Community Development Association Hosts Leadership Workshop

Community Development Association Hosts Leadership Workshop
CDA Local Executive Committee and CDA Foundation members at a leadership workshop at Howard College.

The Community Development Association on UKZN’s Howard College campus recently hosted its inaugural leadership training workshop for its Local Executive Committee.

The workshop held under the theme “Leading for Change” was attended by branch executive members.

Critical leadership skills were imparted and a strategic plan discussed for activities in 2016. Speakers at the workshop underscored the need for selfless and dedicated leadership to serve the community with diligence.

CDA Foundation member and political science student, Mr James Ndlovu, encouraged leaders to be visionary and lead by example in carrying out their delegated duties, saying leadership went beyond ability and training.

‘Leaders are born or made but I want to challenge that by saying leadership is a choice,’ said Ndlovu. ‘One decides to lead by adopting leadership values, integrity, vision, dedication, commitment towards achieving a purpose and through seeking to empower others to be leaders as well.

‘A leader leads themselves first before they lead others. Whenever there is a human need a leader is always ready to challenge, prepare and take a plunge to make a difference and that decision takes more than natural leadership ability and training.’

He spoke about the foundations of the organisation and shared its vision and constitutional values with the participants.  He also urged the participants to be innovative leaders and challenged them to mobilise resources for greater reach.

‘The CDA as a movement, is motivated by need and for us to be able to meet that need we have to be resourceful. As the LEC, you need to be equally innovative and engage in strategic partnerships with various other stakeholders that will help you move the organisational agenda forward. The CDA should be able to come up with sustainable long term projects for it to be able to stay afloat and carry out its mandate,’ said Ndlovu.

CDA Foundation executive member and education student, Mr Menzi Mfeka added: ‘Our rate of success and growth will not be determined by the number of projects or participants that you reach, but by the level of impact on communities.’

He applauded the leaders for availing themselves to service the communities on a voluntary basis and called on them to use their posts for the betterment of themselves and the communities they served.

Workshop participant, Ms Amanda Mafuleka, said: ‘I now have a better understanding of the role I have to play in the organisation’, while Mr Sandile Msimang said: ‘We hope to have more of these workshops in future. It assists in the development of us as leaders.’

Melissa Mungroo


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AECI Bursaries for Science and Engineering Students

AECI Bursaries for Science and Engineering Students
Science and Engineering Access programme students awarded bursaries from AECI.

Ten students from UKZN’s Science and Engineering Access programme have been awarded AECI bursaries worth R792 000.

The recipients, disadvantaged students from KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast who achieved excellent results in UKZN’s Science and Engineering Access programme last year, were selected from various applicants.

AECI Group Community Development Specialist, Ms Nicole Solomons, said the Trust focused on the development of young people living in areas in which AECI operated.

Solomons said through the efforts of the AECI Community Education and Development Trust and partnerships such as the current one with UKZN, AECI hopes to achieve a sustainable impact in affected communities.

AECI Group Human Capital Executive, Ms Khosi Matshitse, said his company had a dual approach.

‘While we aim to reach out to the many parts of South Africa, we also give special attention to our immediate neighbours in the communities in which we operate our 14 companies,’ Matshitse said.

She congratulated the bursary students and encouraged them to use the opportunity and make a success of their studies.  ‘We need you and the country needs young people like you, so apply yourselves in your studies, be diligent and don’t lose this opportunity,’ she said.

Among the beneficiaries is Ms Lungisa Tenza, who is currently enrolled in the Science and Engineering Access Programme and working towards a BSc at UKZN.

‘Through this financial assistance I will be the first in my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree - without this bursary I would not have had the funds to pay for my university fees.

‘I will grab this opportunity with both hands and when I represent something, I give of my best,’ she said.

Dean of Teaching and Learning at the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Professor Bala Pillay, acknowledged AECI’s generous donation.  ‘This partnership with AECI is about the promotion of education and academic excellence to build leaders who will shape the future of science, the engineering industry and the broader community,’ he said.

 Steve Camp


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Entrepreneurship the Solution to Unemployment of Graduates?

Entrepreneurship the Solution to Unemployment of Graduates?
Participants of the BMF seminar.

The gap between the high rate of unemployed graduates and the lack of entrepreneurs in South Africa was highlighted at an entrepreneurship and innovation seminar hosted by the Westville campus branch of the Black Management Forum Student Chapter.

The objective of the seminar was to expose students to a new way of thinking about entrepreneurship being a solution to unemployment, highlighting best practice in entrepreneurship and tackling challenges faced by businesses.

Guest speakers were the Marketing Strategist at Dinu Afrika, Mr Sizwe Gumede; former ENACTUS UKZN President and WOMAP Development Co-founder, Mr Sethu Sidzamba, and IBV International Vaults founder, Mr Ashok Sewnarain.

In their addresses Gumede highlighted the point of knowing and positioning your brand well; Sidzamba emphasised the importance of starting small and going for businesses that solve problems with practical sustainability, while Sewnarain listed excellence in quality, service and value as the key factors to financial success.

Financial literacy and the importance of saving were issues of concern raised by the audience who highlighted that entrepreneurs found it difficult to obtain start-up capital for their business ventures. The advice given was that aspiring entrepreneurs needed to engage in extensive market research and a good proposal to boost investor confidence thus making capital easier to get.

Lulama Ngobese


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CANSA Shavathon at UKZN

CANSA Shavathon at UKZN
UKZN students and staff participated in the Golden Key Society’s Shavathon.

