Dean of Medicine Honoured with the Maria Duran Medal 2020

Dean of Medicine Honoured with the Maria Duran Medal 2020
Professor Ncoza Dlova.

Professor Ncoza Dlova, the Dean and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at UKZN, is the recipient of the Maria Duran Medal for 2020.

This prestigious international award is bestowed on women leaders in dermatology, particularly those who have made significant contributions to the treatment of dermatologic conditions affecting women and children. It honours the memory of Maria M Duran, MD, former Secretary-General and Executive Vice-President of the International Society of Dermatology.

In 2019, Dlova and colleagues identified a gene that is a major cause of permanent hair loss amongst women of African descent. She collaborated with scientists in the United States and Israel to identify the root cause of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA), one of the most common causes of scarring alopecia amongst African women. She is a strong advocate for natural skin and hair and has conducted extensive research on the abuse of skin lighteners amongst Africans and Indians in South Africa. She is the first African woman to head the School of Clinical Medicine and is one of the first black female dermatologists in South Africa. Her research focuses on ethnic skin and hair, pigmentation disorders, as well as HIV and skin. She has published in more than 86 peer-reviewed scientific publications, written three books on dermatology and contributed more than 10 chapters in major dermatology textbooks.

She has been invited as a guest speaker in more than 30 countries and given guest lectures at Harvard and institutions in Brussels, Africa and other countries.

Dlova has been described as the epitome of a dynamic leader and an inspirational role model by her peers and staff. Among the many awards to her name is being named Best Dean Leader in the College of Health Sciences in 2019. She displays compassion and resilience and has a huge heart for community services. She has done extensive work in fighting discrimination and stigmatisation of people with albinism. Dlova is also actively involved in primary health care and consumer education on common skin conditions, as well as initiating hair loss support groups and anti-skin bleaching campaigns. She is passionate about the mentorship of young leaders in dermatology and other specialities, as well as matters surrounding transformation, diversity and inclusion in the academic fraternity. 

Dr Vangee Handog, President of the International Society of Dermatology, described Dlova as a distinguished and well-respected figure in global dermatology, a selfless individual, true leader and a dear friend who is a most deserving recipient of the Maria Duran Medal.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied

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College of Law and Management Studies Top Choice for High Flying Matric Students

College of Law and Management Studies Top Choice for High Flying Matric Students
From left: Ms Jetaria Moodley, Ms Zen Olivier, Mr Kiash Baldeo, Mr Kganya Molefe and Mr Akhil Harrydhasret.Click here for isiZulu version

KwaZulu-Natal’s top achievers in the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric exams Ms Jetaria Moodley, Ms Zen Olivier, Mr Kiash Baldeo, Mr Keshav Govender, Mr Kganya Molefe and Mr Akhil Harrydhasret have joined UKZN’s College of Law and Management Studies.

Despite the challenges of studying during the COVID-19 pandemic, the top achievers who each achieved between six and eight distinctions, say that deciding on UKZN as their institution of choice was a no brainer.

Pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting, Moodley (six distinctions), Harrydhasret (seven) and Molefe (seven) said their choice was inspired by the University’s high rankings and reputation, and the fact that its Accounting programmes are accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

‘My choice to study for a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting at UKZN was strongly driven by my keen interest in the world of business and finance and my love for working with numbers,’ said Moodley.

She added: ‘UKZN was my first and only choice due to its high rankings and reputation in breeding some of the best chartered accountants in the country.’

Molefe said that after dropping out of school in 2017 due to family related problems, when he returned in 2019, he was determined to work hard and pass well.

‘I was not the sharpest tool in the box or the smartest kid growing up but I didn't let that deter me because I’m a firm believer that hard work always pays off. Hence, I managed to pass with seven distinctions during a pandemic,’ he said.

‘I plan to soak up as much information as I possibly can from my lecturers and believe UKZN can take me one step closer towards achieving my goal of becoming a chartered accountant,’ added Molefe.

Harrydhasret was inspired by the University’s history and credibility and the fact that it has produced many successful people.

‘I plan to work my hardest in my first year, pass well and move into my second year with a bursary as it will help my parents in these trying times of COVID-19.

‘I hope to become a successful chartered accountant and eventually be a director of my own accounting firm. I also want to give back to my community to ensure that disadvantaged children in my area have better opportunities than I had,’ said Harrydhasret.

