Preventing the Spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae

Preventing the Spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
Professor Prashini Moodley.

An article by UKZN Professor, Prashini Moodley, examining the impact of a "search and destroy strategy in preventing the spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae" has been published in the Current Infectious Disease Reports Journal.

Carbapenems are a class of beta-lactam antibiotics which has broad-spectrum antibacterial activity, being active against many aerobic and anaerobic gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.

Moodley, who is head of UKZN’s Infection Prevention and Control division, said: ‘There are ever increasing reports where the causative agents of serious infections are multi-drug resistant and in some cases resistant to all known antibiotics. Microbes with this susceptibility profile are commonly associated with nosocomial infections and implicated in outbreaks.  ’

She said the emergence and spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae had heightened awareness regarding antibiotic stewardship programmess and infection prevention and control measures.

This followed much controversy regarding the utility of the ‘search and destroy’ strategy to prevent the spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae – a family of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that includes both normal and pathogenic enteric microorganisms.

‘Antibiotic drug discovery has not kept pace with the development of microbial resistance to these agents,’ said Moodley.

Her article, titled: "The Pros, Cons, and Unknowns of Search and Destroy for Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae", highlighted the controversies of the classical search and destroy strategy to prevent spread of infection, and underscore the role of infection prevention and control. 

‘It is, however, clear that a functional infection prevention and control programme is fundamental to any strategy that serves to address the spread of microbes within a healthcare facility.’

Moodley’s research interests include mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis.

Lunga Memela


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Student Wins Award for Social Science Poster

UKZN Student Wins Award for Social Science Poster
Ms Yolandie Kriel.

PhD student Ms Yolandie Kriel has won the Discovery Award for the best Social Science poster at the SA AIDS 2015 conference.

Kriel’s winning entry was titled: "Continuous Access to the Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) Programme: Understanding Barriers to Retention in Care from the Patients’ Perspectives."

Kriel’s poster is based on the work she did for her masters degree, in which she examined access to the ART programme in the public health care system and what barriers could result when people left the programme.

Supervised by Internal Medicine Head of Department (HoD), Dr Nombulelo Magula, and Dr Susan de la Porte from Anthropology, Kriel highlighted that factors such as poor administration, loss of files, monthly visits, long waiting times, and poor quality of service from staff in the health care setting could lead to patients leaving the ART programme. 

 ‘All of these factors result in an increase in the amount of people in facilities which further compounds bottlenecks in the system, compromising patients’ satisfaction.  The perspective of the patients provided unique insight into the everyday lived experiences within the public ART programme,’ explained Kriel.

She said the award came as a surprise. ‘I was happy to receive the accolade, but very surprised.’

Numerous factors were highlighted in the study that could result in people disengaging form the programme. She explored four major barriers: physical, organisational, socio-cultural, and economic barriers.

‘Of particular interest to me were the organisational barriers that can result in dissatisfaction with the service, and as a result disengagement from the programme. This is especially important in light of the rapidly expanding ART programme. These issues will have to be addressed if we want to achieve the targets set out by the national Department of Health.’

She is currently focusing on her PhD project in Public Health at UKZN where she continues to investigate access and retention in the ART programme. She will be piloting an alternative model for retention in the ART programme under the supervision of Professor Fatima Suleman and Dr Magula as her co-supervisor.  

She is currently a researcher at the Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health (MatCH) Research Unit which is part of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of the Witwatersrand where she is investigating adherence to microbicides as HIV prevention strategies.

Nombuso Dlamini


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Hosts 14th Annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course

UKZN Hosts 14th Annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course
UKZN Academics with CDA Facilitators and high school learners at the Masakhane Youth Leadership Course welcome night.

UKZN’s School of Education in association with the Community Development Association – a student-run community outreach organisation - recently hosted the 14th annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course (MYLC).

The course was attended by 200 Grade 11 learners from predominantly disadvantaged schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The learners were exposed to teaching from some of the University’s best academics with topics covered during the seven-day course, including gender and leadership, violence in schools, managing and embracing diversity, transformative leadership and entrepreneurship. 