The Howard College Chapter of UKZN’s Golden Key International Honour Society and the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) hosted a Shavathon/sprayathon on campus.

Bachelor of Social Science (Criminology) Honours student and member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, Ms Thashil Ramdhaw, said the event was held to show solidarity for those affected by cancer and to raise funds for the CANSA Foundation.

‘Don’t see people for their sickness, but rather for who they are,’ said Ramdhaw.

She said the pop-up mini-market, which featured cupcakes, a gaming station and a raffle, raised funds for the Golden Key Society’s community engagement projects.

UKZN Shavathon 2016

Third-year Law student Ms Whitney Govender cut her hair and donated her ponytail, about 40 cm in length, to CANSA. It will be used to create a hair-piece for someone who has lost their hair due to cancer. This was the second time Govender has made this heartfelt donation.

Ramdhaw said: ‘Golden Key host more community outreach initiatives and we look forward to more student engagement.’

 Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer 


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DUT Head Speaks at UKZN Freedom Month Celebration

DUT Head Speaks at UKZN Freedom Month Celebration
Theoretical Physicist and Vice-Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology, Professor Ahmed Bawa.

The Vice-Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Professor Ahmed Bawa, delivered a public lecture on freedom and democracy at UKZN in celebration of Freedom Month.

The lecture was hosted by the School of Social Sciences in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture at the Howard College Theatre.

This year, Freedom Month reflects on how South Africa achieved its freedom and democracy; the 20 years of the Constitution and the progress made in the past 22 years as well as how South Africans should work together to implement the National Development Plan (NDP).

Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa said, ‘We urge everyone to celebrate Freedom Month as an opportunity to strengthen solidarity, tolerance, national identity and social cohesion in our country.’

Dean and Head of the School of Social Sciences, Professor Stephen Mutula, further acknowledged the contribution institutions of higher learning have made in forging the consciousness of political activists and generations of students as well as in shaping public debates and discourses that have influenced the course of South African history.

‘Through research, teaching and community outreach, our academic staff and students make contributions to the development and transformation of the nation in fulfilment of the vision of those who fought for freedom,’ said Mutula.

In his lecture, Bawa noted that some very substantial advances had been made in the 20 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa, driven partly by the rich texture of the reconciliation imperatives of the Mandela presidency and partly on the wings of the euphoria of the unfolding of the nascent democracy.

‘While there has been modest economic growth and the delivery of services to larger and larger sections of the population, the widening of the wealth gap between rich and poor gallops along at a furious pace. This has resulted in increasing tensions between communities and the state as demonstrated in the ongoing service delivery actions which have often turned violent. Deep disquiet over crime and corruption is prevalent all over,’ he said.

Bawa posed an open question to the audience: ‘Where are we heading? And can we recreate the dynamism, truth and selflessness that so characterised our struggle for freedom and democracy as a basis on which to build a democratic, egalitarian South Africa?’

He believes that South Africa’s young democracy needs to be deepened and strengthened to intensify civic participation in decision making, and to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations.

‘Our diversity should overcome our challenges with regards to the tension that separates us. Also nation building in universities is lost due to mobilisation and is more focused on globalisation which side-lines unity. If we break rules that exist in the community and enforce Ubuntu, cohesion will be able to take place,’ said Bawa.

Melissa Mungroo


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UKZN Student Wins Canoe Marathon Qualifier for World Champs

UKZN Student Wins Canoe Marathon Qualifier for World Champs
Mr Louis Hattingh.

College of Humanities student and former K2 World Junior Champion, Mr Louis Hattingh, won the test event at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg for the 2017 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Marathon World Championships.

‘I think it was much nicer than last year’s course for the SA Championships because we finished in a straight line, instead of coming around a corner. There was no major difference on the portage, except that paddlers had to hold their boats in their dominant hand,’ said Hattingh.

Hattingh dominated the SA Sprint Canoe Championships at Shongweni Dam in April this year where he won in the 500m and 1 000m events.

He was also an under-23 finalist in the 1 000 metres at the Junior and under-23 Sprint World Championships for 2015. His impressive list of achievements include a bronze medal for Team SA in the Junior Boys K1 World Champs in 2014.

Hattingh qualified for the ICF Canoe Sprint Juniors and U23 World Championships and will defend his title at the 2017 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Marathon World Championships.

Melissa Mungroo and Natal Canoe Club


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Workplace Stress: a Collective Challenge

Workplace Stress: a Collective Challenge
World Day for Safety and Health at Work was commemorated on all UKZN campuses.

Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident while another 153 are involved in such accidents, according to the International Labour Organisation.

With this in mind, UKZN joined workers around the world in commemorating the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work

Speakers on all five UKZN campuses addressed the theme for 2016: “Workplace Stress: a Collective Challenge”, which seeks to protect the health and well-being of employees due to increasing pressure and demands of modern working life. The main points addressed included how to manage stress and safety tips.

Head of Occupational and Environmental Health in the School of Nursing and Public Health, Professor Rajen Naidoo, focused on working environments while speaking on the Medical School campus.

‘Working environments are unsafe and unhealthy, resulting in millions of lives being lost globally,’ said Naidoo. ‘We need to make our working environments safe and healthy to protect the lives of workers. This International Day forces us to review this, and develop strategies to control workplace hazards. The ILO has chosen the theme of workplace stress for this International Day.

