The toil by the MUT’s Marketing and Communications team from the beginning of 2017 has resulted in a very successful sixth Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) held at Durban’s Hilton Hotel, from 4-5 September. The pouring in of more than 200 paying delegates from State Owned Enterprises, academia, government and corporations meant the real thing had begun. It was heart-warming to see old friends that have associated themselves with the EAC since 2012. There were also many new delegates, all thanks to MarComms great teamwork.
From its inception, the EAC was projected as an event that would change the lives of office administrators. EAC 2017 was no exception. This edition was billed as “A ship that will never sink”. Quite a bold claim, but well deserved!
Perhaps the story of the EAC could be told properly from the perspective of the delegates themselves. For instance, veteran EAC delegate, Philisiwe Cele from DUT, said she had seen the EAC “running strong”, while UKZN administrator, Vinotha Moodley, said what she took from the EAC 2017 was that the customer had become very central to business. She was supported by MUT’s Thembeka Mkhize. In fact, Liz Mokoena, one of the presenters from Unilever, talked about the necessity for adapting to the changing circumstances in the business environment. She said “companies would do well to heed the needs of their customers. Office administrators should improve their skills so they would remain relevant. It is also essential to focus on improving one’s personal brand”.
Annalene Maree, a delegate from MUT, said what interested her most was a presentation by Dr Manyane Makua, Senior Director: TLDC, and “I also enjoyed Junaid Bayat; very powerful and vibrant speaker. Dr Makua told us how to soar like the eagle, above our problems which may occur in our personal lives.” Annalene added that she had observed that the EAC standard was growing every year, and preparing the office professionals for current technology and office standards, and that the programme covered important areas. As they left the venue in the afternoon of day 2, the delegates felt empowered, and had been made to understand responsibility of being a Captain of the ship.
Apart from Dr Makua, MUT’s grand speakers also included Ms Xolile Ngubane, Manager at the TSC and Sr. Nomusa Mkhwanazi. Unilever has already expressed a keen interest on engaging Sr. Mkhwanazi for its CSR initiatives.
Another big part of the EAC 2017 was the corporate social responsibility that was initiated by the organisers in 2015. This year they requested delegates to donate teddy bears to ease the hearts of the abused children at Bobbi Bear. The heroine was Nokulunga Nkabinde a delegate from the DOE. Nokulunga was acknowledged by MUT’s acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Marcus Ramogale for donating 250 teddy bears. MUT’s Ronelle Govender donated 50 teddies. It is also worth mentioning that the EAC continued to enjoy support from MUT’s Executive Management who shared a moment with delegates at the conference gala dinner.