MarComms staffer in an opening panel discussion

Mbali Mkhize, third from right, facing the camera, with other panellists

The MUT brand was placed at the apex of conference proceedings when Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing and Communications. was one of the panellists   in a discussion on “Internationalisation for Who? Perspectives from Beneficiaries “. Using her more than two decade’s experience in marketing and the internationalisation of universities, and her understanding of the Comprehensive Internationalisation Policy of 2019, Mkhize gave the delegates a 10-Point Plan on the benefits of partnerships, emphasising the multicultural relations and intercultural communication.

“Internationalisation enables institutions to become globally recognised. We are here at the invitation of UNIVEN, but we are engaging with colleagues from across Africa who have now expressed an interest in partnering with MUT. This will allow MUT to enhance its intercultural communication”, said Mkhize. Traveling with her were the MarComms team from international student recruitment and engagements. These are some of the foot soldiers in the execution of the MUT internationalisation agenda. While the team drove for 11 hours, it is a journey they are prepared to undertake again to position the MUT brand. “With more funding available, we will even be able to take students to meet other international students,” said Mkhize.


The MUT team visited the University of Venda, from 26 – 29 September 2023, to take part in the International Week there.

UNIVEN pays tribute to MUT Founder

MUT staff members, and other participants at University of Venda

Advocate Edward Lambani, UNIVEN Registrar, surprised the MUT team during his welcome address by requesting a moment of silence in honour of the MUT Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. “I know him as the University of Zululand Chancellor in the 1980s when I was a student at the university. However, with his passing away early this month, we learned to appreciate his contribution to the upliftment of the marginalised, including the establishment of MUT”. Prince Buthelezi passed away on 9 September 2023.

Advocate Lambani also told the MUT team that he knows Professor Marcus Ramogale, MUT Vice-Chancellor as an intellectual and renowned English academic. The MUT team visited the University of Venda, from 26 – 29 September 2023, to take part in the International Week there.

MUT meets former MUT staff at UNIVEN

Lethukuthula Shandu, fourth from left, and Phumlani Ngobese, fifth from left, with MUT staff members at UNIVEN

It was a joyful time when the MUT team learned of the good news about some former MUT staff members now working at the University of Venda. Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing and Communications; Zama Sishi, Director: Stakeholder Relations in the department; Sthembile Maphumulo, Schools Liaison Officer in the department; Nganele Dube, Acting Personal Assistant to Mkhize, and Soka Mkhize, Driver, received this piece of good news when they attended an International Week at UNIVEN. The team was told that the MUT’s former IT staff members, Phumlani Ngobese and Lethukuthula Shandu, are now a major asset for UNIVEN because they are putting their skills to good use. This was affirmed by the team from the International Relations office who referred to Ngobese and Shandu as the engine of the IT department. Both these former MUT employees studied at MUT and cut their teeth at MUT’s IT&N department. Today, Ngobese is a senior server engineer, and Lethukuthula is a senior network engineer. Shandu is married and has three children with a home in Joburg; Ngobese owns a house in Umlazi.

The MUT team visited the University of Venda, from 26 – 29 September 2023, to take part in the International Week there.

The University Academic literary unit celebrates International Literacy Day  

Dr Buyi Makhanya

What an exhilarating celebration it was! The Academic Literacy and Language Unit (ALLU) set International Literacy Day on fire with an explosion of excitement. Spirits soared to the skies as ALLU showered students with prizes, a thrilling lucky draw, and poetry performances that sent shivers down the spines.

Among the prizes were three novels, including the gripping Dog eat dog by Niq Mhlongo, were given away. The idea behind these literary treasures was to promote the reading culture within the University community. The gist in Dog eat dog mirrors the lives of the MUT students, caught between township life and University adventures.

The event took place in the ALLU reading place recently. Dr Buyi Makhanya, the Deputy Director, kicked things off with an electrifying welcome, setting the stage for what was to come. Students named Phelokazi and Nkosinathi then unleashed two poetic pieces that left the audience in awe.

Sinenhlanhla Memela, took the stage and delivered a speech that explained the historical significance of the day. She began reminding attendees of the importance of education, a fact that was highlighted by President Nelson Mandela. Memela also said that there was no education without literacy. This was followed by a passionate declaration that literacy is the foundation upon which education rests. Memela explained the history of International Literacy Day, a global event established by UNESCO in 1967, dedicated to reminding the world of the absolute importance of literacy as a human right that uplifts individuals. The theme this year was: Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies.

Dr Makhanya said the International Literacy Day was also a call action. “It’s an opportunity to unite for the cause of Sustainable Development Goal 4, promoting education and lifelong learning. Libraries play a vital role in this journey, offering access to books and training facilities,” said Dr Makhanya. Dr Makhanya also said that  ALLU was championing literacy and language within the University community. She said that ALLU staff empowered students with the skills to navigate the world confidently through literacy. “It’s a gift that keeps on giving, opening doors to knowledge, self-improvement, and brighter futures,” said Dr Makhanya.