Senior Lecturer and Academic Leader for Education Studies at UKZN and MYLC founder, Dr Thabo Msibi, described the course as crucial. ‘It encourages young people to think critically and broadens the youth’s leadership skills as they are mentored to initiate community projects in their schools. It also broadens the horizon of young people by exposing them to a university setting and to a variety of professionals who have excelled in their particular professions.’

Professor Thabisile Buthelezi delivered the keynote address at the welcome ceremony speaking on Youth Leaders for a Good Cause, while also encouraging learners to become exceptional leaders of the future.

‘When leaders are occupying particular positions, their actions, practices and their leadership styles are determined, among other things, by their personal attributes, and their intentions and/or goals. Their intentions / goals give focus in what they do,’ she said.

Buthelezi described three kinds of leaders identified when ‘leaders’ intention’ is used as a variable.

‘The first kind is that of selfish leaders, whose focus is self gain. Such leaders focus on their personal/family gains - whether it is status, material or financial gains accumulated during their terms as leaders. The second kind of leader is constituency-focused with their aim being to please their constituency.

‘The third kind of leaders are Leaders for a Good Cause. Such leaders rise above ‘self’ and their ‘constituency’. They are capable of leading both ‘self’ and constituency’ for the general good; and their leadership, qualities and skills are interlinked to this intention,’ said Buthelezi.

She also commended the Community Development Association and the MYLC for changing the lives of young people, generating a support system and leading with integrity. She advised learners to emulate such leadership in the future.

CDA National Leader Ms Nomzamo Nxumalo also encouraged the youngsters to learn as much as possible from the course and to be better leaders in their schools and communities.

Margot Fonteyn Secondary School pupil Mr Lwazi Zondi believes ‘a leader is made and with this course and the support from everyone, we have a better chance of succeeding’.

Another pupil, Ms Andiswa Majola from Tholulwazi Secondary School, thoroughly enjoyed the course. ‘We’re definitely going to become better leaders through the course and I am excited to be a part of it.’

Melissa Mungroo


author : .
author email : .

Student Presents Research at SA Classics Conference

Student Presents Research at SA Classics Conference
Classics student Ms Liliana Tappeiner.

Classics student Ms Liliana Tappeiner presented a paper at the 31st Biennial Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa (CASA) held in Potchefstroom.

Tappeiner’s paper, titled: "Haggard, Great Zimbabwe, and Classics: Constructing Lost Cities in King Solomon’s Mines"dealt with the reception of various classical images and texts in the 1885 novel by Rider Haggard.

‘The novel, along with the many others which followed it, entertains the idea of a lost white civilization occupying a territory within a Southern African context,’ said Tappeiner. ‘This idea was not inspired purely by imagination, but also, as my paper demonstrates, by the discovery and analysis of remarkable ruins in southern Africa, and in particular those of Great Zimbabwe in the 19th century.’

The primary focus of her study is Haggard’s depiction of ancient civilizations and especially his use of classical material and imagery which are employed variously throughout the narrative. 

Tappeiner also examined evidence of Haggard’s use of classical authors, including Herodotus, in his depiction of landscape and people, Homer for his representation of a graphic battle scene, and both Virgil and Ovid in their depictions of the eponymous and seemingly chthonic mines, also referred to as the ‘Place of Death’, which functions as a proxy for the underworld in a variety of ways.

‘My paper, which was presented under the panel 'reception studies', was well received and I was offered valuable suggestions from the audience.

‘I feel conferences such as this are an excellent opportunity for students and academics to meet and interact with people who, while also interested in Classics, offer a wide variety of research interests and new insights. Additionally, these conferences provide post-graduate students with the chance to engage with a very important aspect of academia.’

Melissa Mungroo


author : .
author email : .

SA Film Ayanda Announced as DIFF’s Opening Night Film

SA Film Ayanda Announced as DIFF’s Opening Night Film
Leading cast members, Ms Fulu Mugovhani and Mr OC Ukeje.

The highly anticipated South African film Ayanda, directed by Sara Blecher and produced by Real Eyes in association with Leading Lady Productions, has been announced as the opening night film of the 36th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) which takes place from 16 to 26 July this year.