‘This is an important topic given the psychosocial stress placed on workers. The key cause is generally an inefficient organisation with poor management systems. The responsibility for ensuring that workers are not stressed rests with employers, and this can be addressed through efficient work organisation,’ he said.

Practical Tips on Stress Management was the focus of Educational Psychologist Mrs Tracey Visser’s presentation on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

Visser said: ‘High stress levels have been linked to burn-out and increased staff absences.  A Bloomberg study recently ranked SA as the second most stressed nation on the planet.  Knowing the basics about how to support your colleagues can really help you - and them.  You can’t always solve someone’s problems for them, but there are a few simple steps you can take to acquaint yourself with the nature of mental health problems and to become a valuable resource to colleagues who might be in need of support in the workplace.’

Speaking on UKZN’s Westville campus, Clinical Psychologist, Ms Shariefa Hendricks, and UKZN’s Dr Paulette Naidoo examined the psychological, physical and mental impact of stress and coping strategies to deal with stress. Hendricks said that most of the stress experienced was self-generated and that ‘contrary to popular opinion, stress can have both a negative or positive effect by energising and motivating the individual to successfully overcome challenging situations’.

Mr Michael Cloete of Human Resources addressed staff and students on the Edgewood campus. Cloete said stress is a series of psychological and physical reactions in response to a demanding or threatening situation (e.g. a difficult work environment, dangerous work).  ‘When a person is faced with overwhelming circumstances that are beyond their normal ability to deal with it emotionally and or physically, they experience distress.  This can be due to sudden increased workload, changes in the workplace, changes in the family or sudden changes in their personal health or general welfare.  If left unchecked employees’ could experience negative effects on their health, family life, relationships and work performance,’ said Cloete.

Some of the typical responses to stress are becoming irritable, having difficulty sleeping or becoming depressed.  ‘There are several ways in which employees can reduce stress which include time management, financial management, getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, getting enough exercise, relaxation techniques, understanding the symptoms of stress, acknowledging that they are stressed and seek timely support and guidance,’ he said.

Cloete emphasised that it is important that employees speak about issues before they escalate.  The UKZN employee wellness website has tips on identifying stress and a list of professionals who can be contacted for assistance where necessary.

Mr Confidence Mngadi and UKZN’s Ms Nonhlanhla Kunene spoke on the Howard College campus about the importance of stress management.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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Prestigious Three-Year Green Economy Post-Doctoral Fellowship for PhD Graduate

Prestigious Three-Year Green Economy Post-Doctoral Fellowship for PhD Graduate
Dr Lydia Hangulu.

UKZN PhD graduate Dr Lydia Hangulu has been awarded a three-year green economy post-doctoral fellowship for her study: “Policy and Practice of Healthcare Waste Management in Community Based Care in South Africa”.

Hangulu was awarded the fellowship by the Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation and the Department of Environmental Affairs through the Green Fund. The Fellowship is usually awarded to PhD graduates in the natural sciences.

Hangulu’s thesis is the first to employ methodologies, drawn from several fields of study, such as scoping review, documentary analysis, media analysis, stakeholder interviews and ethnography to explore health care waste management in community-based care in South Africa.

Her thesis also makes important methodological, conceptual and substantive contributions to the fields of public health, environmental health, health policy and systems. Her work also makes significant contributions to green economy initiatives in South Africa

The study demonstrates that despite government’s efforts to scale-up and strengthen primary and community health care, there is a lack of policies to guide health care waste management in home and community-based care and a lack of implementation and/enforcement of the few available guidelines relating to the issue. Together, these undermine the management of health care waste in home-and community-based care.

The findings have implications for the primary health care re-engineering initiative of the South African government and other low-and middle-income countries responding to the global push to scale-up their primary health care programmes.

Applications of insights from her work which she has presented at several international academic meetings will significantly improve policy and practice of health care waste management in South Africa and other low-and middle-income countries.

‘This post-doctoral award proves to me that hard work really pays off. It is so motivating to know that my academic contribution is recognised. I thank God for all the blessings and I thank my supervisor Dr Olagoke Akintola for mentoring me throughout this academic journey. I am encouraging young people to work hard and make a positive change to our communities’, said Dr Hangulu.

UKZNdabaOnline


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Students Host Robust Mandela Panel Debate

Students Host Robust Mandela Panel Debate
UKZN students at the Mandela panel debate.

The African Emancipation Students Movement (Afri-ESM) hosted a debate on UKZN’s Westville campus titled: “Was Nelson Mandela a Sell Out?”

Manager for Student Governance and Leadership Development, Mr Meli Sibisi, said the platform provided an opportunity for active engagement and encouraged student organisations on campus to be particpatory.

The panel comprised Mr Mandla Shange of the ANC Youth League; the EFF’s Mr Jackie Shandu; Mr Thabani Zikalala of the Black First Land First; the Democratic Alliance’s Ms Nicole Graham; Mr Molaodi Wa Sekake of the Young Communist League; political analyst, Mr Zakhehe Ndlovu, and economist, Mr Ayanda Meyiwa.

Issues surrounding the expropriation of land and negotiations by Mandela while he was still in prison were debated.

UKZN student and Afri-ism President, Mr Mthokozi Mdalose, said the platform was geared at “liberating” students.