Department bids its secretary goodbye with both heavy hearts and satisfaction

Connie Mthembu, seated, middle, with members of her department

A sad time to all staff in the Department of Electrical Engineering as they bade goodbye to the department’s secretary, Connie Mthembu. Mthembu is retiring soon after working at the University for more that 25 years, becoming one of the long-serving staff members.

At a farewell function on 26 September 2023, at the main campus, staff poured their hearts out as they described Mthembu as a sister, mother, and friend, who offered a smile to them, even when she was under pressure. Mthembu’s service to staff included taking them as family members that she would do anything for. Staff had fond memories of Mthembu. Anil Lonappan, a Lecturer in the department, told staff that one of the staff members wrote letters to responsible staff, asking that Mthembu be appointed on a permanent basis. Mthembu had been part-time. Now she will be collecting her investments form the University because of that staff member’s request. Mathew Sibanda, another staff member, wrote a poem about Mthembu.

Staff were also impressed by Mthembu’s knowledge of her work. Anil Lonappan, said Mthembu could recall all 150 codes for the subjects in her department,

Showing care to Mthembu, and feeling sorry that she was leaving, staff offered some advice for their senior colleague who worked for the University for 28 years. Thanduxolo Magenuka, another Lecturer un the department, said: “In life you develop ways to deal with  adversities. Don’t allow retirement to kill you. Get something to keep you busy. Kungafa isikhukhukazi, amaqanda ayabola. (When a hen dies, the eggs rot.) You were always a mother that gave protection to us. Now that you are leaving, we will suffer. Please forgive us where we went wrong. I love the fact that you have at beautiful heart. I wish you were to leave at the end of the year. May God bless you.”

Staff will also remember Mthembu for her honesty. Zodwa Khumalo, a secretary in the Faculty of Engineering’s Dean office, said Mthembu used to call a spade a spade. In her response, Mthembu thanked her soon to be former colleagues, and told them that they should not worry about her being negatively affected by retirement. She said she would have lots to do. “I am a busy woman,” Mthembu said.

Mthembu continued: “I am very happy and humbled. I joined MUT in 1995. I joined this department in 2003. There were colleagues that supported me with prayers. It was hard in this department. I worked with eight heads of the department. I learned a lot from them. What I like is I can get angry, cry, and forgive. I regarded the students as my own kids. I used to give them my lunch. I will miss you.” Mthembu said she would spend time with her 10 grandchildren. She would also get involved in church matters at Pinetown and Umlazi Township, she said.

A University department introduces research to students and learners, much to the Acting Dean’s excitement

From left, Dr Thobile Poswa, Head of the Department of Environmental Health; DVC: RIE, Professor Sibiya; and Dr Nhlanhla Nsele, and learners from Menzi High School, at one of the exhibition stands of businesses that supported the event

While the University has enjoyed some spotlight because of its Research activities, this week saw attention focused on the students of the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Twelve students presented their research work at the inaugural Student Research Conference that took place on 28 September 2023 at the University’s North Campus. This decision did not come as a surprise to the Faculty of Natural Sciences Acting Dean, Professor Roger Coopoosamy, who saw it as affirming that his faculty was a pioneer. It is the only faculty that offers a Master’s degree; and that all its heads of departments have PhDs.

Dr Nhlanhla Nsele, the Head of the Department, said the students’ research was “groundbreaking”, and that the students’ conference was the first of its kind.  The conference was a music to the ears of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE), Professor Nokuthula Sibiya. Explaining the importance of research at higher education, and in society in general, Professor Sibiya told the  first and second year students in the Bachelor of Health Science in Medical Laboratory Science (BHSc: MLS), and some of the fourth year BHSc:MLS students and BTech postgraduate students, and learners from Menzi High School and Velabahleke High School that she was “living research”, and that she has supervised many Master’s and PhD students. Professor Sibiya said that those conducting research must be determined to work hard. Professor Sibiya said that she was a life-long learner herself because research is supposed to generate new information and uncover new ways of doing things. Professor Sibiya commended the department for introducing research to students and learners at a very early stage.  Professor Sibiya’s very constructive words inspired Anelisa Mpanza, a grade 12 learner from Menzi High School.

Ningi Jaya, a Lecturer in the department and the founder of the conference, said that “the inception of the Student Research Conference emanated from our department’s unwavering commitment to fostering excellence, not only in teaching and learning, but also in the pursuit of excellence in research among our students. We have observed that our students embark on remarkable research projects that significantly contribute to the body of knowledge within the field of medical laboratory sciences”. Jaya said that the problem was those students seldom had a chance to disseminate their research findings to the wider university community and the department’s industry partners. “Thus, we envisioned the conference as an ideal platform to enable this crucial exchange of knowledge,” said Jaya.

Jaya also said that the conference also served as “a beacon to illuminate the field of medical laboratory science, offering invaluable career guidance to high school students seeking clarity about future career paths”. Jaya also added that the Student Research Conference also aimed “to enlighten and inspire the next generation of scientists”. She also said that the conference served as a networking hub, fostering connections between aspiring young scientists and their established counterparts. “As such, the Student Research Conference stands as a testament to our department’s commitment to excellence, knowledge sharing, career development, and fostering a community of passionate scientists,” said Jaya.

