Humanities Academic Appointed National Social Cohesion Programme Spokesperson
Dr Balungile Zondi of the School of Social Sciences has been appointed as the spokesperson for the National Social Cohesion Programme in the office of the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa.
‘The programme aims to mobilise society in its entirety to work together to build a caring and proud society based on shared values and a vision, and to promote and preserve all indigenous cultures and knowledge. It will also develop a Nation-Building Project Management Manual and Toolkit for application by practitioners at all levels, and to convene social cohesion and nation building summits at provincial, local and community level within the next twelve months,’ she explained.
Zondi is tasked with proving a public voice for the programme, communicating information the public wants or needs with regards to the programme and ensuring that the programme objectives are met by communicating with the media and other parties involved in an issue. She will also be writing media statements on behalf of Social Cohesion Advocates, Communities and with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the Minister on behalf of Advocates.
Zondi holds a PhD in Anthropology, MA in Policy and Development Studies, Honours in Policy and Development, Honours in Sociology, Degree in Development and Anthropologyas, as well as a Diploma in Population and Demography from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is fluent in isiZulu and English.
Other than her teaching responsibilities at UKZN, she is part of many internal committees at the University such as the Higher Degrees Committee and Community Engagement Committee. She is a recognised external research examiner for local, national and international universities. She is also an emerging writer who has published in the International Journal of Indigenous Herbs and Drugs (IJIHD).
Public policy, development, religion, medicinal plants, implementation and analysis, public participation, migration, globalisation and diaspora studies, migration patterns, decoloniality, indigenous knowledge systems, women and young women issues, gender-based violence, development issues, streetism, local government and democracy, disability, children rights and other related issues, are Zondi’s research interests.
Words: Melissa Mungroo