement with communities and relevant stakeholders, there is little or no sense of ownership and involvement in the country’s development agenda.’

Keeping in mind that staff professional development is one of the municipality’s key priorities, Dlamini is leading by example when it comes to proving that a postgraduate qualification is a worthwhile qualification.

‘I recommend that everyone should at least have one postgraduate qualification that is why we empower our staff through a number of incentives including sabbaticals, bursaries and generous study leave. This experience has made me more aware of the need for institutional support for staff members,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Summa Cum Laude Graduates ready to up their Skills in the Supply Chain Field

<em>Summa Cum Laude</em> Graduates ready to up their Skills in the Supply Chain Field
Summa cum laude graduates, Ms Rhea Harripersadh and Mr Yatheal Jeebodh.

Bachelor of Commerce Honours summa cum laude graduates, Ms Rhea Harripersadh and Mr Yatheal Jeebodh, aim to use their qualification to enhance their expertise in supply chain.

For Harripersadh, pursuing this postgraduate qualification made it possible for her to explore her passion in sustainable development in South Africa.

‘I conducted research on sustainable electronic waste management in South Africa. This qualification necessitated teamwork and as a result, one really learns to work within a team and develop their leadership capabilities,’ she said.

Harripersadh’s academic achievements include achieved merit certificates for most of her modules and being selected as one of the top 30 Supply Chain Management students to participate in the Unilever supply chain business challenge.

She is currently pursuing a Master of Commerce degree, specialising in Supply Chain Management.

‘A master’s degree will help me achieve a career in academia. I aspire to make a positive impact on other students and inspire them through my academic career.  Furthermore, having a postgraduate qualification from UKZN opens many doors in terms of employment opportunities,’ said Harripersadh.

Jeebodh hopes to use this newly acquired knowledge to purse a successful career in logistics and supply chain management. ‘My experience while studying has been extremely valuable as it has allowed me to grow into a critical thinker who is always searching for solutions. I really enjoyed engaging with lecturers as they had a wealth of knowledge in this field.

‘This qualification is worth having as it applies to the current working condition in South Africa as well as abroad. There is a high demand for this field and by possessing expertise in such an arena makes you marketable to companies,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Environmental Sustainability a Passion for Master’s Cum Laude Graduate

Environmental Sustainability a Passion for Master’s <em>Cum Laude</em> Graduate
Master of Commerce cum laude graduate, Mr Mandla Mvubu celebrating his achievement with his mentor , Dr Fayth Ruffin.

Growing up in the rural community of Mgai in the Ugu district municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, brought with it socio-economic inequalities which required master’s cum laude graduate, Mr Mandla Mvubu, and his family to live off the land in many respects.

This upbringing is what motivated Mvubu to research environmental sustainability in the supply chain in order to gain new insights on how to encourage companies and customers to contribute towards reducing climate change.

Mvubu’s thesis titled: “Green Supply Chain Management Challenges in the South African Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry: A case of Unilever”, was supervised by Professor Micheline Naude.

The research aimed to determine green supply chain management (GSCM) challenges faced by Unilever and the strategies the company uses to overcome these challenges and how it benefits from adopting the chain.

The research involved Mvubu spending a month as an intern at Unilever which was a valuable learning experience.

‘The findings of my research study indicated that the challenges in GSCM implementation could be categorised into four themes: green procurement; green manufacturing, green transportation, and product recovery.

‘The findings further indicated that the use of an environmental scorecard, auditing, KPIs, energy mapping, rainwater harvesting, bonuses and prices are some of prominent remedies to challenges in GSCM. Hence, these findings will likely add value to other corporations seeking to adopt practices of GSCM,’ explained Mvubu.

The journey of doing his masters in a year although gruelling has been worthwhile as Mvubu’s article titled: “Green Supply Chain Management Constraints in the South African Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry: a Case Study”, which he co-authored, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Contemporary Management.

‘As a teaching assistant in the Discipline of Public Governance I had to critique written assessments and provide advice on academic writing and research to undergraduate students which in turn improved my academic writing and research skills under the mentorship of Dr Fayth Ruffin. All of this contributed to my achieving excellence in my master’s studies.

‘I find it worthwhile to have a master’s qualification since it will provide me with a thorough grounding into conducting research, especially since I aspire to be an academic. I am now registered for doctoral studies in Supply Chain Management,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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PhD study examines Corporate Criminal Liability in South Africa

PhD study examines Corporate Criminal Liability in South Africa
Dr Dorothy Farisani with her supportive family.

Associate professor of Law at Unisa, Professor Dorothy Farisani, was awarded a doctorate for her study of Corporate Criminal Liability in South Africa.

Farisani said the media in South Africa often reported on tragedies involving the death of workers in factories, mines and other industries and in most cases the corporates did not face criminal charges. Discussions on corporate criminal liability with her supervisor along with further research on the unequal manner in which criminal law treats individuals as opposed to corporations, particularly when there was loss of life, motivated her to focus on that topic for her PhD studies. She decided at a young age that she would embark on PhD studies and refused to let her father buy an academic gown for her junior degree graduation. She told him that she would only buy the gown when she got her PhD.

The title of her thesis was: “A Comparative Study of Corporate Criminal Liability - Advancing an Argument for the Reform of Corporate Criminal Liability in South Africa by Introducing a New Offence of Corporate Homicide”. This study was supervised by UKZN’s Criminal Law expert, Professor Shannon Hoctor.

Farisani observed that when there was a death at a corporation, society readily accepted it as an accident and absolved the corporation of blame even before investigations were done. ‘There is a dire need for corporations to be held criminally accountable in an efficient manner and reduce the number of unnecessary and avoidable deaths they cause,’ she said.