*Afri-ESM, founded in January this year, is an organisation whose ideologies are based on Black Consciousness and Pan-Africanism principles. It was formed as a response to eradicate the psychological damages inflicted upon African people by the colonial and apartheid system. Furthermore, part of the existence of Afri-ESM is to delicately reconstruct the image of Africa and its people which they say has been and continues to be tarnished through mass media. The organisation seeks to emancipate Africans from mental incarceration and the role it plays in the social and economic status of Africans in society today. Afri-ESM aims to empower Africans through decolonisation of knowledge and action-based programmes.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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Health and Wellness Day on Durban Campus

Health and Wellness Day on Durban Campus
Miss Pinky Mnyaka, HIV and AIDS Counsellor and Mr Bandile Majola, Howard College SRC President at Health Awareness Day.

The annual Health and Wellness Day hosted by UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme took place on the Howard College campus.

Held in partnership with the Campus Health Clinic and various external stakeholders, the aim of this event was to educate, raise public awareness, ensure students Graduate Alive and to promote healthy lifestyles among students and staff.

A variety of informative and fun activities, focusing on health edutainment, were featured during the day. The programme included activities centered on awareness raising, with the emphasis on HIV Counselling and Testing, screening of blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and taking height and weight measurements.

The UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme takes into account that people are at different levels of readiness to make decisions about their health. There was a positive response with students keen to be informed and know their HIV status. 

Peer educators demonstrated the use of female and male condoms while promoting the use of contraceptives generally.

President of the SRC at Howard College, Mr Bandile Majola, who underwent an HIV test, stressed the importance of everyone knowing their status. He urged students to exercise and stay healthy.

Noxolo Batembu


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Fat Hormones and Energy Balance the Subject of Lecture by US Professor

Fat Hormones and Energy Balance the Subject of Lecture by US Professor
Professor William Wong.

“Fat Hormones and Energy Balance” was the title of a public lecture given at UKZN by a visiting academic, Professor William Wong of the Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Physiology School of Medicine in the United States.

The presentation focused on how circulating hormones in the blood control different aspects of sugar and fat metabolism, which in turn have an impact on body weight.

Wong said his presentation examined how organs and tissues in the body co-ordinated the complex metabolic networks and circuitry to maintain proper energy balance, failure of which resulted in metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

‘We specifically focus on elucidating the role of a novel family of fat-derived hormones (CTRPs) in controlling sugar and fat metabolism. The function of one such hormone (CTRP9) was presented in greater details to illustrate complex tissue crosstalk underlying the integrated control of energy metabolism.’

Wong’s study, using genetically engineered mouse models, showed that a hormone produced and secreted by fat tissue promoted fat oxidation in the muscle and reduced food intake.

‘As a consequence, the animals are much leaner and resist weight gain in response to a diet rich in fat,’ said Wong.

‘Much remains to be discovered about how energy balance is regulated. Our basic research on secreted hormones produced by fat helps provide insights into the causal link between obesity and its tightly associated cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,’ said Wong.

He conducted his research at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine with the assistance of two postdoctoral fellows, Dr Jonathan Peterson and Dr Xia Lei and a graduate student Mr Zeke Wei.

‘My research focuses on understanding the fundamental aspects of energy metabolism using genetically engineered animal models. As such, I would leave the recommendations to clinicians and dietitians,’ Wong said.

He hopes that the basic knowledge generated by his work will provide new avenues and catalyse innovative strategies to combat obesity and its associated cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

‘We are currently trying to further dissect the mechanisms by which CTRP family of hormones control sugar and fat metabolism. In parallel, we also attempt to discover the receptor(s) that mediates the biological activity of CTRP family of hormones,’ said Wong.

He received his PhD degree from Harvard University, working on innate immunity, followed by post-doctoral training at the Whitehead Institute at M.I.T. in 2008.

Wong’s research efforts in the past decade focuses on understanding the physiological functions and mechanisms of action of a novel family of secreted hormones they originally identified in 2004.

Nombuso Dlamini


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Abelaphi ngokuvocavocisa umzimba bahlanganyele emkhankasweni wokwelashwa komdlavuza

Abelaphi ngokuvocavocisa umzimba bahlanganyele emkhankasweni wokwelashwa komdlavuza
Ubumbano lulwisana nomdlavuza.

click here for English version

Umkhakha wezokwelapha ngokuvocavocisa umzimba bebebambe umhlangano wokucobelelana ngolwazi nesigungu saKwaZulu-Natali sezeNgxubekwelapha Ngokuvocavocisa lapho bebedingida ngezindlela ezingasetshenziswa ukwelapha umdlavuza.

Abelaphi ngokuvocavocisa babamba iqhaza elibalulekile ekuhlinzekweni ngokwelashwa okuhlanganisa nempilo yomndeni  kulabo abanomdlavuza ukuze kwenziwe ngcono isimo sempilo yabo jikelele, ngokukaDkt Sonill Maharaj ongumfundisi futho ohlele lo mhlangano

Igumbi lokufundela ebeligcwele abelaphi abangama-50 abasebenza ezizindeni ezihlukene ezinakekela iziguli KwaZulu-Natali bebelalele inkulumo yomelaphi kweze-onkholoji uMs Liesbeth Raymaker, ochaze umdlavuza njengokuvuvuka noma ithumba eliwumphumela wokuhlukana kwezicutshana ezingajwayelekile ezinamandla okufinyelela kwezinye izingxenye zomzimba.