Olivier (seven distinctions), who has been accepted to study for a Bachelor of Laws degree, said she chose to study at UKZN because the Institution is well-respected and is close to home.

‘During this journey, I hope to expand my world view and meet new people from different backgrounds and life experiences. I plan to continue studying and eventually earn my doctorate in Law,’ she said.

Baldeo (eight distinctions) and Govender (seven) who are both pursuing a Bachelor of Business Science, attributed their choice to their interest in business and finance and the hope of being able to contribute to the growth of South Africa’s economy.

‘The degree encompasses many subjects that I enjoyed at school such as Mathematics, Financial Mathematics and Statistics. I also believe that a comprehensive understanding of the economy and finance is critical to achieve success in one’s future,’ said Baldeo.

‘I am hoping to learn more about the financial world as well as improve my knowledge of business and entrepreneurship,’ said Govender.

All the students attributed their success to their parents, relatives, teachers and mentors who played an integral and supporting role, especially during a pandemic when they had to adapt to the new norm of online learning.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photographs: Supplied

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UKZN Medical Alumnus Appointed SANDF Surgeon General

UKZN Medical Alumnus Appointed SANDF Surgeon General
Major General Ntshavheni Maphaha has been appointed Surgeon General in the SANDF.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the new leadership of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on 14 April.

The University is proud that alumnus, Major General Ntshavheni Maphaha, known by his UKZN peers as “Peter” has been appointed Surgeon General of the SANDF with effect from 1 November 2021.

Maphaha is a proud UKZN alumnus who studied for his MBChB degree at the then University of Natal Medical School from 1985 to 1990.

‘I am excited and apprehensive about this appointment. It has been always my dream to ascend through the ranks of the South African Military Health Services (SAMHS). It is indeed every officer’s wish. I was a bit apprehensive when I started realising the magnitude of the responsibilities which come with the position. However, I believe that I can deal with the challenges and responsibilities as my experience and training in and outside the military, have equipped me for them,’ he said. He joined the SANDF as a captain.

Maphaha was born in Thohoyandou, Venda in Limpopo in 1966. Married with two children, he has served as a military medical doctor in the SAMHS. Having served the military for most of his professional career, he also regards himself as a professional soldier as he completed all military training from basic officer to the highest military strategic leadership courses. He has participated in numerous military deployments in the country and around the world, including two years with United Nations Peace Keeping Missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and four in Liberia, West Africa.

Like most young doctors, he spent the first few years of his medical career in a rural hospital. He decided to open a General Practice Surgery and it happened to be next to a military base. Most of his patients were soldiers because there was no doctor in their sickbay. The Military Medical Services recruited him and the rest is history.

Maphaha described life in the military as an adventure that enabled him to travel the world on many humanitarian, peace keeping and rescue missions.

‘The military was a chance occurrence, but I never regretted that choice. My friends and colleagues have always asked me why. It is an adventure and I am doing what I love,’ he said.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied

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NRF A-rating for Humanities Academic

NRF A-rating for Humanities Academic
Professor Kevin Durrheim.Click here for isiZulu version

Psychology Professor in the School of Applied Human Sciences, Kevin Durrheim has been awarded an A-rating by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

A-rated researchers are leading international scholars in their respective fields that are acknowledged for the high quality and impact of their recent research output.

‘I am thrilled to receive this recognition for the work I have done over the years,’ said Durrheim. ‘It is gratifying and validating. While the ratings system tends to single out individuals for their work, it must be noted that research is a collective endeavour, produced in partnership with colleagues and students, including (in my case) longstanding collaborators and friends. UKZN and the NRF have also been great supporters of research.’ 

Durrheim is a social psychologist with his research and thinking having been shaped by his experience of living under apartheid and through the transformation of South Africa.

‘My overarching interest has been to understand how social identities, social practices and social worlds evolve as they respond to changing circumstances; and how individuals, caught up in these dramas, conduct themselves, reflecting the interests and intentions of their time and place,’ he said. 

Durrheim’s research interests lie in transformation, intergroup relations, prejudice, racism, polarisation, de-segregation and social change. ‘Opinions are expressed as emblems of our identity, and our investment in these identities and the intergroup dynamics they promote can prevent us from moving toward a just and productive society.’