In her study she argues that in South Africa even though corporations may be held criminally liable, the law does not deal adequately or efficiently with corporations that cause deaths. ‘There are hardly any prosecutions of corporations for such deaths and in the rare event of a successful prosecution, a fine is the only form of punishment allowed.’

Farisani’s study also revealed that South Africa lagged behind countries like the United Kingdom and Canada in terms of developments in this area of the law. In her study, she proposes a legislative response South Africa could possibly adopt. The thesis was accepted by all three examiners without requiring corrections and one of the examiners points out that ‘The study is of great importance for the future reform of South African corporate criminal liability and will be of immense value once such reform is initiated’.

Farisani is a former UKZN academic and her father is Emeritus Bishop Professor Phillip Moila who was an academic at the School of Religion and Theology at UKZN until the end of 2003. Her husband, Professor Elelwani Farisani, who is with the School of Biblical and Ancient Studies at Unisa, is a former academic at UKZN’s School of Religion and Theology.

Her family is delighted about her achievement and she is grateful to all of them for their unwavering support. She also acknowledged the support of her supervisor saying: ‘I had an excellent supervisor who challenged me and really got me thinking critically about issues. I am thankful to Professor Hoctor.’

Farisani intends publishing her thesis and to continue writing and presenting conference papers on the topic.

Hazel Langa

 


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LLB ‘First Step to Successful Careers’ for Summa Cum Laude Graduates

LLB ‘First Step to Successful Careers’ for <em>Summa Cum Laude</em> Graduates
The future looks bright for Law Summa cum laude graduates.

Top Law student achievers, Ms Bronwen Cox, Ms Diann Bishunanth, Ms Lavanya Pillay, Ms Angelique Barroso, Ms Simone Gray and Ms Priyanka Naidoo are excited about the doors their academic excellence will unlock for them.

They all graduated with summa cum laude LLB degrees from UKZN.

For Cox, her degree has earned her a position at the law firm, Webber Wentzel in Johannesburg.

‘I must admit I did not ever foresee myself studying law but I am certain that I made the correct choice,’ said Cox.  ‘I started studying for a Bachelor of Business Science but after doing a Commercial Law module in first year, I decided to change degrees and study for an LLB instead.

‘My short term plans include working for a big corporate law firm or alternatively a big corporate business, preferably in competition law. In 10 years’ time it is my ultimate goal to own a Mugg and Bean franchise,’ she said.

Pillay can boast of a host of achievements, including participating in the Kovsies First Year Moot Court competition and getting the opportunity to argue in the Supreme Court of Appeal and representing UKZN at the African Human Rights Moot Court competition in Zambia during her final year. Now armed with her LLB qualification, she is looking forward to bigger and better things.

‘I really enjoyed studying for my LLB and think it is a worthwhile qualification because it opens doors to a wide variety of careers and opportunities. It gives students invaluable knowledge about the world, which many people do not get the opportunity to learn about. I am currently working as a Candidate Attorney at Webber Wentzel in Johannesburg. After completing my articles, I plan to be admitted as an Attorney and hopefully study towards a master’s degree,’ she said.

Barroso is preparing for her board exams and looking forward to a successful career in the maritime law field.

‘I recently commenced articles at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc. in the Shipping and Logistics Department and have applied to start ICS shipping courses. I am fascinated with ships and the maritime industry. I hope to start my Masters in Maritime Law next year.’

Winning the 2015 Ellie Newman Moot Court Competition was a great way for Naidoo to complete her undergraduate career and she is now looking forward to more outstanding achievements.

‘The experience made me realise how much I enjoyed using the law to create arguments to convince the judges that my client ought to win. I am currently pursuing a Masters in International Criminal Law and hope to be admitted to the Bar one day. Until then, I hope to sharpen my legal skills and enjoy getting as much exposure as I can in the legal world,’ said Naidoo.

For Bishunanth receiving the Vice-Chancellor's scholarship in her second year and having it renewed for the rest of her degree, serving as a clerk in a programme facilitated by Judge Malcom Wallis at the Law School and getting an opportunity to tutor have made her academic journey even more special.

‘My best memories at Law school are the events that mark my successes. Tutoring the first years was a memorable experience, it was great to share my experiences and help them to shape their goals for the future. After completing my articles I hope to progress to associate. For the future, I hope to study further and perhaps experience a different profession,’ she said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Research into Tax Pays Dividends for Master of Laws Graduate

Research into Tax Pays Dividends for Master of Laws Graduate
Mr Daniel Robb.

Tax is an important source of revenue and with it economic development for every country, hence Master of Laws cum laude graduate, Mr Daniel Robb’s research which analyses the differences of the taxation of dividends tax in South Africa and Mauritius’, contributes valuable knowledge to this field.

‘The reason I chose this topic, and stayed passionate about it, was that Mauritius is commonly used as an entry into Africa for companies and enjoys lower tax rates for high net worth individuals.  My topic is therefore of use to anyone wanting to structure their affairs in such a way so as to use an offshore company in Mauritius,’ explained Robb.

As a qualified attorney who is involved in business, Robb has a great interest in tax practices and advancing his knowledge in this area.

‘I always wanted to be a tax attorney.  Solving business’ issues and helping structure companies in such a way that they are most tax efficient is something I am very interested in.  I love tax, it is a technical and dynamic piece of law and is something that also allows creativity within the confines of the Act and case law,’ said Robb.

‘The experience was an interesting one in the sense that you are studying exactly what you want to specialise in and is in an area of law which you are passionate about.  In reality the qualification is a good base to start practising in tax, however as with all things in life, experience is required in order to make the degree,' he added.  