DIFF is organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA- a special project of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

Set in the vibrant, Afropolitan community of Johannesburg’s Yeoville, Ayanda is a coming-of-age story of a 21-year-old Afro-hipster, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery when she has to fight to save her late father’s legacy – a motor repair shop - when it is threatened with closure.

She’s thrown into a world of greasy overalls, gender stereotypes and abandoned vintage cars once loved, now in need of a young woman’s re-inventive touch to bring them back to life again.

The film stars Fulu Mugovhani (of Scandal fame) and Nigerian actor OC Ukeje, with a star South African cast including Ntathi Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Jafta Mamabola, Thomas Gumede, Sihle Xaba and veteran star of stage and screen Vanessa Cooke.

‘We are pleased that this feel-good film will open this year’s festival,’ said Mr Pedro Pimenta, Director of DIFF. ‘The opening film of this, the most prestigious international film event in SA, needs to reflect a clear priority established by the festival to reach and develop local audiences.’

‘The recently published National Film and Video Foundation report on audiences in this country, is very informative and revealing in that while the industry has been successfully structured and supported from all quarters to allow a regular flow of SA content, much still needs to be done for this content to reach local audiences. By once again opening the DIFF with a strong SA film, we endorse this objective,’ said Pimenta.

This is the second opening night film at DIFF for director Sara Blecher. Her film Otelo Burning opened the 2011 edition of DIFF to critical acclaim. ‘We are very proud of Ayanda and are thrilled to have it selected as the opening film at this year’s festival. The film had a very successful screening in Cannes last month and we look forward to screening it to festival-goers in Durban,’ said Blecher.

Co-producer for the film Terry Pheto added, ‘Ayanda celebrates the diversity of our country and revels in the fact that we are a multi-cultural, colourful and exciting melting pot of Africa. With this film we have tried to capture the Afropolitan nature of our country and the energy of its people.’

Pimenta added, ‘Ayanda offers an interesting and positive convergence of talents style, resources and distribution potential for the film market. There is a real sense that reaching an audience has been the most important motivation equally shared by the filmmakers and their financiers in its creation.’

‘What is also particularly encouraging in terms of the South African film industry is that the film, originally titled, Andani and the Mechanic, was a project in the 2013 Durban FilmMart (DFM), the co-production and finance forum of the DIFF and the Durban Film Office. The film is one of five titles that have been part of the DFM process over the years that will be screened this year at DIFF,’ he said.

The festival includes more than 200 theatrical screenings and a full seminar and workshop programme, as well as the Wavescapes Film Festival, and various industry initiatives, including the 8th Talents Durban (presented in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents) and the 6th Durban FilmMart co-production market (presented in partnership with the Durban Film Office).  

For more information go to www.durbanfilmfest.co.za

Melissa Mungroo


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Maritime Law Expert on eThekwini Maritime Cluster’s Executive Board

UKZN Maritime Law Expert on eThekwini Maritime Cluster’s Executive Board
UKZN’s Professor Trevor Jones (third from right) with members of the eThekwini Maritime Cluster’s Executive Board.

Maritime Law expert Professor Trevor Jones has been elected to the eThekwini Maritime Cluster’s Executive Board.

The Cluster held its annual general meeting recently during which a new board of directors was chosen.  The Directors contribute to improving the competitiveness of the Maritime industry thus promoting economic growth in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa.

Jones, who has enjoyed a long association with the Cluster as a member of its education and skills sub-committee, said he was looking forward to serving as a board member.

‘In my role as a board member, I will wear two hats. I will represent the interests of the industry group, the International Bunker Industry Association, of which I am an executive member but my more fundamental role is to represent UKZN. So I would see myself as still having a significant role in in the education and skills development sector of the Cluster.’

 Thandiwe Jumo


author : .
author email : .

Two in a Row for Prize-Winning UKZN Academic

Two in a Row for Prize-Winning UKZN Academic
Dr Karen Bargate.

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance academic, Dr Karen Bargate, received the award for the best paper in the accounting education category at the 2015 Southern African Accounting Association Biennial Conference – adding to the one she was awarded in 2013!