He has published articles on these topics in journals such as the American Psychologist, the British Journal of Social Psychology, the European Journal of Social PsychologyPsychological Science, and Brain and Behavioural Sciences. He has also co-authored and co-edited books.

His work on research methodology and intergroup contact sparked his interest in developing a technology for studying intergroup contact and exchange in evolutionary and interactive contexts. The VIAPPL (Virtual Interaction APPLication) experimental platform enables researchers to study a wide range of social interactions in controlled environments and to test hypothesis about the foundations of human behaviour (see

‘I love the many challenges that VIAPPL presents and the collaboration and exciting research it makes possible,’ said Durrheim.

His advice to students and scholars is, ‘Research involves lots of hard work but it also needs to be fun. There is joy to be found in creativity and collaboration. It’s thrilling to discover how the world we live in functions, apply and develop methods that reveal these dynamics, and write to address an international community of scholars from our vantage point in the Global South.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied

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Education Student launches her First Children’s Book

Education Student launches her First Children’s Book
Education student, Ms Jennifer Sheokarah with her children’s book.

PhD candidate in Education, Ms Jennifer Sheokarah has launched her first children’s book: The Abandoned Bicycle. The book tells the story of a little boy, Jevon, who finds an old bicycle at the beach which, seemingly, has magical powers, whenever he rides it.

Sheokarah started writing at a young age and always had a passion for literature. She decided that it was time to do it professionally and started by penning a novel during the COVID-19 lockdown.

‘I had a dream about writing this book. I guess it was the author in me reaching out and my imagination was in overdrive. I always trust my instinct so I woke up and wrote the story. I believe it was for a good reason as it has kick-started my work as an author. I have received positive feedback from the public so far and many sales already,’ she said.

The Abandoned Bicycle is the first book in her Abandoned Series. She is currently finalising The Abandoned Treasure Chest and is working on a novel for young adults.

‘As a teacher of English, I want to be able to model what I tell my students about reading,’ said Sheokarah.

The Abandoned Bicycle is available as an e-book and paperback for purchase on Amazon Online and bidorbuy.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Vee Ramsayi

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Plan S, QA2020 and Open Science

Plan S, QA2020 and Open Science

‘Plan S is a grand plan, but the devil is in the detail,’ says Professor Robin Crewe of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Initiated in 2018 by 12 European countries, the Plan, driven by funders, will impact South African institutions. It substitutes barriers to reading with barriers to authorship. The 13 European funding agencies (known as cOAlition S) require research to be published in compliant open access (OA) journals from 2020 onwards.

My recent article, The geography of Plan S open science in the South African Journal of Science (117, third quarter, 2021) notes that Universities SA (USAf) is working with OA2020, an initiative aligned with Plan S, but devised by researchers rather than funders. OA2020 argues that, ‘the existing corpus of scholarly journals should be converted from subscription to open access’ and that, ‘this transition process can be realised within the framework of currently available resources’ (

South African institutions that have directly endorsed OA2020 include the University of the Free State, the University of Witwatersrand, the South African National Library and Information Consortium, the National School of Government, and the Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management, as have the rest implicitly via the USAf initiative.

The OA2020 argument assumes that scholars publish for impact, rather than for money. If the ‘devil is in the detail’, this assumption is brought into question by the unintended effects of the well-intentioned Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) publishing incentive that has enabled South African universities to position their researchers as relentless rent-seekers.

Academic labour occurs within a scholarly community, a bureaucracy and a corporation. Plan S and OA2020 add another overlay to these often contradictory sites of labour, production and consumption. For example, Plan S requires that academic authors (or their institutions) pay to be published. Plan S aims to ‘accelerate the transition to a scholarly publishing system that is characterised by immediate, free online access to, and largely unrestricted use and re-use of scholarly publications’ (Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science).

Overall, research could split into potentially incompatible research coalitions, namely, a) the traditional global subscription model, b) the European Plan S silo; and c) the Open Knowledge for Latin America and the GlobalSouth (AmeliCA) university-based communication infrastructure option. Part of the OA environment is the increasing number of English-language journals licensed by Chinese universities to European publishers, capping OA budgets. However, as of 2020, Plan S signatories only represented 5% of global research output.