URaymaker uthe kunezinhlobo eziyi-100 zomdlavuza lapho lesi sifo esiziveza ezicutshini futhi nokwelashwa kwaso kuhambelana nohlobo lomdlavuza, izicubu ezithintekayo, isigaba sesifo, ulibo lwesiguli, ubudala nobukhona bezinye izifo ezinomthelela empilweni yesiguli.

URaymaker wethule nohlaka lwesifo somdlavuza  obeluhlanganise ukwakheka kwaso, izinhlobo, izigaba, ukutholakala kwaso, ukusabalala kwaso nezindlela zokwelapha, konke lokhu unentshisekelo yakho futhi kugqugquzela uthando lwakhe lokwelapha okuhlanganisa nomndeni. Uthe futhi umdlavuza ungaqagulwa ngokusebenzisa izinhlelo zokuhlola  ezifana nama-mammograms, amapap smiye nokuhlolwa kwendlala iphrostethi nezinye izinhlobo zokuhlola – yize zingabiza imali enkulu  futhi zikhiphe imiphumela engaqondile. Izinkomba zihlanisa ukuvuvukala kwezindlala, ukujulika ebusuku nokwehla kwesisindo zomzimba.

Weluleke ngokuthi kubuzwe iziguli ngomlando wemindeni yazo nempilo abayiphilayo. Uphinde wathi izinkomba zokuthinteka kwezivikelamzimba neziqha zibandakanya i-hayiphoglayikhemiya, i-demathomayisitisi, ithrombosisi, ubuthakathaka bamalunga, i-ostiyopheniya  nengxube kaKhushingi phakathi kwezinye.

Owenza izifundo ze-PhD, uNkz Donnée Ness, uthe ucwaningo lwakhe lugxile ezindleleni zokusabalala kwelayimfedima emdlavuzeni webele kwabesifazane. UNess uthe abesifazane abaneminyaka engaphezulu kwengama-40 basengcupheni enkulu yokuguliswa umdlavuza kodwa ugqugquzele abesifazane abasebancane ukuthi baqale ukuzihlolela umdlavuza ngoba uma sitholakale kusanesikhathi lesi sifo, lokhu kuyasiza ekulashweni kolimi.  

UMaharaj uthe umhlangano ugqugquzele ukwelashwa kusetshenziswa i-onikholoji, inqubonhle  nokunakwelashwa komndeni wesiguli. “Ngokubanzi nje lobu budlelwane buzoqinisekisa ukuthi ukuxhumana nokubambisana nomphakathi ngokusebenzisana nawo kuyimpokophelo ebalulekile yeNyuvesi YaKwaZulu-Natali.’’

nguLunga Memela 


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College Deans Brief 90 Students at Midlands Community College

College Deans Brief 90 Students at Midlands Community College
Professor Kriben Pillay (centre left) and Professor Bala Pillay (centre right) with students at the Midlands Community College.

UKZN Deans of Teaching and Learning, Professor Bala Pillay of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, and Professor Kriben Pillay of the College of Law and Management Studies, delivered presentations on College access programmes to 90 students at the Midlands Community College in Nottingham Road.

The College has been in operation since 1981 and is accredited with the ETDP Seta and registered with the Department of Welfare as a non-profit organisation. 

It offers two upgrade programmes: Maths, Science and Technology (MST), and Maths and Accountancy (MACC), besides also having a defined focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD).

The objective of the MST and MACC programmes is for learners to improve their marks to gain access to degrees or diplomas at tertiary level the following year. In order to achieve these objectives, learners receive intensive tuition from experienced educators, using current teaching and learning methodologies.

A fully equipped science laboratory, computer centre and technology-based teaching aids ensure that learners are fully prepared to rewrite their Grade 12 examinations.

The College has maintained a 100% pass rate and more than 85% of the learners have been accepted into Maths and Science related degrees and diplomas at tertiary level, many of whom have studied or currently study at UKZN.

The College is funded mainly by corporate CSI programmes and as such can provide this extended education at a minimal cost to learners who enrol on the residential programmes.

In addition to the presentations on the access programmes, Professor Kriben Pillay also gave a one-hour presentation on perception and learning.

Commenting on the presentations, Programme Director, Mrs Rebecca Wakeford of the Midlands Community College, said: ‘The time you spent with us was both entertaining and informative.  I really hope we can continue the dialogue between our organisations.’

 UKZNDabaOnline


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Accounting Students Receive Bursaries from the Auditor-General

Accounting Students Receive Bursaries from the Auditor-General
From left: UKZN academic, Ms Harrieth Mabuza and AGSA’s Mr Gabriel Tenene assisting a student with the bursary process.

The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) recently awarded full bursaries to eight UKZN accounting students.

The bursaries were awarded after School of Accounting, Economics and Finance’s academic trainee and previous bursary recipient, Ms Harrieth Mabuza, contacted the AGSA’s bursary committee after seeing that many students could not afford to purchase textbooks.

‘A group of students came to me asking for my previous year’s books because they couldn’t afford to buy new ones,’ says Mabuza.

‘Noticing that these requests were increasing and these students didn’t have bursaries and some were using financial aid which only gave R1 000 for books while Accounting students needed about R8 550 for books, I contacted my manager at the AGSA, Mr Gabriel Tenene, who offered to assist. He asked for their academic records, and later told me that the AGSA bursary committee had decided to help the students with full bursaries, which was amazing,’ she added.