Thandiwe Jumo


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PhD Graduate Aims to use Newly Acquired Knowledge to Help Grow the Banking Sector

PhD Graduate Aims to use Newly Acquired Knowledge to Help Grow the Banking Sector
Dr Fayzel Omar.

Taking into consideration the ever evolving nature of the banking industry, Nedbank Retail’s KZN Regional General Manager, Dr Fayzel Omar, is confident his PhD in Business Administration will empower him with the knowledge he requires to keep abreast of the latest developments in the banking sector.

Omar, who has 27 years’ experience in the financial industry, said pursuing the doctorate had given him a great opportunity to do research into maximising retail bank branch profitability through world class customer service. He completed a comparative study (a Nedbank retail case study) the findings of which can be applied in the business strategies of banks.

‘The research was challenging and yet very interesting. I enjoyed the fact it was very relevant to the work I currently do and also how the insights from the research were highlighting the changing behaviour patterns in customers and the fundamental changes that retail banks need to make to remain relevant. It also helped shape my own thinking on strategic positioning for the future,’ said Omar.

He added that the academic journey towards obtaining his doctoral degree had been highly valuable.

‘I have seen the implementation of ground breaking initiatives in the financial services industry.  The branch of the future, high tech, customer orientation, and retailing mind-set were all been discussed in my area of study. As leaders we do not only look for cost cutting measures to increase efficiencies and profitability but also the focus is on the right customer at the right price,’ said Omar.

He says business leaders need to empower themselves through education.

‘Education and keeping oneself relevant in an industry that is constantly changing is critical. The qualification will certainly enhance my marketability not only in my current industry but on a broader scale. The chance for exposure and opportunity to engage in both academic and business circles will grow and build confidence in me to explore future career avenues,’ he added.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Community Empowerment at the Heart of Socio-Legal Research

Community Empowerment at the Heart of Socio-Legal Research
Dr Winnie Martins celebrating with family.

UKZN’s Director for Community Justice and Development (the former Centre for Criminal Justice), Dr Winnie Martins, produced a master’s thesis of such high quality it was upgraded to doctoral status.

Martins study titled: “Access to Justice: The Role of Community-Based Paralegals in Community Restorative Justice in Rural KwaZulu-Natal”, is socio-legal research amassed from Martin’s wealth of experience in the field of human rights and community engagement which she has been involved in for two decades.

‘Little is known about the work of community-based paralegals (CBPs) as their work has received scant attention within the literature and insufficient research exists on access to justice work carried out by paralegals. My motivation to pursue this qualification was to bring CBPs’ experiences into the open through knowledge production and dissemination of their work in academic literature. Paralegals are doing amazing work in the rural communities,’ said Martins.

This passion motivated Martins to explore merging law and public administration and her supervisor Dr Fayth Ruffin of the School of Management, Information Technology was willing to help her on that multidisciplinary journey.

Martins met Ruffin when she volunteered at the centre in 2012 - a chance meeting resulting in the idea of Martins doing her Master’s in Public Administration instead of Law. Martins thesis made a significant contribution in the cultivating sparse body of literature on informal justice systems administered by CBPs that do in fact work and yield positive results.

‘A scholar who served as a thesis examiner mentioned that the epistemological basis of the study was set out very comprehensively and persuasively especially the theory of restorative justice, which gives the content of the study. The theme of the study cuts across different academic disciplines,’ said Martins.

‘The fact that my thesis cuts across different academic disciplines and helps advance theory means that findings from my study are useful for theory-building. I managed to stay passionate about my topic as I saw through literature searches that there are so many gaps that need to be attended to and CCJD offers a real-life laboratory to generate knowledge and empower CBPs so they can empower rural communities even more – especially vulnerable populations like women and children,’ she added.

Speaking on the benefits of this learning curve for her career, Martins said being awarded her doctorate had already opened up new opportunities for her and the centre.

‘I am being constantly consulted and Community Justice and Development (CCJD), the organisation I direct, is being consulted to further the work of CBPs beyond the 15 community advice offices that CCJD oversees in KZN.  We have been contacted by justice delivery organisations in different South African provinces and I have recently been invited to London to be part of a research meeting and provide input on areas of research regarding CBPs work,’ she said.

‘This is important because CCJD is an NGO, we survive on donor-funding and philanthropy. I expect this qualification will continue to raise the profile of CCJD and be an instrument of CCJD attracting the funding that is used to pay the various CBPs in the rural areas where they deliver legal services for those otherwise unable to access to justice. 

Thandiwe Jumo


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Strengthening KwaZulu-Natal’s LED a Priority for Masters in Leadership Graduate

Strengthening KwaZulu-Natal’s LED a Priority for Masters in Leadership Graduate
Mr Andile Biyela.

Local Economic Development (LED) consultant Mr Andile Biyela is looking forward to using his newly acquired knowledge to improve his approach towards addressing LED issues in Municipal Planning and Economic Development.

The Masters in Commerce in Local Economic Development graduate says enhancing his knowledge through studying LED is not only about the theory learned in the classroom but it’s also about gathering the practical experience and learning best practices from other LED practitioners.

‘As a person who has worked with development economists and in local government particularly in the field of local economic development, I have always wanted to gain a deeper appreciation of the economic development subject from an academic lens,’ said Biyela. ‘This qualification gives due diligence to the theoretical framework LED stems from and such academic knowledge, from a practitioner’s perspective, is important given the need for economic growth and job creation in South Africa.’

Through his research titled: “Community Tourism Organisations as Economic Development Tools: Mtubatuba Hlanganani Community Tourism Organisation; Challenges Prospects and Perspectives, Biyela” investigated the challenges facing Community Tourism Organisations (CTO).