Plan S requires that scientists with grants from the 25 participating funders must immediately make the resulting papers free to read and publish them under a liberal licence so that anyone can download, reuse or republish them. Researchers can publish their final paper OA in a journal, or make the accepted, peer-reviewed version of their manuscript available online in an approved repository. cOAlition S has rolled out a “Journal Checker Tool” that promises to let researchers see their compliant publishing options for any journal ( and While authors will retain their rights to such work, these provisions would seem to permit runaway re-use and re-publication over which the authors and journal would lose control, possibly opening the door to plagiarism, cloning and other kinds of re-use. How does an author retain their rights under such circumstances?

At 1%, South Africa has already committed to developing OA, with ASSAf’s SciELO SA providing an electronic OA platform for its 81 participating journals (of a total of about 320). Journals are considered for inclusion in SciELO SA when they have received a favourable evaluation from ASSAf’s journal quality peer-review panel.

However, SciELO is not a funding mechanism. OA2020’s argues that legacy publishers are hoarding and monetising public knowledge, allegedly preventing readers from gaining access. At the social level, says USAf’s Ahmed Bawa, there is ’growing unaffordability even for our research-focused institutions’. The huge inequalities in access in our system and ‘the growing disconnect between society and “science”’ need to be addressed.

While most support OA, the questions that need to be asked are: Is Plan S yet another Northern imposition on the South? Will Plan S ringfence EU research only for funding, and restrict permission to publish? For Lyn Kamerlin, the Plan S ‘embargo requirements and repository technical requirements … are so draconian that paid-for gold becomes the easiest way to fulfil them.’. It thus simply flips who pays, entrenching for-profit publishing firms. 

Globally, non-compatible ecosystems of research reporting might emerge – what will be legitimate for one system’s reporting requirements could be declared illegitimate in the other. This is already the case in the way that the DHET incentive, as applied by universities, herds South African authors into particular qualifying, mostly English-language indexing lists.

By limiting the legacy publishers with their added values of peer review, plagiarism and libel checks, cross-referencing, copy editing, legal protection, ethical regimes, marketing and so on, further opportunities will be opened to ever opportunistic predators. Differential access will result in inequality in publishing opportunities based on geographic location and funding availability. This means that the cost of publishing rather than the quality of research will decide where and what research is published.

AmeliCA wants a ‘collaborative, non-commercial, sustainable and non-subordinated’ system returned to the academy. Under this scenario, the DHET would require universities to invest in infrastructure and technology for science communication – ie, journals – to be located within universities, and to delink from ‘legitimation systems’ like Scopus and Web of Science. But, then the ASSAf-identified problem of “house journals”, and the DHET requirement of “accreditation”, could be exacerbated in an already overprovisioned local environment.

Kamerlin adds that, ‘openness … needs to be community driven, not funder driven’. In the event of an aligned Plan S and OA2020, the DHET incentive will have to shift from rewarding universities (and their authors) to awarding APCs to journals for articles approved for publication. South African journals are currently excluded from the DHET funding value chain and themselves subsidise the publication of research at no or small cost to authors, universities and the state.

The question is, in light of the corporatisation of academic labour, who will be supported, and how will under-funded authors be assured of access? That is, which authors, which journals, and which paradigms? These questions are on everyone’s lips, but the answers are not yet clear.

Should not the scientist’s academic freedom remain at arm’s length of the state, funders and universities? And, should we not be publishing for social and disciplinary impact, not just DHET monetary incentives? These are some of the issues that my SA Journal of Science commentary addresses (

Keyan G Tomaselli’s new book, Contemporary Campus Life: Transformation, Managerialism and Academentia (HSRC Press, BestRed imprint, 2021) is based on his UKZN Griot columns published between 2010 and 2019. A UKZN Emeritus Professor and Fellow, he is currently based in the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg. He is also the Chair of the ASSAf Committee on Scholarly Publishing.

*The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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UKZN Jazz Lecturer Launches New Album

UKZN Jazz Lecturer Launches New Album
Jazz lecturer, Mr Neil Gonsalves.

Jazz lecturer in the School of Arts and Durban-based composer, pianist and educator, Mr Neil Gonsalves has released a new record, Blessings and Blues.

The album is available on all digital platforms and already has two singles Southern Migration and Let’s Do It Again.

Blessings and Blues was recorded in December 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic and is a celebratory album reflecting the concomitant social engagements. It is a colourful depiction of a slice of South African life and now serves as a timely reminder and beacon of hope for a more engaged and fulfilled life.