Bursary recipients were Ms Hlanzeka Mlawu, Ms Zamandaba Sibiya, Ms Nomzamo Gcabashe, Mr Andile Jubele, Ms Snenhlahla Mkhize, Ms Nonduduzo Mpanza, Ms Nelisa Zulu and Mr Mthembeni Ngcobo.  The grants cover tuition fees, residence costs, books, and meal allowances as well as assisting them when they serve articles at the AGSA for three years after the completion of their studies. 

AGSA’s Manager of the Trainee Auditor Scheme, Mr Gabriel Tenene, who came to the school to orientate the students and their parents on the bursary requirements, said the initiative was one way the AGSA was contributing to the alleviate the shortage of Black Chartered Accountants as well as growing its own timber.

‘By giving out these bursaries we are not only empowering the students financially but educating them on the vital role played by the AGSA as well as making sure they have a place in the working world once they become graduates. We value such opportunities that allow us to link with academia and expose students to the various career opportunities they can pursue at the AGSA,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Threats to Biodiversity Detailed by UKZN Researcher in Science Journal

Threats to Biodiversity Detailed by UKZN Researcher in <em>Science</em> Journal
Dr Enrico Di Minin.

Honorary Research Fellow in Life Sciences, Dr Enrico Di Minin, recently co-authored a study - which appeared in the prestigious Science journal - on gaps in data needed to prevent the sixth mass extinction.

Di Minin, based at the University of Helsinki in Finland, was part of a group of representatives of a consortium of 18 organisations, including universities and conservation non-governmental bodies (NGOs) that compiled available global data on biodiversity threats. The team reviewed almost 300 data sets, marking them on five attributes required for conservation assessments.

This research contributes to understanding threats to biodiversity, where they occur and the rate at which change is happening. The study revealed that the reliable and accessible data needed for this understanding were largely missing.

‘We lack key information on important threats to biodiversity such as invasive species, logging, bush meat harvesting, and illegal wildlife trade,’ explained Di Minin.

These researchers stress that filling these data gaps need not start from scratch; existing datasets can be scaled up if appropriately resourced. Researchers hope the analysis will enable new approaches to mapping and measuring threats facing endangered species and ecosystems.

The publication received considerable attention, with the presence of some of the most important conservation institutions involved in the consortium, ensuring that awareness of filling data gaps would be raised at all levels.

Di Minin undertook his PhD field work in game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal, co-supervised by UKZN’s Professor Rob Slotow, with whom he frequently collaborates. Among his recent work is a paper looking at drivers of the illegal killing of rhinos in South Africa and pros and cons of a legal trade in rhino horn.

Di Minin’s work is focused on evaluating economic benefits derived from biodiversity conservation, spatial conservation prioritisation, and trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and alternative land uses to reduce policy conflicts. He is among the first researchers to use social media data to inform conservation decision-making, and prioritises using interdisciplinary research and involving conservation practitioners.

Christine Cuénod


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Successes of International Students at Edgewood Celebrated

Successes of International Students at Edgewood Celebrated
From left: Ms Peace Ginika Mwokedi, Mr Achiri and Mrs Ateh Kah (Moma) Atanga.

The International Student Office on UKZN’s Edgewood campus congratulates all its international students who graduated this year with honours, masters and PhD degrees.

Highlighted were Mr Adebiyi Olaoluwa David and Ms Peace Ginika Mwokedi who both graduated cum laude.

David, who acquired his Honours degree in Educational Management Leadership and Policy, said he was so joyful and thanked God. ‘Without God’s power I would not have achieved this.’  He said it was all like a dream that he accomplished his degree after working so hard

David, who has started his master’s degree, had the following advice for students: ‘Always remember that it takes a lot of determination, hard work, focus and most importantly prayers for one to graduate cum laude.’

Another international student, Mr Ifeoma Cecil Deca-Anyanwu was awarded his Honours degree in Science and Mathematics Education.

Master’s graduate Mwokedi said she was also grateful to God. ‘Through God’s help and my supervisors’ support I was able to achieve my educational goals,’ she said. One more, was Peter Oluwaseun Merisi who also graduated with his Master’s degree in Education.

Mr George Fomunyam Kehdinga graduated with a PhD in Education. His thesis was titled: “Content and Ideology in Literature Modules Taught in a Cameroonian University”, while Mr Ayinde Mojeed Oladele Agbomeji also graduated with a PhD with a study titled: “A Socio-Cultural Perspective to Education Retention in Multicultural Contexts of Rural Secondary Schools in Nigeria: Exploring Inviting Classroom Pedagogies”.

Husband and wife Achiri and Ateh Kah Moma Atanga graduated in the School of Education, sharing the academic success with their daughter, Neria.

 Nomathemba Makhathini


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UKZN’s Local Governance Expert Reflects on South Africa’s Municipal Ethics at International Conference

UKZN’s Local Governance Expert Reflects on South Africa’s Municipal Ethics at International Conference
From left: UKZN’s Professor Purshottama Reddy; Conference President, Professor Susan Gooden and former Conference President Professor Allan Rosenbaum.

During the past two decades, the level of trust and confidence in municipal officials in South Africa has declined because they are often perceived as being corrupt, discredited and quite often not in touch with the basic needs of local communities.

This is according to Professor Purshottama Reddy of the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance who shared insights on South Africa’s municipal ethics at the 2016 annual conference of the American Society of Public Administration Conference in Seattle in the United States.

Under the conference theme: “New Traditions in Public Administration, Reflecting on Challenges and Harnessing Opportunities”, Reddy delivered a presentation titled: “Municipal Ethics in South Africa: Theory and Practice: Quo Vadis”?