At the 2013 gathering in Cape Town, Bargate’s winner paper in the accounting education category was titled:  Students’ Experiences of Understanding Managerial Accounting and Financial Management in a Writing Intensive Tutorial Programme

This year, the conference took place in East London and attracted 300 academics from South African and international universities.  Bargate’s paper was titled: "Towards a Model of Teaching and Learning in a Managerial Accounting and Financial Management Writing-Intensive Tutorial Programme", under the theme: "Our Role as Accountancy Educators: Closing the GAP".

The paper focused on developing a model for teaching and learning in a Managerial Accounting and Financial Management tutorial programme.

Bargate said very little research work had been done on models of teaching and learning in accounting education and the aim of the paper was to initiate the debate on developing a model specifically for accounting programmes.

‘I am very excited about winning the prize twice in a row. It is great to receive acknowledgement from the wider accounting academic community for the work I am doing.’

Bargate also presented a paper at the 2015 International Business and Education Conference in London titled: "Making Accounting Tutorials Enjoyable". The paper created awareness that higher education can be a fun, learning environment.

Thandiwe Jumo


author : .
author email : .

Paying Tribute to the Life and Times of Professor Cephas Musabayane

Paying Tribute to the Life and Times of Professor Cephas Musabayane
Students perform at the memorial service.

The College of Health Sciences recently paid tribute to the life, times and remarkable contribution to academia made by the late Professor Cephas Musabayane.

Friends, colleagues and a host of students he mentored and supervised shared fond memories of the outstanding academic with his family members during a memorial service at UKZN.

Musabayane joined UKZN in 2003 and became Head of the School of Medical Sciences in the previous Faculty of Health Sciences, a position he held for four years. He obtained national and international recognition for his work through presentations and more than 80 publications.

‘His were attributes of a true academic’, said the Dean and Head of School Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences (LMMS), Professor William Daniels, supported by the School Academic Leader for Research, Dr Musa Mabandla.

Daniels said Musabayane would get very upset when his students failed him because he saw himself mirrored in their work. ‘He had very high standards and always strived for the best,’ said Daniels, who also lauded the high quality research he produced.

Musabayane was named a Life Fellow of the Physiology Society of Southern Africa and received membership of both the American and British Physiological Societies. Musabayane was also well known internationally for his work on the insulin patch for the management of Type 2 diabetes.

Tributes paid to Musabayane included a poem and song written specially for the day by Dr Blessing Mkhwanazi and Mr G Mavondo. Student, Ms Hlengiwe Sibiya who spoke highly of the professor, delivered a moving presentation, highlighting the many memories he shared with his students grooming them for success. ‘I would say Prof was an African tree of knowledge,’ said School of LMMS Developmental Lecturer, Ms Lihle Qulu.

Family spokesperson, Mr R Chidzonga, said it was indeed a great loss and thanked the university community its vigorous relationship with Musabayane.

Lunga Memela


author : .
author email : .

GirlzNetwork Launched by UKZN Student

GirlzNetwork  Launched by UKZN Student
Ms Nompumelelo Nkosi and members of GirlzNetwork.

Fourth year medical student and winner of the 2014/15 Miss UKZN title, Ms Nompumelelo Nkosi, has launched GirlzNetwork, an organisation that aims to groom and unite girls to become leaders, ambassadors and to promote change they want to see in their communities.

Nkosi says GirlzNetwork wants to create a mentorship relationship with girls from different communities and get them involved in community outreach programmes.

‘This way they have duties and standards to live up to as GirlzNetwork members,’ explained Nkosi.

As part of the launch, the organisation hosted 57 girls for a sleepover workshop at Lelo Ladies Groom in Mandeni, Northern KwaZulu- Natal.

‘We managed to get props and decorations to help transform the hall into a bedroom environment,’ Nkosi said.

At the launch the girls received gifts such as pens, diaries, manicure sets, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soaps.

Nkosi said the organisation planned to visit different schools for motivational talks, pad drives, healthy lifestyle talks, career exhibitions, abuse, HIV and teenage pregnancy awareness programmes.

‘Annually we want to identify families wo are poverty stricken and we will fund raise to provide for them and find innovative ways of sustaining the change in their lives,’ she said

She also plans to run a programme that will assist Grade 12 learners to attend their matric dances.