Blessings and Blues follows his 2020 solo piano recording, Concert for One. Reunited with bassist Mr Ildo Nandja, now resident in The Netherlands, and young drum virtuoso Mr Riley Giandhari, the album features 12 original compositions by Gonsalves.

‘I love playing alongside Ildo and Riley. They are both composers, and even though all the tunes are mine, they bring a compositional aesthetic to their performance that gives our collective efforts an added dimension,’ said Gonsalves. ‘I recorded and released Concert for One under lockdown in April last year. It’s an introspective album where I try to reflect on and make sense of the pandemic and consequent social distancing regime, as opposed to this more celebratory album.’

Gonsalves is a Jazz/World Beat pianist, composer, bandleader and educator. Hismusic takes its influence from the rich diversity of cultural life that characterises his home town, Durban. 

He has participated in the National Arts Festival many times, primarily as a performer and teacher at the National Youth Jazz Festival. Over the years, Gonsalves has released four albums and featured on many more recordings. He currently serves as the Director for the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music (CJPM) at UKZN.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied

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Khuluma isiZulu with UEL!

<em>Khuluma</em> isiZulu with UEL!
A stock image of the isiZulu word for "hello".

UKZN Extended Learning (UEL) hosted delegates from UKZN’s College of Health Sciences for a Basic isiZulu short course on 30 March.

The course covers simple isiZulu grammar to enable delegates to construct simple sentences and hold conversations with their students and colleagues.

KwaZulu-Natal is a predominantly isiZulu speaking province, with this language spoken by more than three-quarters (77.8%) of the population ( The Basic isiZulu short course covers linguistic aspects of isiZulu and offers background information on its culture and heritage. Delegates learn how to use isiZulu in situations they come across in everyday life and this lays the foundation for further, more fluent and informed interaction.

Proficiency in a language other than one’s own enables one to engage with the world in a more meaningful way. We instinctively make associations with what we are most familiar with when learning a new language and culture. The most real connection to other cultures is language. Being able to communicate in another language cultivates respect for those people associated with that language’s practices and history. The desire to communicate with others is one of the most intriguing aspects of the human experience. Bilingualism enables people to relate to a wider variety of people in their professional and personal lives.

Words: Nkosingiphile Ntshangase

Image: Supplied

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UKZN Professor Addresses AAU Webinar on Quality Assurance and Digitalisation

UKZN Professor Addresses AAU Webinar on Quality Assurance and Digitalisation
Professor Vannie Naidoo.

Professor Vannie Naidoo from the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance was invited to be a resource speaker at the Association of African Universities (AAU) East Africa Regional Office virtual workshop on Quality Assurance and Digitalisation on 1 April this month.

The AAU is the voice of Higher Education in Africa and serves as a consultative forum that aims to improve the quality of Higher Education on the continent. It is also the technical implementing arm of the African Union Commission on Higher Education.

Distinguished speakers from universities in a variety of countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and Sudan shared their insights and experiences on How to Maintain Quality Assurance during COVID-19.

Naidoo’s presentation was titled, Ensuring Quality Assurance Protocols are followed during COVID-19. She noted that, ‘Quality assurance is an important yardstick to ensure that the modules, degrees’ or programmes are in line with National Qualifications Framework (NQF) standards and international standards.’ During COVID-19, University leadership and staff worked tirelessly to uphold high levels of quality assurance in UKZN’s various programmes, with new guidelines and policies to embrace the new normal in Higher Education brought about by COVID-19. Module templates and curricula needed to be re-organised to take into account the continuous assessment that became part of Online- learning.

Naidoo stated that “quality is everyone’s concern” and offered the following recommendations to ensure Quality Assurance is upheld by African Universities during COVID-19:

- Universities should adopt strong policies to support Online- learning and Quality Assurance of such

- There is a need for transformative university leadership that leads the debate on and implementation of sound Quality Assurance

- Government and other stakeholders within the university must buy-in to the online policy governing its Quality Assurance pillars

- Staff and students should be trained to use the new technology so that they become accustomed to Online -learning systems

- Staff requires continuous training, as Online- learning systems are constantly changing. On-the job training should be considered

- Systems need to be put in place to enable students to access library services, accommodation, etc during COVID-19. The Disability Unit should ensure that differently-abled students are not left behind in the University’s migration to a virtual platform.