The paper highlights that the level of trust and confidence in municipal officials in South Africa had declined in the past two decades as they were often perceived as being corrupt, discredited and quite often not in touch with the basic needs of local communities.

‘There has been a marked increase in corruption of late, despite the constitutional and legislative provisions in place for promoting ethical conduct,’ said Reddy.

‘Some of the recommendations made for enhancing ethical conduct in local government included, inter alia,  the need for political and management will; professionalisation, education and training; exemplifying the ethical behavior of executive municipal functionaries and strengthening the role of civil society.’

Reddy also took part in a debate on Indigenous Culture, Ethics and Corruption, which reviewed experiences in several countries.

As a member of the American Society of Public Administration, Reddy also attended an editorial board meeting of Public Administration Review, a flagship journal of the American Society of Public Administration-one of the most rated journals in the public administration discipline internationally.

 Thandiwe Jumo


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Gift of the Givers Proud Record of Providing Assistance Highlighted in UKZN Lecture

Gift of the Givers Proud Record of Providing Assistance Highlighted in UKZN Lecture
Ms Normah Zondo, Director: University Relations; Mr Nazim Gani, Head and Senior Librarian – Alan Paton Centre & Struggle Archives; Professor Mbongeni Malaba, Chair of the Alan Paton Centre Advisory Committee and Dr Imtiaz Sooliman.

Details of challenges and successes experienced by volunteers of the Gift of the Givers during its 24 years of existence, were highlighted by the aid organisation’s founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, in a lecture hosted by UKZN recently.

Delivering the 23rd annual Alan Paton Memorial Lecture on the Pietermaritzburg campus, Sooliman spoke about the actions of volunteers of Gift of the Givers from their first relief work in Bosnia in 1994 to the disaster relief they provided to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

Speaking under the theme of human rights and humanitarianism, Sooliman, an honorary UKZN graduate, emphasised the need for better understanding and compassion among people, saying that folk need to be reminded to retain their Ubuntu (human kindness).

‘Man has lost humanity. We forget sometimes that we all bleed the same, we all experience the same pain.’

With delivery of about R1.4-billion in aid to 41 countries, the organisation has been instrumental in ensuring pioneering services, including developing the world’s first containerised mobile hospital for use in Bosnia; rescuing the first survivor of the Haiti quake eight days after the event, and boldly asking the Pope to ensure safe passage of the organisation’s members to Haiti.

Sooliman explained that often rules and bureaucracy hindered the need to help others as quickly as possible. There was a need to focus on quick action instead of meetings.

* The Alan Paton Lecture. held annually on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus, commemorates Alan Paton’s life as well as providing a forum to discuss areas of interest he was most involved in during his lifetime, including liberalism, the struggle against apartheid, reform for juvenile offenders as well as education, environment, literary, and human rights issues.

Rakshika Sibran


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Substance and Drug Abuse Workshop on Westville campus

Substance and Drug Abuse Workshop on Westville campus
Founder and Director of SADD, Ms Caro Smit (centre) with UKZN’s Mr Amith Ramballie and Ms Nomonde Magantolo.

An Anti-Drug and Substance Abuse Initiative (ADSAI) workshop was held on the Westville campus. It was a joint venture between UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme, the South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development.

The workshop was one of the events leading up to the launch of UKZN’s Anti-Drug and Substance Abuse Initiative to fight the rising number of cases involving drug and substance abuse at the Institution.

The two-hour information sharing and training workshop brought together UKZN staff and students to discuss the responsible use of alcohol, drinking and driving, and basic road safety measures.

It is hoped the initiative will help minimise drug and substance abuse and related incidents at UKZN, empower students and staff against drugs and substance abuse, form strategic partnerships with organisations that deal with drug and substance abuse and contribute towards UKZN becoming a drug-free university. 

The workshop highlighted the dangers of drinking and walking, alcohol poisoning, signs of a spiked drink, the alcohol limit based on laws and regulations, alcohol dependency, and the effects of drinking and driving.

According to SADD, road accidents are the leading cause of deaths for people under 29 years of age. About 18 000 people die on the road because of crashes while 150 000 others are severely injured.

According to the HIV and AIDS Programme, UKZN is currently experiencing an increase in the number of drug and substance related incidents.

Statistics provided by UKZN’s Risk Management Division reveal the concerning reality of these incidents. According to the incident-based reports for 2014 and 2015, there were 44 “reported” drug and substance related incidents at UKZN. The primary drugs used were cannabis (dagga) and cocaine. 

* South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) is a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO No: 055-255). SADD’s Head Office is in Pietermaritzburg, but it operates throughout South Africa.

Sithembile Shabangu


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Spotlight on Alumni

Spotlight on Alumni
Ms Erin Bargate (right) and her mother, UKZN’s Dr Karen Bargate, at the World Triathlon Championships in London in 2013.

UKZN Bachelor of Business Science in Finance graduate, Ms Erin Bargate, has a penchant for travelling, raised funds for rhinos while running the London Marathon and plans to do the Durban Half Ironman event later this year. Bargate, who completed her master’s degree at Oxford University in England, is a trustee for the UKZN UK Trust.

UKZNdabaOnline’s Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer spoke to her on a variety of issues:

Q.       You have quite an impressive list of accomplishments – ranging from education to sports. What achievement are you most proud of? 