The students presented on their final year research dissertations, and the event gave “some great exposure for these young medical laboratory scientists”, said Venishree Nundkissor, a Lecturer in the department. Nundkissor also said that the students would compete for first, second and third prize monies.

The department’s industry partners were also on site and participate in presentations to provide more information about the working and training platforms, and what they have to offer future medical laboratory scientists. There were also support companies and industry partners with their stands promoting their business and were located just outside the venues.

Premier’s Office visit the University to check on its bursary recipients

Seated, third and fourth from left, are Gugu Mkhize and Andrew Kubone, respectively, with MUT and Premier’s Office members, and students

Standing in for Cynthia Nkosi, Senior Bursary Officer at the financial Office (FAO), Andrew Kubone, FAO’s Manager, said he was very happy that the KwaZulu-Natal’s Premier’s Office “has paid for all the students before July”.  Kubone made this comment on 27 September 2023 at the University’s main campus when officials from the Premier’s Office came to discuss issues that have to do with the eight students the Office is sponsoring with full bursaries, for the following: tuition, books, laptops, meals, accommodation, and transport, where required. The students are from all three faculties – Engineering, Management Sciences, and Natural Sciences. Gugu Mkhize, Assistant Director from the Premier’s Office, said they pay the students directly. Mkhize also said that their visit to MUT was part of their annual visits to all the institutions in the country where they support very needy students who are identified by the Premier of the province during their interactions with communities in different ways.

Mkhize said: “We visit the institutions to get updates about the students’ academic performances and their behaviour. We also would like to know if the academic calendar of the institution has been interrupted, and do a physical audit, which included meeting the students,” she said. To this Kubone gave the team from the Premier’s Office an update about the University’s academic calendar. Kubone also appreciated the fact that the visit gives everyone a chance to know about the students’ financial issues before it is “too late”.

Mkhize said that they do not pay for repeats, and they needed a student to pass at least three out of four subjects for them to continue assisting the student. Among the “minor” issues they encountered was that of a student who has financial help from both the Premier’s Office and the NSFAS (National Student Financial Assistance Scheme). Kubone said the student would be asked to choose between the two. “The student will have to write a letter for all parties concerned,” said Kubone and Mkhize. Kubone added that if the student chose the Premier’s Office help, their cash from NSFAS would have to be sent back to NSFAS. This will happen whey they are reconciling their books.

The students said they were appreciative of the assistance they were receiving from the Premier’s Office.

Electrical Engineering staff publishes a paper in high impact journal with Indian and American researchers

Anil Lonappan

Although he spends time doing some work for ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa), where he has six positions, Anil Lonappan, Lecturer in Department of Electrical Engineering, also devotes time to other important academic activities. Lonappan said he has 51 research articles “so far”.  Among these is the one co-authored and published with Renjith VishnuRadhan from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India; and TI Eldho, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University, United States. The paper was titled: “A microwave-based technique as a feasible method to detect plastic pollutants in experimental samples.” It was published in the Elsevier’s Journal of Hazardous Materials. Lonappan said the Impact Factor of this journal is 14.224, ranking it nine out of 279 in Environmental Sciences. Lonappan also said that the highlight of this article was also reported in the Current Science.

Lonappan said that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are centrally funded technical institutes located across India. They are under the ownership of the Ministry of Education of the Government of India and are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961. “The Act declares them as Institutes of National Importance and lays down their powers, duties, and framework for governance as the country’s premier institutions in the field of technology.

Hip-Hop superstars visit MUT

Nasty C, left and Cassper Nyovest in the MUT Radio live studio

Internationally acclaimed superstars Refiloe Phoolo (Casper Nyovest) and Nsikayesizwe Ngcobo (Nasty C) have reassured their fans to expect a memorable and energetic tour around the African continent.

The ‘Gets Gesta 2.0’ hitmaker echoed these words alongside the ‘Crazy Crazy’ hitmaker during their radio interview on MUT Radio with Princess Gee (Afika Mkhahlela) and (Ziphelele Nxumalo) Ntombazi on 27 September 2023. Princess Gee said she was anxious at first, knowing these international superstars would be gracing the studio. However, she knew that with the assistance she received from her Programmes Manager Slindile Ngobese in preparing the right questions with information she would be fine if she is calm and poised. In fact, Cassper complimented Princess Gee for being well prepared for the interview.  The two artists were also very relaxed and an easy crowd to appease and appreciate. Celebrities are human beings like us at the end of day so we should just treat them as such, and we will get to see that humane side of them.

The stars made a quick stop at the campus radio station after their performances at the MUT Sport Grounds.

The duo has been doing activations at universities in Durban including the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban University of Technology and Mangosuthu University of Technology. These activations are a build up to the conclusion of the tour.

The duo will conclude their tour in South Africa on the 30th of September in Durban at People’s Park Stadium, then with their last show on the 28th of October in Johannesburg.