Words: NdabaOnline

Photograph: Supplied

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Microsoft Accessibility Features Demo for Improved Remote Teaching and Learning

Microsoft Accessibility Features Demo for Improved Remote Teaching and Learning
Mr Mohamed Sahib.

UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance in partnership with Microsoft South Africa hosted a virtual Microsoft accessibility features demo to assist students and academics with distance learning, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The demo was facilitated by Mr Mohamed Sahib, Classroom Success Manager at Microsoft in Education. Sahib has eight years’ experience as a former Information and Communication Technology educator and said that, in his new role his passion has found its purpose in driving digital transformation in education.

Sahib demonstrated how Microsoft’s accessibility tools are used to meet the needs of diverse students in order to empower them with an inclusive classroom while improving remote teaching and learning.

The live demo showed how these tools work, including the dictate feature where Microsoft is able to pick up when one speaks. ‘Students can use this feature in class to record online lectures and have accurate dictation to go back to after class,’ said Sahib.

Lecturer Dr Upasana Singh, who hosted the presentation said it was inspired by the need to assist students with learning disabilities by exposing them to features available in the applications they use which could support their learning in an online environment.

‘My expectations were exceeded as the numerous exciting features and tools would not only benefit students with learning disabilities, but help us as academics, to engage students better in the online environment, as well as improve our efficiency,’ said Singh.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied

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Transforming UKZN’s Academic Sector

Transforming UKZN’s Academic Sector
From left: Mr Siphiwe Mqadi, Mr Jabulani C Nyawo, and Mr Siyanda Kheswa.Click here for isiZulu version

As part of its quest to be the Premier University of African Scholarship, UKZN developed the Accelerated Academic Development Programme (AADP).

The programme, which aims to transform the academic sector through the accelerated development and promotion of emerging academics, has seen a total of 63 lecturers and senior lecturers credentialed since it was approved in 2013.

The University’s Director of Human Resource Development Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu said that in 2020, eight members of staff were successfully credentialed from the programme after completing their PhD studies.

Mr Jabulani C Nyawo, who is one of those credentialed in 2020, is a lecturer within the Discipline of Public Governance. Hailing from the rural area of Jozini in northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), his research interests include community development, governance, regional and local economic development, human development and sustainable livelihoods. ‘I am particularly keen on understanding, discussing and finding solutions, through research, to the problems that are widely affecting rural and peri-urban areas,’ he said.

Reflecting on how the AADP influenced his career and personal development, Nyawo said: ‘With the AADP, I was offered numerous opportunities to attend workshops for personal and career development. I published 15 articles in accredited peer-reviewed journals while I was under the programme and supervised numerous honours’ and masters students. I completed my PhD in 2020 which will be conferred this year.’

UKZN alumnus Mr Siphiwe Mqadi also participated in the AADP programme. Born and bred in Margate on KZN’s south coast, he is a lecturer in Auditing in the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance. Mqadi holds a Master of Science degree in Accounting and will graduate with a PhD in Accounting this year.

His areas of specialisation include Financial Accounting and Auditing, while his research interests stem from his PhD study on the practices on audit committees in municipalities in KZN that focused on ethics, and corporate and municipal governance.

Mqadi’s academic and research capacity was strengthened by participating in the AADP programme. ‘I grew immensely from a young and aspiring academic, and was nurtured and integrated into the academic profession,’ he said.

‘I was able to lecture and study towards my PhD with ease, as ample time is allowed for one to focus on one’s research while gaining valuable experience in academia,’ he added.

He acknowledged the support he received from leadership and the academic sector. ‘There is ready access to several support structures and great minds; for instance, the Dean and Head of School, Professor Mabutho Sibanda is personally involved in development. My PhD supervisor, Professor Msizi Mkhize is also instrumental in my growth on an ongoing basis. I have grown within the AADP to the extent that I now sit on the UKZN Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO) Committee and the School’s Teaching and Learning Committee.

‘The opportunities are endless and the learning experience is indeed life changing. I hope to impart the knowledge I gain to others.’

Mr Siyanda Kheswa (soon to be Dr Kheswa) is a lecturer in the School of Social Sciences in Pietermaritzburg. Born in Port Shepstone, Kheswa grew up in the rural area of KwaMachi in Harding and Gamalakhe township in Port Shepstone.