 GirlzNetwork plans to host sleepover workshops every winter and summer. The workshops will focuses mainly on grooming young girls and discussing social or economic issues that they face. ‘For this I need a strong relationship with their parents as I need guidance myself,’ Nkosi said.

 Nombuso Dlamini


author : .
author email : .

Development Lecturer publishes paper in Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Journal

Development Lecturer publishes paper in Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Journal
Mr Jabulani Nyawo.

Research by a Development Lecturer in UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, Mr Jabulani Nyawo, into Mtubatuba’s arts and craft sector in relation to local economic development (LED) and tourism provided the material for his first published paper.

The paper, published in the Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, was titled: "Art and Craft in Local Economic Development: Tourism Possibilities in Mtubatuba Local Municipality", and was part of Nyawo’s masters dissertation. It was co-authoured by his supervisor, Professor Betty Mubangizi.

The paper reports on the study which critically examines the role of local government in the development of the art and craft sector as a LED initiative.

‘I am very happy about the paper being published as it shows I am making a valuable contribution to research. I would like to thank Professor Mubangizi for the important role she played in the conceptualisation and finalisation of the article,’ said Nyawo.

Nyawo is involved in curbing the dropout rate of first year students through championing the Discipline of Public Governance’s student mentorship programme.

The programme enables third year and honours students to provide first year colleagues with the academic, emotional and social support needed to help them make a successful transition from high school to tertiary education.

Nyawo said the programme’s goal is to ensure the students are being assisted both academically and socially to complete their degrees in time.

‘Everything went well in the first semester and I believe that through the mentors good work things will be even better in the second semester. Feedback reaffirms that the programme is very beneficial to the students which is encouraging for the team,’ he added.

Thandiwe Jumo


author : .
author email : .

Mahatma Gandhi’s Arrival in South Africa Commemorated

Mahatma Gandhi’s Arrival in South Africa Commemorated
Some of the High School learners and guests that attended the documentary screening of the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi.

UKZN in partnership with the Lenny Naidu Development Institute and the Mahatma Gandhi Trust hosted high school pupils at a screening of a documentary on the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Grade 12 youngsters - from schools in Chatsworth, Lamontville and KwaMashu - were part of the Lenny Naidu Development Institute leadership course.

The screening, organised by UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division, commemorated the  anniversary of the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa.

The first part of the film showed the life that Gandhi led while in India where he encouraged people to make their own products and not rely on imports. The second part showcased his life in South Africa after his arrival in1893.

The screening was followed by a discussion with Gandhi’s grand-daughter, Ms Ela Gandhi, on the role her grandfather played during the apartheid years.

Ela said her grandfather encouraged people to be the change they wanted to see in the world. She encouraged the audience to support South African manufactured products as this would ensure that local people would uplift each other as a nation.

During the discussions, some of the learners said they saw Gandhi as a visionary, a leader, a peacemaker and a liberator who preached non-violence.

Ms Slindile Ngcobo of the Witteklip Secondary School said she learned that Gandhi was not ashamed of who he was and that he had encouraged people to start their own businesses by using resources available to them locally.

Sithembile Shabangu


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Academic Features at Conferences in Mauritius

UKZN Academic Features at Conferences in Mauritius
Dr Upasana Singh (third from left from the back row) with the participants of the Third International Conference on Digital Information Processing, E-Business and Cloud Computing.

UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance Academic, Dr Upasana Singh, was elected as a panelist to motivate and guide students at the Open University of Mauritius’s inaugural PhD symposium.

Singh is one of the leading researchers in the field of e-assessment in Information Systems.

The aim of the two-day symposium was for the Mauritius university’s PhD students to present their research and get valuable feedback and mentorship from the panel which also included a Lecturer from the university, Dr Vandana Humna, and the Director of the Mauritius Institute of Education, Dr Oomandra Nath.

Singh described the experience as enriching and enlightening.

‘The wide range of topics being researched by these PhD students was both informative and interesting. Of particular interest were research on “how disengagement of Mauritian students contributes to drop out”, and “how misalignment of university curriculum contributes to unemployment in Mauritius”.

‘I enjoyed the stimulating and critical exchanges between the students in the audience, and those presenting, which clearly showed that the students themselves were engaged not only in the actual material being researched but the process of the PhD study itself,’ she said.