Both rappers will be performing hits from their separate catalogues; they also share the stage. It doesn’t stop there; both performers will be dropping new and exclusive music throughout the tour, including new studio albums.

10th EAC anniversary elevates the EAC further

Some of the delegates at the conference

With an intentional stakeholder relations management strategy implemented nine years ago, the Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) has grown in stature and has now entered new markets. Close to 200 delegates and speakers from as far afield as the Western, Northern and the Eastern Cape; together with the Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and of course KZN, gathered for the two-day EAC at Gateway Hotel from 21-22 September. KZN also included delegates from as far afield districts as northern, Midlands, eThekwini, and Pietermaritzburg clusters. And of course, the role played by the KZN Social Development Provincial Office cannot be understated. In fact, this new partner has bigger plans on how MUT could become a new strategic partner.

The EAC topics are responsive to today’s need to have an agile office professional. To remain relevant to the topic, ‘Becoming an agile office professional’ major speakers mainly came from blue chip companies, such as Microsoft, ABSA, Deloitte, and they are top MUT alumni, already successful in executive positions. Another MUT alumnus who also presented was Kwenzy Khuzwayo, a director for remuneration at the University of Mpumalanga. Other external speakers were also notable executives such as Moretlo Mokuele, a former TUT HR executive director; and MUT’s MarComms team and Danielle Venter from IT&N.

The quality of the delegates is unbelievable; they are posh, attentive, well-educated, intellectual, positive, appreciative; and engaging. They are also a happy group, always ready to get on stage to dance when a ‘call to action’ song gets played. By the end of the EAC, delegates had also begun to implement ways on how they could work smarter, with most of them using the QR code as an easy access point and getting to grips with ChatGPT for professional reasons.

EAC Founder happy to meet event’s veterans

Mbali Mkhize, second from left, from left – BH Andrea Coetzee, Catherine Cebindevu, Jenine Fielies, and Andiswa Tom, all UWC staff members

During one of the MarComms Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) planning meeting, the EAC Founder and Convenor offered an assuring smile when she was told that a certain delegate, from a certain place, was attending. From then on, Mbali Mkhize the Convener and Founder of the EAC, and Senior Director of the University’s Department of Marketing and Communications, was looking forward to meeting Catherine Cebindevu, from the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Cebindevu has been attending the now ten-year old EAC for seven years. Cebindevu said she attends the EAC to keep abreast of new developments in her field.

Cebindevu this time brought along with her several colleagues, one of which is Andiswa Tom. Tom said Cebindevu recommended that she attends the conference. Tom also said she believed the EAC would benefit her. Tom will now take on her duties in Professor Vivienne Lawack office, where she is a co-ordinator. Professor Lawack is the Dean in the Faculty of Education. Other UWC delegates were Andrea Coetzee and Jenine Fielies.

Among other return attendees were delegates Durban University of Technology (DUT) delegates, some of who were Nirvana Naidoo, Arshna Ramouthar, Kershnee Pillay and Sushi Moodley who is Vice-Chancellor, Professor Thandwa Mthembu’s personal assistant. Naidoo said they attended the event so they could “uplift ourselves and keep abreast with technology in the workplace”.

HR expert empowers office administrators in the tenth EAC

Moretlo Mokuele

Moretlo Mokuele, a coordinator in the MUT’s Administrator’s technical team set the tone at the EAC and tackled agility from the HR perspective. She highlighted the centrality of the office administrator’s job in an organisation and explained the importance for the office administrators to plan their day, week, month, and year, properly, “and be flexible in what we do – that is what agility means”, Mokuele defined the office administrators as the backbone of an organisation. Putting a stamp on the significance of the EAC, Mokuele said that the two days of the conference were the “most important in the life of an office administrator. This is the time when we sharpen the axe that has gone blunt, otherwise you might find you keep on chopping the woods, but you are not effective. Sharpening the axe is what our jobs need”, she said.

Mokuele said there were many factors that affect the office administrators’ jobs.   Some of those factors are the change in the environment, and the Covid-19 scourge, she said. “Naturally, we need to heed these factors.  We need to take time out and go and sharpen the axe. Attending the EAC is gathering knew knowledge, which is equivalent to sharpening your axe,” Mokuele said.

Going back to ‘agility’, Mokuele said the office administrator needs to be flexible like a gymnast, and be able to act quickly and effectively. “We need to look at ourselves and say there are some things that we need to learn to do with ease. Our environments are naturally difficult. For instance, there are policies that govern our organisations that do not allow us to deliver in the expected time without contravening these policies. Now what are we to do? asked a veteran Human Resources specialist. Mokuele said that a possible solution would be to plan before a problem arose. She suggested that a policy could be hedged, and that policies need to be interrogated from time to time.  “Have some principles that go along with the policy that would give you room to take a decision without violating the policy,” she said. Some principles could be explained in terms of what could happen under some circumstances, to the benefit of the organisation and its stakeholders. One delegate explained that one organisation has a clause that allows it to appoint a service provider without following all the stipulated tender procedures; but only if the situation requires that such a clause be applied. According to Mokuele, such a clause makes the municipality agile and allows it to achieve its desired goals. She emphasized that forward planning, and anticipating problems, were a must for an organisation.