‘One of the comments received from the examiners of the dissertation suggested that this study be utilised by provincial policy makers in order to enable them to better understand the plethora of challenges faced by CTOs and subsequently make the necessary policy interventions. It is one of the few studies in KZN to investigate CTOs as economic development tools. This was therefore an important study to conduct in pursuit of growing the tourism industry which grows the economy and creates jobs,’ said Biyela.

In his quest for strengthening his leadership, Biyela was selected as one of the participants in the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a flagship programme of the United States’ President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative which saw him spend six weeks studying business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, or public management at a United States institution of Higher Education.

‘Juggling between work, business and my academic work has been a roller-coaster ride. Having paused my studies for two months whilst I was in the USA, I was confronted by several deadlines upon my return to South Africa. I had to manage because I believed that my graduation goal was still within reach. I am continuing with my studies as I am currently pursuing my PhD in Public Administration,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Law and Management Studies Graduate is ‘Thrilled’ with her Doctoral Qualification

Law and Management Studies Graduate is ‘Thrilled’ with her Doctoral Qualification
Dr Khalida Akbar.

For adrenalin junkie, Dr Khalida Akbar, shark cage diving and sky diving are little thrills compared to the feeling of graduating with her PhD at the young age of 26.

‘It has been a very tough and a long journey that has taught me many life qualities and even helped me to develop on a personal level as well. I think that education is something that would always benefit and develop an individual. I would also say that research at this level has allowed me to create an impact in the lives of others and as well as mine in a positive manner. It is therefore a fulfilling qualification to have obtained,’ said Akbar.

Akbar responded to the numerous calls for research in the area of employment of persons following Acquired Brain Injury (ABI’s) in South Africa. The theoretical and resultant empirical findings suggests that minimal research has been conducted in the area of the perceptions and experiences of employment of persons post ABI the South African workplace.

The phenomenological approach used in the study provided new insight that hopefully will encourage other researchers to study ABI in South Africa through the lived experiences of persons with ABI, so as to understand the direct needs, challenges and success of people with this type of disability, which led to the proposed model for employability of persons who are affected by ABI in South African organisations. The added understanding gained on how South African employees understand and experience “Misfit” will make a notable contribution to existing research, theory and practice in the fields of governance, entrepreneurship, management, psychology and human resource management.

To ensure that she fully explored her research interest, Akbar volunteered at Headway: The brain Injury and stroke rehabilitation centre for 6 months and worked closely with The Ican Disability Academy of South Africa, the PMI recruitment agency for people with disabilities, and Hardy and Associates over the past three years conducting research around people with disabilities.

As a Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Akbar is looking forward to continuing producing research that contributes to the betterment of society.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Research Explores the Survival and Sustainability of NPOs from a Systems Dynamics Perspective

Research Explores the Survival and Sustainability of NPOs from a Systems Dynamics Perspective
Dr Nikita Singh.

Leadership Studies doctoral graduate, Dr Nikita Singh’s research was concentrated on the sustainability and survival of non-profit organisations during the global economic downturn.

Singh’s thesis titled: “A Systems Dynamics Perspective of a Non-Profit Organisation’s (NPO) Quest for Sustainability: A Case Study”, explores how NPOs overcome challenges of lack of funding, under skilled or inadequate human resources and co-financing agreements and remain financially stable.

‘In the beginning of my PhD journey it was particularly difficult to find a research area that had not been researched before. Since the struggle to remain financially sustainable and competitive is a struggle that is encountered by the majority of non-profit organisations, I decided that researching such a topic would somehow contribute to understanding the non-profit sector and provide suggestions on how to make the non-profit form more sustainable and competitive in the long run,’ said Singh.

Pursing research that has a community outreach element has had a positive personal effect on Singh as she joined a youth club, The Ansari Youth Club (AYC), where she engaged in many social upliftment and environmental awareness projects.

‘Reaching out and helping others and the environment allowed me to take my mind off my PhD work and refresh my soul. In addition, I met many amazing people inside and outside of the organisation who provided support and encouragement to me during this sometimes very lonely journey,’ said Singh.

Graduating with her PhD at the young age of 27 has motivated Singh to push boundaries. She is currently working for an international bank and is looking forward to exciting future career prospects.

‘I would like to pursue a career in the private sector to get more experience in the corporate world. After a few years I want to re-enter the academic world here or even abroad as it is a great passion of mine, especially the research aspect of the academic world,’ said Singh.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Business School’s Young Researchers ready to Contribute to the Growth of LED

Business School’s Young Researchers ready to Contribute to the Growth of LED
The future looks bright for GSB&L’s Young Researchers.

The Graduate School of Business and Leadership’s (GSB&L) Regional and Local Economic Development Initiative (RLEDi) celebrated the graduation of eight of its young researchers.

Ms Thobeka Radebe, Mr Senzo Majola, Mr Lisborn Khoza, Ms Phindile Mkhize, Mr Naman Ramadhar, Mr  Isaac Khambule, Ms  Sinethemba Mthimkhulu and Ms Ziphozihle Titi are all looking forward to using their newly acquire knowledge to contribute to the development of KwaZulu-Natal’s local economic development (LED) which is the rationale behind the initiative.

“Renewable Energy production as a means for Local Economic Development in eThekwini Municipality”, was the title of Radebe’s dissertation. The research explores renewable energy development as means for LED.

‘Renewable energy resources are widely seen as means to address the challenges of climate change and energy in security and can be of key importance in the development of a sustainable society,’ said Radebe. ‘The findings address the ways in which renewable energy adoption can play a part in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The eThekwini Energy Office wishes to use my research for their future projects.’