Apart from moderating at the Symposium, Singh also presented a paper at the Third International Conference on Digital Information Processing, E-Business and Cloud Computing (DIPECC2015) held at the University of Mauritius recently.

Her paper was titled: "Student Perceptions of the Implementation of an Indigenous e-assessment System at a South African University".

The three-day conference saw international researchers present on e-learning, software assessment tools, data mining, biometrics and security themes.

Singh said the conference gave her an opportunity to chair a session at her first international conference, as well as engage with academics from Israel, Kenya, India, Mauritius, Canada, Taiwan and Botswana about research, as well as.

‘The presentations were very informative, provided me with valuable networking experience and insight into the research being conducted internationally. I would like to thank UKZN, and in particular, my College’s Dean of Research, Professor Marita Carnelley, for providing the funding,’ she said.

Thandiwe Jumo


author : .
author email : .

Association of Lexicography Conference at UKZN

Association of Lexicography Conference at UKZN
Professor Renuka Vithal addressing delegates at AFRILEX 2015.

Experts in Lexicography, Corpus Linguistics, Computer Science and Terminography from Africa and around the world attended the 20th International African Association for Lexicography (AFRILEX) Conference on UKZN’s Howard College campus.

Keynote speakers at the conference, hosted by the Language Planning and Development Office, included Dr Michael Rundell of Macmillan in the United Kingdom and Professor Mbulungeni Madiba, an Associate Professor and Co-ordinator of the Multilingualism Education Project at the University of Cape Town.

In his paper titled: “From Digital to Print: Implications for Dictionary Policy and Lexicographic Conventions”, Rundell explored issues of space constraints in traditional print dictionaries and the introduction of hashtags as words in some dictionaries.

Illustrating the dynamic nature of dictionaries, Rundell said the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was declared the Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society in 2014.

Madiba’s topic was: “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Critical Reflection on the Intellectualisation of African Languages”.

Other academics presented papers on a wide variety of subjects ranging from “Gender Sensitivity in Isichazamazwi SesiNdebele” by S Sayi to “Reflections on Talking Dictionaries in Zimbabwe’s Indigenous Languages: Can we Really Talk” by D Nkomo and E Chabata.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, Professor Renuka Vithal, highlighted UKZN’s bold step in requiring students to demonstrate competency in isiZulu. ‘Mathematics is also regarded as a language, and acquiring mathematics has similarities to acquiring any language. So my interests and knowledge have assisted in this process,’ said Vithal.

A special session also took place on strategies to build a multilingual open education resource term bank for Higher Education. As a follow up, there will be a special interest group session on the sidelines of UNISA’s National Conference on Multilingualism in Higher Education in August to outline practical steps towards multi-tier computational resource.

The President of AFRILEX, Dr Maropeng Mojela, encouraged lexicographic scholars from Zimbabwe and Gabon to participate actively at conferences.

Mojela acknowledged the efforts of the Director of ULPDO, Dr Langa Khumalo, and his Local Organising Team, as well as AFRILEX Deputy President Professor Danie Prinsloo for their efforts in ensuring the success of the conference.

The conference included a reception hosted by eThekwini Mayor, Mr James Nxumalo, and a post-conference excursion on the Inanda Heritage Route.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


author : .
author email : .

New Lecturer for School of Clinical Medicine

New Lecturer for School of Clinical Medicine
Dr Reratilwe Mphahlele.

The School of Clinical Medical has welcomed Dr Reratilwe Mphahlele as a Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health.

‘I feel excited and look forward to improving my knowledge, exchanging ideas and becoming a part of an academic family,’ said Mphahlele.

Mphahlele (30) chose UKZN because she believes it produces top class academics. ‘UKZN is also ahead of others in implementing transformation and is among those which feature highly in the university academic ranking systems. I look forward to using the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS (K-RITH) on the University's Medical school campus.’

Mphahlele, who from an early age knew she wanted to contribute significantly to the world of medicine, hopes to achieve that by doing research that will lead to change and improvement, especially in mother and child health.

‘I am passionate about mother and child health because it is an indication of a country’s wellbeing and one of the most basic and achievable parameters of health. If one can make a difference in this area it will spill over into so many other fields of health care and sectors of the economy,’ she said.