Mokuele also used the higher education sector as a place where flexibility is required. She said it takes long for council to approve some decisions. For instance, if a social media expert is required, but there is no post for it, the university can go back to the set principle, and say they are now appointing an individual in terms of a particular principle that was put in place some time ago. The principle is basically leaving the door ajar.

Being aware that office administrators managed projects on a continuous basis, Mokuele also said that agility was needed in project management. “You need to update your operations in these areas. Create new specs, new software, to meet the needs of your clients. Agility means you need to adjust and cut your yearly plans into smaller chunks. You need to do proactive planning. We need to take planning seriously. It is important to do formal annual planning with your clients in mind. The environment changes all the time,” Mokuele said.

Microsoft technology guru tells EAC delegates the importance of AI

Sandile Mahlaba

In his book, The World News Prism, Willian A Hatchten points that an English King, Cnut, said that since it was not possible to push back the sea waves, it was better to find a way to work with them. This was a message from Microsoft’s Sandile Mahlaba, an MUT Accounting graduate, to more than 150 delegates that attended the 10th Empowered Administrators Conference that took place off campus, from 21 to 22 September 2023. In his presentation, Mahlaba demonstrated to the delegates the not so new phenomenon, artificial intelligence (AI). Being aware of how controversial this phenomenon is, Mahlaba told the amazed and frightened delegates that AI was a force that would have to embraced. He went to town, explaining and demonstrating how AI works. The jaws of some delegates kept dropping. One of them Zakhele Nxumalo, from the MUT, even pointed now students would be able to use AI to write their assignments and said that was unethical. Mahlaba said there would have to be measures put in place to deal with those problems. But AI is here to stay and change lives, he said.

Mahlaba also highlighted that now it is an era of ‘data generation, and the data is the new gold”. “Every time you post something on social media, you are generating new data that is kept somewhere, and can be used by someone else at a later stage,” Mahlaba said. Mahlaba sounded the old waring to delegates – be careful of what you post because it can come back to bite you! Mahlaba also highlighted a need for delegates to keep learning new technology as it is what the future needs for an individual who must be effective in their jobs.  Mahlaba’s presentation made it clear to the delegates that they needed to have technology-driven solutions at their fingertips, and that distance now does not matter. All you need is a laptop and a mobile phone.

Acting DVC: Teaching and Learning wows delegates with his presentation on social quotient

Dr Manyane Makua

It would be safe for any delegate to guess that the highest point of the 2023 Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) was a presentation by the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Dr Manyane Makua. During the last hours of the first day – 21 September of the two-day conference, Dr Makua spoke to the full house about social quotient (SQ), which is also referred to as social intelligence.  Social quotient is defined as an ability to understand your own, and others’ actions, and from there you can take the steps that are necessary for the following – peace, constructive engagement, gaining of knowledge, free flow information, and generally making people feel good about themselves.

Dr Makua warned delegates that it is not always everyone that understands this scenario. He said in some cases the unexpected happens, much to the surprise of those who are affected. “In some cases, the people that are educated are the worst in dealing with others. Some have PhDs. You can’t wait to see their backs because they lack the required mannerism,” he said. Dr Makua said the usual trait of those people is being egocentric. “They constantly refer to themselves as ‘I’ and make themselves ‘good’ examples of everything.” He added that they look down upon others who do not show any care for other people’s emotions. He said such people rely on emotions and seek to strike fear upon others. They do not think, he said. They are mostly bullies. They choose not to listen to others with different points of view because they know they cannot cope in a civilised conversation. They do not have emotional intelligence, a trait that is so required, particularly are a workplace. He said that no matter how high, or low your level of education, everyone has an ability to acquire social quotient. “This is the stuff they don’t teach you at school,” Dr Makua said.

Dr Makua gave the delegates some tips on how to deal with such people, who can be part of their work environment. He said first you need to understand that such a behaviour is a weakness and should not be copied. It may be a defence mechanism, and those affected must develop a copying mechanism. Using himself as an example, Dr Makua said: “I am not going to shout at you because I am protecting my peace.” Dr Makua said you can choose to walk away from that situation. He implored the delegates to be thermostats that can gauge the situation and take the correct. decisions “There is power in walking away. There are certain things that are not worth it,” he said, adding that delegates must have an EQ (emotional quotient), s a different way to be smart, he said. Dr Makua told the delegates it was important not to let the bullies take away their power to control their emotions. He said they needed to have a strong will that would be able to resist the strength of the bullying party.  Again, using himself an example, he said no one influences his emotions because he is strong; he chose to retain his ability to control his emotions and his space.

Dr Makua’s message was largely brought home because of the seasoned public speaker that he is. Although he told the organisers of the conference, he would wish to be given an early slot next time, he was able to keep the delegates focused on his message from start to finish, and they were applauding him throughout the presentation.