His speciality is Library and Information Science (Information Studies) and his research interests include school libraries, information literacy, library user perceptions, public libraries and adult education (informal learning experiences).

He credits the AADP with equipping him to be a first rate academic at one of South Africa’s finest institutions. ‘The programme gave me a platform to adapt and grow in this demanding and challenging educational journey.’

Kheswa thanked HR Development for hosting writing retreats, meetings and workshops ‘where we voiced our challenges and success stories. Though the programme was designed to help us adapt easily and quickly to the University culture and system by completing our PhD through lighter or manageable workloads, this did not apply to everyone and varied across Colleges and Disciplines. In my case, my colleagues from the Information Studies Discipline gave me a workload similar to theirs. They assigned masters students to me to supervise, which was not generally the case with other AADP lectures from other Schools and Disciplines. As a result, I managed to supervise six masters’ students to completion as an AADP lecturer, and I am proud of this achievement.’

Interim Dean and Head of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership Professor Ana Martins congratulated the programme participants. ‘Indeed, the individual academics that are part of this group have been afforded the unique opportunity to gain an academic skills-set pertinent to be part of the ecosystem at the Graduate School of Business and Leadership. These academics have built their capacity and gained experience in the various roles that are part and parcel of academia,’ she said.

Acknowledging the bright, young minds who have made it through the programme, Ramabodu said the HR Division is pleased to have been a part of the University’s determination to enrich and broaden diversity within the academic sector. ‘Some of the AADP lecturers successfully applied for promotion to Senior Lecturer in 2020. This is testament to their hard work and the opportunities the University has provided through the Deans, mentors, senior academics, HR and the Colleges.’

The following academics are the AADP lecturers credentialed for 2020:

Jabulani C Nyawo
Mlondi Vilakazi
Siphiwe Mqadi
Mutshidzi Maraganedzha
Siyanda Kheswa
Taemane Phoofolo
Simphiwe Mngomezulu-Dube
Daphne Ntlhe

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Photographs: Supplied

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UKZN Jazz Lecturer Set to Perform in Cape Town

UKZN Jazz Lecturer Set to Perform in Cape Town
UKZN Jazz lecturer, Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane celebrates International Jazz Day in Cape Town.

UKZN Jazz lecturer Mr Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane will be performing at two cosmopolitan venues around Cape Town; AllianceFrançaise on Friday, 30 April and Jazz in The Native Yards on Sunday 1 May alongside some of the most well-known Cape Town musicians, Shaun Johannes on double bass, Bonolo Nkoane on drums, Nono Nkoane on vocals, and Buddy Wells on saxophone and flute.

Mashiloane who is a multi-award winner is happy to be part of a team that has experience in his exploration of sound such as Johannes and Wells who have a history of playing alongside the likes of Molelekwa, Zim Ngqawana and Winston Mankunku Ngozi.

‘Performing in Cape Town is always very special to me since it’s a city that played a significant role in affording our South African heroes with a platform to perform during the apartheid era,’ said Mashiloane.

While special events will be held around the world to celebrate International Jazz Day, Mashiloane will be honouring the day in the Mother City. He added, ‘Jazz as an art-form, conceived through freedom and identity, is worth celebrating, not just on one day but daily, especially in the context of embracing and exploring our identity and heritage.’

The integral performer of African Jazz music is currently studying towards a PhD which fittingly, uses the lens of South African Jazz to focus on the nostalgia-seeped themes of home that Mashiloane cannot help but find himself instinctively returning to.

His musical exploration through distinctive elements not only evokes happy and positive feelings, but also aims to continue to aspire to music that is steeped in rich, indigenous history and scholarship that does not try to erase the West’s influences in shaping how we see ourselves and our individual and collective relationship with music.

‘I aspire to raise awareness of the value of our works as Africans. I aim to be one of the influences in a new generation of musicians, music collectors and live music audiences who will pride themselves on their African heritage,’ said Mashiloane.

Words: Sinoyolo Mahlasela

Photograph: Simanga Zondo

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First-Year Law Students Pledge Commitment to Legal Career

First-Year Law Students Pledge Commitment to Legal Career
Dean and Head of School, Professor Managay Reddi and first-year students in 2019.

‘Our mission as a Law School is to produce graduates with the skills, knowledge and values required to perform successfully in the profession and become leaders and visionaries in broader society.’

