Graduate Trio Passionate about Service Delivery
Public Sector Managers and Master in Commerce: Leadership Studies graduates Mr Sagaren Govender, Mr Magashen Naidoo and Mr Andile Gqaji are ready to implement the skills they have obtained from their qualifications on leadership from UKZN to improve the lives of South African citizens.
The trio which is passionate about service delivery first embarked on a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Management (PGDLM) offered by UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership to further develop their leadership skills of managers in 2012.Now they have all graduated with a Master of Commerce in Leadership Studies degrees which they completed in a minimum time of one year.
Govender graduated cum laude, his dissertation was titled: “The Role of Leadership in Healthcare Service Delivery at Addington Hospital”.
‘The achievement of these qualifications has prepared me to lead in any senior management position in the public sector, thus enhancing opportunities for promotions that may arise. I am able to think at strategic levels and will be able to make strategic decisions that could make a positive contribution in the attainment of service delivery goals in public sector organisations,’ he said.
Gqaji who is the Project Manager at the South African National Roads Agency titled his dissertation: “Investigating Perceptions of the Impact of Public Sector Leadership on Road Infrastructure Delivery”. He says his interest to develop his leadership was sparked by the observation that the world was moving away from management into leadership.
‘Being in the corporate world for about 14 years has made me notice that organisations are over-managed and very much under led. Consequently, that led me to consider a qualification in leadership. Among tertiary education institutions in South Africa, the University of KwaZulu-Natal was an obvious choice in assisting me in achieving my aspirations. Hence I enrolled for both qualifications,’ he said.
As his position of Project Manager at eThekwini Municipality’s P&I Projects deals with innovative solutions for the City’s sustainability it is no surprise about Naidoo’s dissertation titled: “Information Climate Change Mitigation Policy: An eThekwini Municipality perspective”.
For Naidoo, the academic journey has not only enhanced their management skills and redefined their leadership styles but it has also cemented a mutually beneficial friendship that has motivated them from strength to strength during the course of their studies.
‘Once I was registered for the MCom I visualised graduating. There was no doubt in my mind of not completing within the stipulated timeframe. Being part of a small group of likeminded peers that kept in constant communication and kept each other focused on the goal played a huge role in our success,’ he said.
Govender and Gqaji’s supervisor and UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership Lecturer Ms Cecile Gerwel Proches said the pair illustrated how postgraduate students need to balance the multiple demands facing them, such as fulfilling family obligations and being in a demanding job while still staying focused on the research.
‘Both Sagaren and Andile through their respective studies have contributed to the field of leadership and shown how critical studies of such a nature are to improve on our understanding of the unique complexities that we face in South Africa,’ she said.
Naidoo’s supervisor and Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Dr Stan Hardman, described him as a student who had a real passion for his topic and was highly committed to making the experience an insightful learning curve for both student and supervisor.
- Thandiwe Jumo