EAC Convener and Founder promises a broader programme as she receives Vice-Chancellor’s suggestions

Mbali Mkhize

While the founding philosophy of the Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) has been to empower the office administrators, from 2023 henceforth, the conference is likely to broaden its scope. This was a suggestion by the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University, Professor Marcus Ramogale, a few weeks ago at the University’s Council Chamber when the University’s leadership was given an update on the Focus Conference, another flagship event.  Professor Ramogale is one of the staunch supporters of the University’s flagship events, of which the EAC is one.

Professor Ramogale said: “The time has come to broaden the EAC to become a comprehensive conference that includes every support service division which does administrative work. Some of these are PR, media relations, procurement, and any other support service that enhances organisational effectiveness and efficiency.”

The Acting Vice-Chancellor’s observation was informed by the fact that the EAC has been a constant source of information that is up-to-date and required on a daily basis. The Convener and Founder of the event, Mbali Mkhize, said they scan the scene to find out what information is required for the workers on the frontline. “My team and I see to it that the EAC programme contains topics that are relevant, and will empower the delegates,” said Mkhize. Mkhize added that they were “happy” to take the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s suggestion and will provide a programme that would accommodate what the Professor Ramogale has suggested.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor’s suggestions were warmly welcome by the DVC: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibiya and Mkhize. Professor Sibiya’s portfolio includes stakeholder management and nurturing, and information generation and dissemination. Referring to the impact of the two conferences, Professor Ramogale said that “success breeds success and this is the time to ride on this wave of success”.

EAC Awards relevant to every organisational values

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the EAC, the EAC team found greater meaning in conceptualising the awards alongside the MUT values which are: Accountability. Respect. Integrity. Excellence. “Office professionals need to embody these values and lead by example. The awards were opened to all the EAC delegates. The quality of the work submitted showed that organisational values are at the cornerstone of everything which the office professionals do”, said Jade Mthiyane as she introduced the awards.

Accountability award co-winners:

Zakhele Nxumalo – MUT, Senior Secretary, Dean’s Office: Faculty of Natural Sciences

Nokuthula Msimang – MUT, Secretary, Campus Health Services


Integrity award

Sushila Moodley – DUT, Executive Secretary, Office of the Vice-Chancellor.


Respect Award winner:

Nonhlanhla Duma, MUT Secretary, Biomedical Sciences


Excellence award

Winner: Renita Maharaj, UKZN, office of the Dean of School of Education.



Devagi Chandrapragasen – DUT, Secretary, Facu

Bongani Hlongwa – MUT, Secretary, Community Extension


Special agility award

Professor Marcus Ramogale, MUT Vice-Chancellor presented a special award to an office administrator whose submission encapsulated organisational values, outstanding performance, and sustained relations with internal and external stakeholders.

The winner is:

Sushila Moodley – DUT, Office of the Vice-Chancellor

MUT has another flagship event, weeks after the Focus Conference

20 September 2023


MUT has another flagship event, weeks after the Focus Conference

Encouraged by the support from the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Marcus Ramogale, the Department of Marketing and Communications is pleased to announce that it will run the Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) for the tenth time this year. The Founder and Convener of the event, Mbali Mkhize, said they were overjoyed as the event has been running for the past 10 years if one were to include the inaugural EAC. Mkhize said that she was more than content with how the event has impacted upon the multitudes of office administrators, largely from the higher education sector. “Yeah, it is true that most of the delegates that supported the EAC were from this sector, particularly in the first few years of the event’s history. But this situation changed over time. Now we have delegates from government, State-owned-Enterprises, and the private sector as well,” said Mkhize. Mkhize said the main reason for this change has been how the organisations regard the EAC. Mkhize said leaders of the organisations now believe that their office administrators benefit a lot from the attending the EAC.

Said Mkhize: “We have witnessed the office administrators’ professional lives changing because of the EAC. For instance, some office administrators have been promoted largely because of their added impact upon their organisations because of the lessons they learned from the EAC. At the University, we have witnessed this change, with colleagues getting promoted, and having their voices strengthened because now they know more, and their attitude is that of people that are sure-footed. One of the MUT staff that has been promoted is Bongiwe Dludla, who is now a Lecturer in the Department of Public Administration and Economics. Dludla used to be a secretary in the department,” said Mkhize. Also, Ntombikhona Khuzwayo, a former secretary in the University’s Teaching and Learning Development Centre (TLDC), is now a Learning Designer in the directorate. Mkhize said office administrators from other organisations, public and private, have also climbed the ladder because of the EAC.

Mkhize said the 2023 EAC would focus largely on how office professionals could become more agile, and be able to respond to situations, and also be pro-active. Some emerging topics include integrating stakeholder management and project management. Mkhize  gives reasons for these choices. “After Covid-19, office adminsitrators indicated that they were the ones that held the fort when everyne had to work from home. Some of these employees suffered from mental illeness. We don’t know how deep the problem is. But we do know that they need help because they were overwhelmed by work. This is the reason the organisers of the EAC decided to have a discussion on these areas. Delegates will be sectionalised;  and be given a chance to air their views,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize added that it has become imperative for the office administrators to learn project management. She said that office administrators administer projects on a daily basis; so project management is now a must for them. Mkhize also added that the EAC would continue to have technology as one of the topics to be presented. Everyone needs to know the latest trends in technology, she said. “We will give the office administrators what they need; technology is not a nice to have”, she said.