The qualification has already yielded benefits for Radebe as she recently secured a position as an Environmental Management Intern at the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

“Assessing stakeholder’s perspectives on the challenges faced in measuring employment at the Port of Durban” was the title of Ramadhar’s research.

‘My research looked at the challenges faced in measuring employment for the port of Durban. The Port of Durban contributes vastly to local employment, directly and indirectly. The multiplier effects are even greater. However, even considering the future expansions proposed in the maritime sector and port operations, current employment estimates are rather inadequate. My study aimed to investigate, document and suggest recommendations to solve these problems. The findings revealed that current information is largely inadequate which cannot produce significant data that can aid further growth or assist in policy planning,’ said Ramadhar.

Majola’s thesis was titled: “Evaluating Stakeholders’ Perspectives on the Implementation of the 2012 Business Retention and Expansion Recommendations at Isthebe”.

Khambule’s research explored “Local Economic Development as a Social Dialogue: A Case of Enterprise ILembe”.

Titi’s studies investigated the challenges and successes of manufacturing Small Medium and Micro Enterprise in the Downstream Aluminum Centre for Technology.

Khoza said possessing a Bachelor of Community and Development Studies degree and an Honours in Public Policy degree made a qualification in LED the obvious choice.

His thesis titled: “An Investigation of Participation and Accountability on LED Projects within the Hibiscus Coast Municipality”, explored LED projects with the Municipality from the perspective of assessing public participation within LED processes and projects.

‘After handing in my thesis for examination, I joined the Human Science Research Council as a research Assistant. This April I was promoted to researcher. I can say my career is taking-off, I’m expanding my knowledge and experience in terms of personal growth and development,’ said Khoza.

“An Investigation of Local Governments in Ensuring LED Projects implementation: A Case Study of Vulamehlo Local Municipality”, was the title of Mkhize’s dissertation.

The research investigated how municipalities are coping with the new assigned role of implementing LED projects and also involved finding out what measures they are taking to ensure that they fulfil this role as LED implementation is considered to be one way to tackle South Africa’s societal problems such as poverty, slow economic growth and unemployment.

‘The study revealed that Vulamehlo municipality faces different challenges that hinder their ability to implement LED,’ said Mkhize. ‘These include lack of funding, lack of consensus from leadership and lack of commitment from the LED involved community beneficiaries. I think this qualification increases my chances of employment as some of the employers understand that doing research requires one to be disciplined and focused,’ said Mkhize.

The title of Mthimkhulu’s thesis was: “An Examination of Business Perspectives on the Role of the Umhlosinga Development Agency”. She said the work had broadened her knowledge about the challenges of a development agency located in a predominately rural district.

‘The findings of my study point to the financial challenges that development agencies face and how these further contribute to challenges of human resources and the actual manifestation of economic development of a locality.  Further education of stakeholders of LED was one of the key factors that could result in meeting the objectives set for an agency.’

Thandiwe Jumo

 


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LLB Qualification Inspires Cum Laude Graduates to Strive for Success

LLB Qualification Inspires <em>Cum Laude</em> Graduates to Strive for Success
Law cum laude graduates.

Graduates from the Law Discipline excelled at the College of Law and Management Studies’ Graduation ceremony with eight receiving their degrees cum laude.

They were Ms Yasmine Allen, Ms Zahra Omar, Ms Aideen Ross, Ms Felicia Christian, Ms Beatrice Moyo, Ms Karen Pillay, Ms Edith Makavanga and Ms Revonia Somaya, who all aim to use their LLB qualification to unlock their potential.

For Allen, law was a fitting career for her future plans.

‘My decision to study law was a mix of factors. I have always had a deep love for knowledge, and family friends who are lawyers always seemed to be so well read and versed on every issue, that becoming a lawyer seemed to be the appropriate avenue to gain access to all of the knowledge I had seen them demonstrate over the years. My plan is to do a job that I love - which is definitely law and I also I own a small gel nail business, Goodluck Nails in Cape Town, which I operate on a part-time basis,’ she said.

Being on the Dean’s merit list for the academic years of 2012 and 2015 was an indication that Omar was on the path to a successful legal career.

‘I had a wonderful time studying for my LLB at UKZN, the atmosphere at campus was pleasant and I had a good set of friends motivating me to study and be the best I could be,’ said Omar. ‘I think an LLB is a worthwhile qualification to have due to the constant (media) attention given to our legal system as this helps one not only to know your rights as a member of this country it also enables you to enforce your rights or assist someone to enforce their rights via the correct channels,’ said Omar.

Representing UKZN at the Kovsie Family Law Moot and All African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in his first and final year respectively were enriching experiences on Ross’s rewarding academic journey.

‘These experiences gave me the opportunity to improve my research and writing skills and gave me the confidence to argue in a court setting,’ said Ross. ‘I also really appreciated the opportunity to travel and meet students from other universities and other countries. I plan to become an attorney and then later to become an advocate. Eventually, I think I’ll end up in academia - I really enjoy teaching and I enjoy engaging with the law on a substantive level,’ said Ross.

For Pillay, the qualification is a gateway to endless possibilities.

‘I chose to pursue an LLB as it was the only viable choice I could make at the time and it turned out to be the best decision I could have made,’ said Pillay. ‘I enjoyed the variety of modules available and that I could study at my own pace as well as the fact that assistance was readily available should I have required it. An LLB is a versatile degree that allows one to pursue a career in a variety of fields,’ she said.

Having a politician for a father who exposed her to judges and lawyers from the Zimbabwean High Court fuelled Moyo’s passion for law. With her father passing away before her graduation makes the achievement bittersweet.