A.        That’s a toss-up between qualifying as an actuary and getting my master’s from Oxford, but I think I would have to choose Oxford!  I had dreamed of studying there for as long as I can remember, but it always seemed like an impossible dream. 

I had to work extremely hard during my time at UKZN and I often stayed at home studying while my friends were out partying but all the hard work was definitely worth it – Oxford was a magical place to live and study!

Q.        Where do you work now and what do you do there? 

A.        I’m an actuary at a specialist insurance company called Hiscox.  I started out working in the London Market pricing team where I helped to decide premiums for the large unusual risks insured through Lloyd’s of London.  I helped price insurance for a wide range of products including satellites, ships, airplanes, kidnap and ransom and large hospitals and law firms. 

Hiscox isn’t your average insurance company – we cover everything from large sporting events, such as the Rugby World Cup and Olympics, to priceless artwork.  I now manage the Group Capital Model, where I help to quantify the risk faced by the company as a whole. This is to ensure the company will always have sufficient money to pay claims.

Q.        The #FeesMustFall campaign made quite an impact on the South African Higher Education landscape. What do you think alumni can do to make a difference in the lives of current students?

A.       I’d like to encourage all UKZN graduates to help future students by giving back to the Institution.  Everyone who now has a job as a result of obtaining a UKZN degree has the power to change someone’s life by helping them to achieve a university degree.  I’ve recently become a trustee of the UKZN UK Trust which uses donations from UK-based alumni to help fund needy students at UKZN. 

Anyone interested can get more details and how to donate through: http://www.ukznuktrust.org/  South African based alumni should also check out the UKZN Foundation site at: https://www.ukznfoundation.org/home

Q.        Your mother, Dr Karen Bargate, is a Lecturer in the School of Accounting at UKZN. What impact has she had on your life?

A.         My mother instilled in me the importance of getting a good education from a very young age and she gave me the belief that I could do anything I wanted if I put my mind to it.  Both my parents did everything they could to help me achieve my goals.  They also passed on their love of sport. The picture being used with this interview is of my mother and I at the World Triathlon Championships in London in 2013, where we both represented South Africa in our respective age-groups.

Q.        What are you plans for the future?  

A.         I plan to continue working hard and progressing in my career.  However, I’d like to spend more time doing sporting events now that most of my spare time is no longer taken up with studying for the actuarial exams!

I’ve ticked one of those events off my list by running the London Marathon last year, where I also raised £2,500 (R55 000) for Save the Rhino International. 

The next thing on my list is the Durban Half-Ironman event in June this year.  I’ll be coming back to Durban with my British boyfriend to do the race and my mother will join us in the event I would also love to do a full Ironman and the Cape Epic mountain bike race in the future.

Q         You have a few degrees under your belt. What advice do you have for graduates? 

A.         Don’t underestimate the power of perseverance.  When I was applying for scholarships to study at Oxford, I got rejected several times before one came through.  Also, it sounds terribly clichéd but I’ve really learned that anything is possible with hard work and determination!

Q.        Living in the UK gives you a great opportunity to travel. Which countries have you visited?

A.        The UK is very conveniently located for European travel but having a South African passport does make this substantially more difficult as a Schengen visa is required for every trip!  I did a big two month-trip around Europe before I started studying at Oxford but over the last few years I have actually spent quite lot of time in the United States. 

I was very fortunate that as part of the Hiscox graduate scheme, I did a three-month secondment in our New York office.  Living and working in Manhattan was an incredible experience – there were so many amazing things to do and the city has a great atmosphere.  I have been back to visit quite often and I’ve also spent time exploring Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC.


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UKZN Staff Members Judges for Prestigious Awards

UKZN Staff Members Judges for Prestigious Awards
UKZN staff winners, contributors and judges with the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande.

Two UKZN staff members were part of the panel of judges at the recent National Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) Inaugural Awards.

Director of Libraries, Ms Joyce Myeza, and Dr Thoko Mnisi of the Research Office were on the Digital Collections judging panel.

Submissions for the awards opened last year to honour outstanding, innovative and socially responsive scholarship that enhances and advances fields in the humanities and social sciences.

Dr Mnisi, a Digitising Specialist, said when she started her work on the social uses of digitisation at her Master of Education and PhD level, she never thought it would land her in being a judge for such prestigious awards.

‘I am happy to see that Human and Social Scientist are not petrified to venture into multi-disciplinary research and taking advantage of tools which have been dominantly used in the discipline of Information and Communication Sciences. I hope such Awards, which are a brain child of the current Minister of Education Dr Blade Nzimande will encourage more social scientists.

Ms Myeza is currently doing her PhD titled Applications of Steganocryptographic methods for securing and preserving digital certificates, supervised by Professor Jonathan Blackledge.

The NIHSS awards event is divided into several categories. In the Creative Collections category, UKZN Music Lecturer, Dr Sazi Dlamini, was part of the five member team which received the award valued at R60 000 for their work titled: “Insurrections in the Category Best Musical Composition/Arrangement”.

Other members of the team were Mr Neo Muyanga, Mr Sumangala Damodaran, Professor Jürgen Bräuninger and Professor Ari Sitas.

UKZN had other submissions under this category which included subcategories such as Fine Art, Performance Art and Creative Writing.

In the Books (Non-Fiction) category, UKZN Press won honours for two titles. The books categories celebrate members of the Humanities and Social Sciences community who are undertaking the vital work of creating post-apartheid and post-colonial forms of scholarship. 

 Sithembile Shabangu


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