The EAC will also focus on issues on emotional quotient (EQ), Mkhize said. The conference will take place from 21-22 September 2023, at the Gateway Hotel, Durban. So far, more than 190 delegates from both higher education and the private sector have registered. Mkhize said they were expecting this number increase, with new and returning delegates.


Contact Bheki Hlophe on 082 432 1805


MUT VC and Principal pays personal tribute to late Prince Buthelezi

Dear All

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Leader I know and respect

As the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Mangosuthu University of Technology, I am saddened to inform you of the passing away of His Royal Highness, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The Founder of our University passed away early morning, on 9 September 2023. Prince Buthelezi was hospitalised for a while; a few days ago, he was released from hospital in Durban. This gave all of us at MUT some relief. We were all looking forward to be with him, and continue listening to his wise words. All the time we met HRH, we marvelled at how he related the history of his country, South Africa, and that of the Zulu nation. He was a fantastic storyteller; we will always remember him for that. We will also remember His Royal Highness for the foresight he had for the future of the country. Those of us that are old enough, will recall his efforts at showing how the future of South Africa should be, so that its people would enjoy their country in several ways; so that its people would be free from the apartheid bondage. He will be remembered for the KwaZulu/Natal Indaba project, with which he was showing how South Africa should be, so that it would be accepted by all nations of the world. If you look at the structures the govern the country, they show exactly what HRH was showing us. Such an effort called for bravery; for determination; for true leadership; for friendship; for unselfishness; for the real necessity to invest properly for the future.

Prince Buthelezi was an honest leader who clearly understood that honesty was the foundation of all kinds of relationships. It is the same honesty that allowed HRH to stand firm in his convictions and beliefs that one day South Africa would be free, and there would a place for all its citizens in the sun.

Prince Buthelezi’s leadership shone through during, and after the fall of apartheid, when he was one of the political leaders that all of us, irrespective of our political persuasions, would look upon to show the way. You will recall that President Nelson Mandela, our first democratically elected President, requested Prince Buthelezi to hold the reigns when he, President Mandela, was overseas. President Mandela looked up to Prince Buthelezi to help him with big issues that required proper leadership. On more than one occasion, President Mandela called Prince Buthelezi ‘My leader’, just as Prince Buthelezi, on many occasions, called Oliver Tambo his leader. This was not only reflection of Shenge’s connection to the African National Congress, but also a sign of respect that all these leaders had for each other.

The examination of Prince Buthelezi’s life is watching a real movie of a man, a leader that loved his country, and worked for it for so many years. Over these many years, Prince Buthelezi left his young children with their mother, MaMzila, Princess Irene, and ventured far to take care of affairs affecting either Zulu nation, or the larger country, South Africa. Many of us will recall Prince Buthelezi’s message at the funeral of Princess Irene, his beloved wife of so many years. HRH repeated the words Princess Irene would say as she bade him goodbye: Uhambe kahle. Uzinakekele. Go well. Look after yourself. These were powerful words from a woman who knew very early in their relationship that she was married to a man who was also married to his nation by birth and by necessity. God gave Princess Irene strength to look after their children who were all princes and princesses. God gave Prince Buthelezi strength, and wisdom to look after his nation.

Prince Buthelezi will also be membered for his love for nature. For Prince Buthelezi, animals were a sign from God Himself that the world would not be complete if the animals were not roaming the face of the earth like us, humans.

I would need days, or weeks to relate to you how the world not only respected Prince Buthelezi, but also benefited from wisdom. I would strong recommend that if you want to know about Prince Buthelezi’s relationship with the world and its leaders – both politicians and community and religious leaders, seriously consider visiting the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Documentation Centre in Ulundi. There you will find tons of material on this leader’s life.

There is no doubt that South Africa, and the world has lost a giant of a leader. Having said that, we must thank God for giving us such a wise leader. We must thank the Buthelezi family for borrowing us their father, their uncle, their grandfather. We must thank the late Queen for borrowing us her husband.

Lastly, I am must highlight the love that Prince Buthelezi showed to MUT. It was only health reasons that made Prince Buthelezi respectfully decline an invitation from MUT. There were not many of these; Prince Buthelezi was a strong and healthy individual who clearly looked after himself. On many occasions, Prince Buthelezi would clear his table and diary to meet MUT staff and leadership. I remember in 2019, when MUT celebrated 40 years of its existence. Prince Buthelezi, at 91 years of age, spent hours interacting with MUT staff and other guests, and posing for pictures on MUT main campus and the North Campus. Very late in the evening, after listening to a lecture that was dedicated to him, Prince Buthelezi also accepted an invitation from Umlazi’s Ntokozo Radio station for an interview. He did that in the name of MUT, which he called ‘MUT’ because for him, it was always an institution for the people which he decided should be built at Umlazi Township, which he called his ‘second home’.  Prince Buthelezi’s love for MUT was a greater love!