‘During my final year of high school, my father introduced me to several of his acquaintances in a number of different professions. Unfortunately in December 2012 my father, the sole sponsor of my studies, had a fatal heart attack after I had just completed my first year. My mother had passed away a few years prior leaving my father as a single parent and now he too was gone. I was utterly devastated and faced the uncertainty that my university studies would be cut short,’ said Moyo.

‘As God would have it, I was awarded a scholarship for my second year studies as a result of having passed my first year well. With a renewed attitude of determination and in an effort to make my father, who valued education more than anything, proud I worked even harder in my studies. I believe that if my father were still alive today he would be truly proud of what I have achieved,’ she said.

For Makavanga her legal career has already taken off as she is currently employed as a legal intern at Antonio and Dzvetero Legal Practitioners in Harare.

‘The internship can be converted to what would be referred to as serving articles in the South African setting. I aim to complete my conversion and board exams and to be a fully registered attorney by the end of this year. In the next 10 years I hope to be one of Zimbabwe's top advocates, both practically and ethically,’ said Makavanga.

For Christian an LLB is the gateway to achieving her career ambitions.

I am currently doing my articles at Shepstone & Wylie in Umhlanga. I am getting great litigation experience. I plan on practicing as an attorney for a few years and learn as much as I can and possibly then pursue being and Advocate,’ she said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Leadership Doctoral Graduate Focused on Entrepreneurial Inclination of Students

Leadership Doctoral Graduate Focused on Entrepreneurial Inclination of Students
Dr John Amolo.

The thesis of PhD in Leadership graduate, Dr John Amolo, was titled: “Institutional and Learning Impact on Student Entrepreneurial Inclination at the University of KwaZulu-Natal”.

Amolo said global statistics showed that entrepreneurial inclination of students had been declining, with the South African decline higher than that internationally.

‘Entrepreneurship is necessary for the economic growth of nations and more so at a time of economic slowdown. Global average youth unemployment is 14.4%, while Africa’s is 21%.’

Amolo received the Research Presentation Excellence Award. He attributes his success to his research supervisor, Professor Migiro, who helped guide him through the massive amounts of work involved in his studies.

He said the highlights of his studies included attending “lively” academic conferences and securing his doctorate.

Amolo is currently supervising master’s students and hopes to engage in further research towards understanding entrepreneurial leadership.

Sithembile Shabangu


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Gender Equality at Local Government Level the Focus of Doctoral Research

Gender Equality at Local Government Level the Focus of Doctoral Research
Dr Kwazi Majola.

The representation and participation of women in decision making processes in municipalities in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal was central to PhD graduate Dr Kwazi Majola’s research.

Majola’s thesis, titled: “Women’s Representation and Participation in the Era of Decentralisation, examined Gender Equality issues at Local Government Level”.

‘The reason for this is that women seem to be the most marginalised people yet they far outnumber their male counterparts in South Africa. They remain the poorest of the poor as they have been negatively affected by culture, family and opportunities for education,’ said Majola.

Majola further explains that while the country’s laws encourage women to participate equally in all structures, achieving this remains a challenge.

‘The challenge is that political parties and municipalities are not doing enough to recruit, groom, and train or empower women to participate in politics at the local government level. Women may be deprived of enjoying this political right when there is no investment on gender issues,’ said Majola.

‘The study reminds political parties, community members and municipalities about the importance of the representation and participation of women at local government level. When women are empowered, community members will not have a problem in electing women as ward councillors in their areas,’ he added.

Having the opportunity to travel to Canada and Tanzania while doing his PhD was a valuable learning experience for Majola.

‘My supervisor, Professor Thokozani Nzimakwe, organised funding for me to go to Tanzania and gave me an instruction to come back when I finished a chapter. I also visited the University of Dar es Salaam on a NRF grant for collaboration purposes in 2015. I call this PhD Tanzania because I worked hard while I was there and I would not have finished this degree if I did not get that opportunity,’ said Majola.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Effective Municipal Management a Priority for PhD Graduate

Effective Municipal Management a Priority for PhD Graduate
Dr Terrence Hlongwane.

Infrastructure Development Manager at uMgungundlovu District Municipality, Dr Terrence Hlongwane, aims to use his Doctorate in Business Administration to enhance the district’s service delivery strategies.

‘The State of Local Government Report (2009) reveals that South Africa’s municipalities are in “distress”, accompanied by an escalating loss of confidence in governance,’ said Hlongwane. ‘No subject has ever been more discussed in local government circles than the issue of service delivery. Service delivery in South Africa has been characterised by mass protests and demonstrations.

‘Municipalities are facing developmental challenges and lack the required capacity to translate resources into instruments within which to confront problems of underdevelopment.’

His thesis titled: “Municipal Distress: Towards a Municipal infrastructure and Finance Model”, evaluates service delivery at uMgungundlovu District Municipality (uMDM) and the root causes of municipal distress, and proposes an infrastructure and finance model for service delivery.

‘The study also critiques the Local Government Turnaround Strategy (LGTS), MSA and the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA) on service delivery mechanisms. The complex processes of service delivery are seen to be of national importance and require immediate developmental solution through innovative service delivery models,’ said Hlongwane.

While holding a demanding full time job and pursuing a doctoral degree is a tough balancing act, Hlongwane is looking forward to using his newly acquired knowledge to improve people’s lives.

‘It’s an absolute honor and a privilege. The incredible sense of accomplishment in reaching the peak of academic recognition that the Doctoral degree gives, is worth the onerous journey that leads to it. I pride myself in being from KZN and I want to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of our people,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Research Evaluates Quality of Municipal Service Delivery

Research Evaluates Quality of Municipal Service Delivery
Dr Sakhile Zondi.