‘HIV goes hand in hand with research. It has changed the face of medicine as we know it and we need to keep up with it.  South African children are either affected or infected by HIV. So it’s a big deal.’

Mphahlele’s qualifications include an MBChB, a Diploma in Child Health and a Diploma in the Management of HIV.

She says her greatest source of support has been her family while all her UKZN Lecturers and Supervisors have inspired her.

Nombuso Dlamini


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Staffer Named Inkunzi Isematholeni Winner

UKZN Staffer Named Inkunzi Isematholeni Winner
Miss Luthando Msomi (center) with executive members of Ithala Bank.

Enactus Alumnus and Communications Officer at UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division, Ms Luthando Msomi, is Ithala’s Inkunzi Isematholeni Youth in Business 2014/2015 winner.

The Ithala project involves young entrepreneurs submitting business proposals or concepts in the hope of being chosen to receive the necessary business acumen and financial assistance to put their theory into practice!

Msomi’s business proposal was selected from scores of others following an arduous process.

Entrants were required to submit a business plan with supporting working documents and were then called in to present the concept before a panel of judges after which 12 finalists were announced.

Msomi’s concept is cookware which is an alternative to the open fire system. It makes use of firewood only to retain the cooking flame and not only saves money but also ensures the flame is retained securely. This making it affordable and safe to use. The light and portable cooking concept won accolades for its practicality during load-shedding.

Msomi thanked Enactus for the skills that she acquired through her work with the UKZN organisation. ‘Enactus helped harness a lot of my raw ideas and channel them into profitable business concepts that I look forward to developing,’ she said.

‘Ithala Bank will provide the business funding and acumen I require to help me grow the business concept into a profitable and operational business. With this support, my goal is to become a successful entrepreneur.’

With her Busisiwe Mtungwa also won support from Ithala Bank for her potato farming business which makes use of urban farming methods to produce better yields than traditional African methods.

UKZNOnline


author : .
author email : .

Masakhane Youth Leadership Course hosts Women Leaders Panel

Masakhane Youth Leadership Course hosts Women Leaders Panel
Masakhane leaders with Women Leaders Panel members.

The 14th Annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course (MYLC) recently hosted the highly anticipated Women Leaders Panel on the Edgewood campus which discussed issues affecting women leaders. 

The course was attended by school children from KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Panellists were UKZN Emeritus Professor and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zululand, Professor Fikile Mazibuko; College of Humanities Dean for Teaching and Learning, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, and Dean and Head of the School of Nursing and Public Health, Professor Busisiwe Ncama.

The panel enlightened pupils about experiences of women in leadership positions while also encouraging them to pursue leadership positions, particularly as black women. 

They also shared with pupils their leadership achievements in their respective fields whilst exploring leadership and some of the challenges they have encountered in their journey.

Ncama believed the panel was an opportunity for her as an African female professor to inspire the youth to become successful in their respective and future career fields and to ‘strive to lead with integrity and passion’.

Throughout the reflective discussion, two emerging themes became evident- servant leadership and camaraderie amongst women professors. The speakers shared challenges they had encountered and still faced as women professors and leaders while still maintaining good governance and excelling at their research.

Mazibuko noted that through transformative leadership, there was still the element of chauvinism present. ‘There is a mask of fear and insecurity in chauvinism and the use of culture to undermine a person in authority. Break those cultural stereotypes and barriers!

‘Women assuming leadership positions have to challenge established patriarchal and hierarchal styles of leadership and redefine power relations rather than allowing themselves to be co-opted.  They must also navigate and take risks of advancing the transformation and reconstruction agendas.’

It was generally agreed that challenges increased through elements of gender, age and race but with resilience, self-belief and a positive attitude the negatives could be overcome.

Said Hlongwa: ‘Have a clear vision and direction and give regular feedback to those that you are leading, understand and respect the different cultures and leave behind a legacy you are proud of.’

Pupils were further encouraged to identify mentors and coaches to help them as future leaders.

The panellists also urged women in higher education and future women leaders and youth leaders to champion causes that advanced the rights of women in society and the workforce.  They were also encouraged to facilitate a professoriate of academic excellence in which women academics were able to be successful agents of transformation, nation-building and empowerment.

