Town and Regional Planning Students Attend Conference for Young Graduates
Six Town Planning students from the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (SoBEDS) recently attended the Conference for planning students and young graduates at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), where they presented individual papers throughout the course of the Conference.
They attended the conference – thanks to sponsorship organised by Professor Matthew Davomi - to interact and engage with Town Planning students from a variety of Higher Educational Institutions in South Africa.
One of the students, Mr Phumlani Gumede added, ‘We also wanted to reposition the perceived status associated with UKZN’s Built Environment students, by showcasing just some of the exceptional research work we have done during our tenure at the institution over the past two years.’
According to Lecturer Ms Annette von Riesen, it was evident that the UKZN group was diverse in research approaches and even though unaccompanied by the lecturing staff were able to “defend their research ideas when challenged by fellow students and other academics.’
She further added, ‘Overall, our students exemplified exceptional professionalism, attention to detail, and incredible bounds of confidence.’
The group brought back with them a certificate they won on behalf of the University as well as an individual award given to Mr Zethembe Khuluse from the Conference.
‘Their continuous engagement with an array of professional planners, academics and young graduates, catapulted their understanding of their vocation and every widening base of potential employers and vocation peers,’ said Ms von Riesen.
Dr Khoyi Mchunu, a Senior Lecturer in the MTRP, also confirmed that the Conference has been able to secure a link with UJ in forming a youth planning cell that will sort to inspire fellow BEDS students to form one of their own. ‘The networking opportunity has also exposed students to personal interests that are career related and also has shown a different side to what was expected of UKZN Planning.’
‘We have been able to form new ties that we hope can be planted in the planning school even after we have left the Institution. We sincerely would like to thank the School in making it possible for the trip to happen and also a round of congratulations for all students that took part,’ said Mr Zethembe Khuluse ‘As much as they have grown, they have also raised the UKZN banner very high and for next year, the same is expected,’ said Mchunu.
They are currently working on developing a graduate programme for UKZN’s planning discipline, overseen by a team of SACPLAN accredited Professional Planning Mentors. ‘The main purpose of this establishment is not to generate wealth, but to create an environment which will train and mentor young graduate planners in a professional yet realistic environment.’
Papers presented were:
Mr Njabulo Ngcobo: “The potential of ecological infrastructure/environmental services as an effective strategy to address flood risk in Ladysmith town: The lessons for strategic planning and planning practice in the eMnambithi/Ladysmith Local Municipality”.
Mr Phumlani Gumede: “Evaluating an integrated active pavement template for transport interchange zones, as a renewable energy strategy for informal trade - The case study of the Warwick Transportation Precinct located near the eThekwini Central Business District”.
Ms Tracy Nokuzola April: “Assessing the inclusion of the physically challenged in the KwaZulu-Natal Transport System: The case study of Umlazi District, (Z section)”.
Mr Nhlanhla Nkwayana: “The impact of peri-urban densification on basic social service delivery in eNtshongweni area in eThekwini municipality”.
Mr Sikhosonke Nipha: “The contribution of the minibus (taxi) industry in alleviating the problems associated with public transportation: the case of uMhlathuze Local Municipality”.
Mr Zethembe Khuluse: “Power Dynamics, Conflict resolution and the profession of planning in a post-apartheid South Africa: various case studies within the province of KwaZulu-Natal”.