The need for municipalities to deliver quality service delivery which is a basic human right for all South African citizens was explored in the thesis of Doctor of Administration, Dr Sakhile Zondi.

Zondi’s study, titled: “Public Participation and Service Delivery with Particular Reference to the ILembe District Municipality”, evaluated the quality of municipal service delivery, using the iLembe District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal as a case study.

‘The study argued that basic municipal service delivery is imperative for the realisation of human rights in South Africa and the enhancement of the quality of life for local communities,’ said Zondi. ‘This is particularly relevant because service delivery in South Africa is no longer regarded as an entitlement for minorities, but rather as a basic human right of all citizens, particularly previously disenfranchised groups.’

Zondi further highlighted that proper co-ordinated service delivery systems were also critical for the realisation of the vision of the National Development Plan in its mission of eliminating poverty and inequality by 2030.

‘Conducting a study of this nature contributes meaningfully in the development of the South African communities. It demonstrates my views about the roles of civil society in forming partnerships with government stakeholders to improve the standard of living for local communities. It is hoped that the findings will contribute to the knowledge base in local governance in terms of understanding the challenges of municipal service delivery and public participation strategies,’ said Zondi.

As a Development Lecturer in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, Zondi will use this study experience to inspire students and staff to study further.

‘Embarking on the PhD journey requires dedication, commitment and passion for research. It is about creating time to improve yourself. This qualification is necessary to begin a career in academia and as an emerging researcher. I would encourage my colleagues and anyone who wants to join academia that the PhD journey is fun and if I can do it, anyone can,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo

 


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Research Explores the Position of Voluntary Human Shields under International Humanitarian Law

Research Explores the Position of Voluntary Human Shields under International Humanitarian Law
Mr Marco Nel.

An opportunity to address the gap in knowledge concerning military situations involving women and children under international law is what motivated LLM summa cum laude graduate, Mr Marco Nel, to choose voluntary human shields as his research topic.

His master’s thesis titled: “Voluntary Human Shields in International Humanitarian Law: A Proposal for Suitable Future Regulation”, explores the human interest issue of women and children being manipulated to take up positions before military targets in order to ward off attacks. The research was supervised by Dr Shannon Bosch. 

‘The day I first found out about voluntary human shields and how various states have utilised the presence of these individuals contrary to the stated goals of international humanitarian law, I knew the time was ripe to do something.  The more I read on the topic the more concerned I grew. Scholars are divided on just about every aspect pertaining to voluntary human shields. I did however begin to see a way out,’ explained Nel.

Nel further goes on to explain that these women and children have a difficult choice of whether to unite under the veil of nationality or to look on as their country is attacked by enemy forces. This results in blurred lines between what is legitimate and what is illegitimate.

‘Tragic situations unfold where lives are lost for illegal causes. A rebel state, legitimately targetable for having committed heinous crimes or refusing to adhere to international law, play on the conscience and good intentions of its citizens who in the circumstances are incapable of making an informed decision,’ explained Nel.

Considering that there exists a lot of grey areas around the position of voluntary human shields in international humanitarian law, Nel substantiates a proposed solution with strong arguments that relate to the creation of an organisation tasked with regulating the recruitment and deployment of voluntary human shields in a manner that eliminates the influence militaries have been exerting on these shields for years.

‘The deaths of these innocent people are always unnecessary and has the tendency to escalate political and military conflict around the world. All of which can, and should of course, be mitigated against through the establishing of an effective international legal regime’, he concluded.

Thandiwe Jumo


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PhD a Knowledge-Broadening Experience for Graduate

PhD a Knowledge-Broadening Experience for Graduate
Dr Kenneth Moodley.

Senior Supply Chain Manager, Dr Kenneth Moodley, believes his Doctorate in Business Administration will play a valuable role in enhancing his leadership and management skills.

This industrial engineer who is responsible for customer service, gross margin delivery, quality and all other Supply Chain activities at a consumer goods company said pursuing a qualification in management had broadened his way of thinking.

‘I have always believed that furthering my academic education levels would result in me enhancing my ability to approach situations and problems in a more holistic manner. I see this qualification as assisting me in creating opportunities going forward,’ said Moodley.

Through his research titled:  “A System Dynamics Model to Explore the Impact of the S&OP Process within an FMCG Organisation”, Moodley aims to contribute to the advancement in the field of system dynamics within a supply chain context.

‘My research was application based within the system dynamics field and on a real life organisational situation. It clearly shows the benefits that applying this methodology can have on sales and operations planning within the organisation. This greatly aided me to stay motivated as I could see that the outcome of the study would benefit the industry and organisation,’ said Moodley.

Looking ahead, Moodley is excited about his future prospects as he knows his doctorate will open a lot more doors for him.

‘What truly keeps me going is achieving my goals so that I can create further opportunities for both myself and my family. I also hope that my achievements are a source of inspiration and motivation for my family, especially my two little girls, and friends’ said Moodley. 

Thandiwe Jumo


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Research Shares Insights on how KZN Municipalities can Improve their Decision Making Processes

Research Shares Insights on how KZN Municipalities can Improve their Decision Making Processes
Dr Mbuyiseni Ntuli.

The worrying reality of the Auditor-General of South Africa’s constant negative findings about decision-making processes by KwaZulu-Natal municipalities motivated Doctor of Business Administration graduate, Dr Mbuyiseni Ntuli, to explore how this could be turned around.

Through his thesis titled: “An Analysis of Systemic Thinking in Decision-Making Processes in Municipalities within the Province of KwaZulu-Natal”, Ntuli investigated the understanding, application and effectiveness of the thinking technique for gaining systemic (situation-wide) insights into complex situations and problems in decision-making processes in KZN municipalities.