These were the words of Dr Vishal Surbun who opened proceedings at UKZN’s 11th Pledge Ceremony with more than 100 students formally inducted into the Law School.

Keynote speaker at the virtual ceremony, Consumer Law specialist Professor Tanya Woker congratulated the students for gaining entry to one of the country’s top Law schools especially during such unprecedented times.

‘The 2020 school year was very challenging, but you proved that you have what it takes to make it. I have no doubt that you will triumph on this journey as well.

‘I challenge you to read about and emulate the many great and successful law professionals who preceded you in this School, such as the Former Chief Justice of South Africa, the late Pius Langa, current Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng; President of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, Mandisa Maya, and former Judge of the International Criminal Court, Dr Navi Pillay,’ said Woker.

‘Always remember that you are entering a service profession and that ultimately it is through your service that you can make a difference and make your mark in society. Choose today the kind of lawyer you want to be and then live up to that choice through your words and your conduct.’

The oath taking was presided over by the Dean and Head of the School of Law, Professor Managay Reddi.

In closing, Surbun said that the copy of the Constitution given to the students is a symbolic gesture to encourage them to fulfil their mission to teach Law as well as to become earnest and diligent students of the law.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied

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Webinar Explores SA’s Economic Stability Beyond 2021

Webinar Explores SA’s Economic Stability Beyond 2021
Chief Economist and Head of Research for the Standard Bank Group, Mr Goolam Ballim.

The UKZN Foundation’s webinar on South Africa’s economic future beyond COVID-19 was addressed by Chief Economist and Head of Research for the Standard Bank Group, Mr Goolam Ballim.

Ballim’s interests span politics, the macro-economy, and financial markets. He and his team consistently earn accolades for their research. His presentation, titled: Can South Africa Survive COVID-19 Beyond 2021? examined the pandemic’s impact on the global and African economies, and their expected recovery.

He noted that South Africa achieved significant economic growth of 5% from 2002 to 2007, generating about two million new jobs. Calling this the “golden age”, Ballim added that the 2008/2009 global economic crisis did not leave the country unscathed.

Examining the impact of South Africa’s recent move to level 1 lockdown, with the economy slowly opening up, while anticipating a third wave, Ballim said what weighs on economic growth is less the pandemic’s direct impact on people’s health, but the economic impact of lockdowns and weak export markets.

‘We would argue that about two-thirds of economic loss was a function of the choice of public lockdown, while a third was due to weaknesses in core markets that Africa trades with, especially in the developed world.’

He said that going into 2021, we are unlikely to experience the same levels of lockdown that were witnessed in the second and third quarters of 2020 in various African nations. 

Ballim added that there will be a more sensitive approach to the economy. ‘In South Africa we have not revisited level 5 as was the case last year, instead we have had lower levels of stringency ranging between levels 1 and 3.’

Turning to job losses and people receiving lower incomes, he said that at least 600 000 to 700 000 jobs were shed in South Africa in 2020 and have not been restored. However, ‘for the most part, income levels have returned to pre-pandemic levels.’

Noting that age has been the most significant indicator of severe disease and fatalities from COVID-19, especially among those over the age of 65, Ballim said that most African countries have a large youthful population which serves as a shield against a harsher COVID-19 impact. While about a quarter of the population in more developed countries is over the age of 60, with those under 20 accounting for about 22%, sub-Saharan Africa has a median age of 19.7 compared to Europe at approximately 42.

Ballim noted that electricity shortfalls have also had a significant impact on South Africa’s economic growth, with the most affected industries including manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and utilities. While a lack of trust among key socio-economic partners, crime, corruption and political instability have impacted economic growth, more recent progress has been made in reforming institutions like the South African Police Service, investigative bodies, the Hawks, and the National Prosecuting Authority, etc. These are far from complete but have reset the country’s institutional framework to some degree.

Ballim said that the rand will continue to benefit from the weaker dollar, but we must be mindful that volatility will recur. He concluded by stating that 2020 to 2030 will contrast markedly with the previous decade and there will be significant opportunities for wealth creation during the ensuing recovery. ‘In the next ten years we are likely to see the stock market expand far more than the 50% recorded during the previous era. Entrepreneurship, opportunities in Africa and the cementing of ties, especially with Asia will be positive in elevating medium term growth prospects.’

Words: Sithembile Shabangu

Photograph: Supplied

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