Melissa Mungroo


author : .
author email : .

The Leaky Pipeline of Doctoral Production in South Africa

The Leaky Pipeline of Doctoral Production in South Africa
UKZN’s Professor Michael Samuel (left) with Professor Johann Mouton.

‘Financial challenges, low progression and retention rates, and family constraints contribute to the leaky pipeline of doctoral production in South Africa. It is due to this leaky pipeline that the target of 5000 PhDs by 2030 may not be met.’

This is according to data presented by Professor Johann Mouton at a forum hosted by UKZN’s Teaching & Learning Office (UTLO).

Mouton, who is the Director of the Centre for Research on Science and Technology and the African Doctoral Academy at Stellenbosch University, examined trends, challenges and constraints to doctoral production in the country.

He said 70% of white honours students relied on family earnings to continue their studies compared to the 41% of black, Indian and coloured students. At doctoral level, 66% of black, Indian and coloured students had financial challenges compared to the 36% of White students.

Mouton presented data on the most recent trends in doctoral production in South Africa within the framework of policy imperatives, including:

Quantity - Trends in the growth of doctoral enrolments and graduations

* Efficiency - Completion rates of doctoral graduates

* Transformation - Trends in doctoral enrolments and graduations by race, gender and age

Quality - Ratios of doctoral students to doctorate staff.

He said a huge growth in doctoral enrolments and graduations was evident between 2008 and 2012 when the Department of Higher Education and Training introduced funding incentives. The Natural Sciences had the biggest growth from 26% in 1996 to 35% in 2012.

In terms of efficiency, an average 16% of masters graduates in South Africa are said to continue to enrol for a PhD within five years of completing their masters studies. He said two in five of the 2001 cohort completed their doctoral studies within seven years.

He added that the low progression and retention rates were due to the part-time nature of their postgraduate studies. He said higher progression and completion rates were evident in the Natural Sciences where a large proportion of students studied full time.

‘The average doctoral completion rate in South Africa over the past decade is just below 50%. This does not compare favourably with other countries. However, it is important to keep in mind that 70% of SA doctoral students study part-time. Case-specific information shows that full-time doctoral students complete at much higher rates.’

Mouton said: ‘This means that it is unlikely that the system will reach the target of 5 000 PhDs by 2030. Even with the now standard practice of incentivising doctoral production with monetary rewards for supervisors at most universities, it remains unlikely that we will see the proportion of academic staff with PhDs getting close to the NDP target of 75%.

‘Perhaps more importantly, the burden of supervision on the top 10 to 12 universities already producing 90% of total doctoral output will continue to increase. Students will continue to flock to the top universities which have better completion rates and more resources. The already very skewed HE system – as reflected in research production – is likely to continue as is and may even become more skewed in overall knowledge production.’

To view the video recording of Professor Mouton’s seminar or to download the presentation, please visit: http://utlo.ukzn.ac.za/mouton-seminar

Sithembile Shabangu


author : .
author email : .

UDkt Langa Khumalo wase-UKZN ukhethelwe ukuba kwibhodi ye-AFRILEX

UDkt Langa Khumalo wase-UKZN ukhethelwe ukuba kwibhodi ye-AFRILEX
uDkt Langa Khumalo.

Click here for English version

UMqondisi weHhovisi LeNyuvesi LezokuHlelwa NokuThuthukiswa KoLimi,uDkt Langa Khumalo ukhethwe  njengelungu lebhodi  i- African Association for Lexicography (AFRILEX).

UKhumalo, ukhethwe engqungqutheleni yama-20 ye-AFRILEX ebihlelwe yi-ULPDO e-UKZN mhla ziyi- 6 – 9 kuNtulikazi, uzoba yilungu lebhodi iminyaka emibili kuze kushaye isikhathi sokhetho olusha.

UKhumalo uthe ubuka isikhundla sakhe kwibhodi njengokuhlonishwa kweqhaza alibambili ngomsebenzi wakhe emkhakheni wezekhophasi yezichazamazwi. Uthi uyaziqhenya ngokuhola iqembu labahleli bengqungquthela abahlele le ngqungquthela ngempumelelo.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


author : .
author email : .