‘The study was premised on the philosophy that the success or failure of any organisation, including a municipality, is - among other factors - the product of the decision-making processes of its leadership and management,’ said Ntuli. ‘Thus, I surveyed 183 senior managers from 81 municipalities within the province. One of the key findings was that there is a need to incorporate systemic thinking in key performance areas of senior management in all municipalities to improve the quality of decisions taken.’

As a Development Lecturer at the Graduate School of Business and Leadership, shaping future leaders is a role that Ntuli takes seriously.

‘I am of the view that this study will benefit all those who are entrusted with management and strategic decision-making responsibilities across the organisational spectrum, the university communities, the researchers and the public at large,’ said Ntuli.

Looking to the future, Ntuli’s academic prospects are focused on contributing to UKZN’s primary goal of research in line with becoming a research-led institution.

‘I was very fortunate to be appointed by the University and become part of its staff.  As a result, I was surrounded by a group of erudite scholars in the academic space who are always willing to give any form of academic advice, irrespective of its nature. This qualification came in my life at the right time - it means a lot to me. It qualifies me to be counted as one of a qualifying member of staff to form part of any university community,’ said Ntuli.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Research Prioritises Effective Public Policy Implementation

Research Prioritises Effective Public Policy Implementation
Dr Vikinduku Mnculwane.

The link between lack of service delivery in the public service and ineffective policy implementation was explored in research by Doctor of Administration graduate, Reverend Vikinduku Mnculwane.

Mnculwane who works at the Office of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier in Pietermaritzburg, said his thesis: “A Phenomenological Investigation into the Use of Incentives to Solicit Community Participation in Heritage Policy Implementation in Post 1994 South Africa”, interrogated the question of the use of incentives of various kinds in the implementation of public policy in a post-democratic South Africa.

‘Apart from the fact that I personally have a passion for public policy implementation in particular, I was also motivated to undertake the study by a realisation that much of service delivery in the public service may have to do with ineffective policy implementation, and not necessarily with the lack of policy. I was also fascinated by the need to seek models which will entrench the bottom up movement in the public policy process, particularly with regard to heritage policy in South Africa,’ said Mnculwane.

As an ordained Priest in a local Anglican Parish, balancing his time between his studies and job at the Premier’s Office was a tough act.

‘I have been fairly meticulous and diligent in the way I managed my time and its allocation to various commitments. Apart from being a public manager, a family man and a student, I also had to allocate time to my pastoral responsibilities. I did not anticipate the excitement that has been generated within my own family and siblings about this achievement,’ said Mnculwane.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Rwandan Graduate Focuses on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Challenges

Rwandan Graduate Focuses on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Challenges
Mr Olivier Nsanzabaganwa.

Mr Olivier Nsanzabaganwa, an Independent Medico-legal Consultant from Rwanda, graduated with a Master of Laws for his thesis titled: “The Clinical and Human Rights Challenges Pertaining to HIV/AIDS and TB Co-Infection in South Africa.”

His dissertation discussed the clinical, ethical and legal challenges pertaining to HIV/AIDS and TB co-infection in South Africa by making an analysis and evaluation of health policies and laws. ‘I also aimed to clarify to what extent the existing health policies and laws could achieve the protection of rights of those living with these diseases,’ said Nsanzabaganwa.

He was prompted to do the thesis because of his distaste for injustice. ‘I always feel I can do something if I speak out against injustice. This is why I have chosen to advocate for the rights of those living with these diseases in South Africa, making advocacy in order to challenge patent policies and laws for the promotion of sustainable health care service and patients’ rights,’ he said.

‘During my research, I found that the scarcity of health care personnel and infrastructure, stigma and discrimination, drugs interaction, lack of information and poor patients’ compliance among the population, undermine the prevention and treatment of these diseases. Therefore, management and control of these diseases will depend on the revision of patent laws and the consolidation of counselling to encourage patients ’adherence, political commitment and finally, the increase of funds in spending on these diseases and in human resources.’

Nsanzabaganwa faced language and financial difficulties while reading for his degree, but he was determined to graduate. ‘Firstly, I experienced difficulties working in English because I did my previous studies in French. Secondly, I was a self-sponsored student while doing my degree, so I had a few financial problems.’

Nsanzabaganwa’s supervisor, Professor Yousuf A Vawda, of the School of Law commended him on his commitment to his studies and overcoming the language barrier. ‘Olivier is a Rwandan national for whom English is only a third language. He struggled to deal with this medium as both the graduate level (LLM) and the complexity of subject matter (medical law) require engagement with fairly technical language. Despite this he applied himself with singular commitment to his studies and completed his dissertation on the clinical and human rights challenges of HIV and TB co-infection in the South African context, which I supervised. He was also able to count on the excellent language support provided by Dr Caroline Goodier, the Postgraduate Research and Writing Coordinator in the School of Law,’ said Vawda.

‘The School of Law wishes him every success in his endeavours,’ he said. 

Nsanzabaganwa thanked everyone who had helped him on his journey to completing his degree. ‘I would like to acknowledge the academic and support staff from the School of Law, and especially my supervisor, Professor Yousuf A Vawda, for his academic support and encouragement. I can’t forget Dr Caroline Goodier who took care of me and helped me to improve my writing skills. I would like also to thank my uncle Thomas for his support - he was like a father to me.’

Now back home in Rwanda, Nsanzabaganwa is working as an Independent Medico-legal Consultant and plans to build a strong career in medical law. He aims to ‘continue with the advocacy in order to improve protection of patients’ rights by creating fair health policies and laws’.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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