Prince Buthelezi’s passing is indeed a great loss.

Prince Buthelezi will also be remembered for his jokes. He was a great entertainer. Ask MPs in Parliament! He loved music. As we all know, he inherited that from his mother, Princess Constance, Magogo, Mathinti, Sibilile, Ngangezinye, Thombisile, who, like her son, lived a for a long time. She passed away in 1984, having been born in 1900.


Hamba Kahle Shenge



Mbabazane kamahaqa


Prince Buthelezi’s regiment was iNgangakazane (This is very important for a Zulu man. It was very common for Zulu warriors to ask each other – which regiment did you belong to? This is part of their identity.)


Message from the MUT Leadership on the Passing of His Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Press release statement

Submitted by:

09 September 2023

Message from the MUT Leadership on the Passing of His Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

This morning, shortly after 6h00, the country was officially informed by the President of the Republic of South Africa Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa of the passing away of his Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Founder of Mangosuthu University of Technology,
Traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu Nation, and Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi was also a mentor, friend, philanthropist, and father to many South Africans. He meant so many things to so many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family and children.

His passing has come as a shock to all of us because just last week we
rejoiced when he was discharged from hospital and he rejoined his beloved family. The community of Mangosuthu University of Technology is in grief.

On Sunday, 27 August, we – the staff and students of Mangosuthu University of Technology – celebrated his birthday on our MUT Radio, not knowing that the birthday messages he was receiving were to be his last. To his family, friends, MUT staff, MUT students and alumni, we say “Uwile umuthi omkhulu”, a big tree has fallen. The gigantic tree that Prince Mangosuthu was, spread its roots across South Africa and the entire African continent. When Prince Buthelezi established MUT in 1979 with just 15 students, he knew, as a visionary person, that this small institution would grow into a large educational organisation that would have the greatest impact on the poor and the marginalised. Today MUT has over 14,000 students and has produced more than 42,000 alumni who are employed across the world as industry and business leaders, as CEOs and as technical specialists in wide-ranging careers.

We thank God and the Buthelezi family for the gift that Shenge was. Prince Buthelezi was bold and knew how to use his network for the benefit of “abantu abampisholo”, meaning marginalised people and communities. He used this expression many times. It was indeed his compassion for the poor that impelled him to approach Sir Harry Oppenheimer of Anglo-American to provide seed funding for the establishment of MUT in 1979. Anglo-American continues even today to support MUT with student bursaries.

For our part, we are grateful that we were able to honour Prince Buthelezi when he was still alive at our 2022 graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Engineering, for his vision that led to the establishment of MUT with the Faculty of Engineering as a founding entity. Today MUT is a proud technological institution with a strong focus on Science, Engineering and Technology (SET). All of us have known uMntwana as a person who always wanted nothing but the best for MUT. He was like a father who provides the best for his children and stands there to watch in awe as the children exceed all expectations. When MUT received the “Excelleration Award” from the National Research Foundation (NRF) in 2021, in recognition of the excellence of its research and the accelerated speed with which the turnaround happened, Prince Buthelezi wrote:

“I am proud of what MUT has accomplished. More than that, however, I am excited by what this means for the future. Seeing MUT come this far, I know that it has the potential to go even further. With the investments being made in research, innovation, and technology at MUT, I have no doubt that there will be more awards like this, and with the investments that are being made in international partnerships, it is clear that MUT is a rising star.”

Prince Buthelezi’s last meeting with us was at the inauguration of our Chancellor Mr Sandile Zungu, on 17 March 2023 at MUT’s Seme Hall. We were happy to meet him, and he also seemed very excited. This event was attended by more than 200 industry captains, MUT alumni, and all strategic stakeholder groupings. At this event, he urged all of us to lead this University to greater heights. His plea has not fallen on deaf ears. We will ensure that MUT continues to grow in strength and stature so that his legacy is honoured and protected.
The University will organise its memorial service next week after having made arrangements with the family.

May Shenge’s soul rest in eternal peace. Lala ngokuthula, Mntwana wakwaPhindangene, uShenge, Sokwalise, Phungashe!

Shenge, Nqengelele kaMnyamana, Nandingamondi, Sondiya!

Submitted on behalf of
Mr Sandile Zungu, MUT Chancellor
Professor Lourens Van Staden (MUT Administrator),
Professor Marcus Ramogale, MUT’s Acting Vice-Chancellor & Principal


MUT Administrator deepens conversations with wide-ranging stakeholder groupings

Professor Lourens Van Staden

Professor Lourens Van Staden, MUT Administrator, has remained true to his first MUT pre-assessment assurances he made where he committed that he would engage key University stakeholders to canvass their views and perspectives on the conditions at the University that led to the appointment of multiple assessors and administrators by the Ministers of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

From 11-12 September, Professor Van Staden, together with his technical team will host a summit as part of implementing two items in the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for his appointment as detailed on the Government Gazette dated, 10 October 2022. Professor Van Staden stated in the invitation, “The purpose of this summit will therefore be:

  1. To solicit stakeholders’ recommendations on restoring proper governance and management (Administrator’s ToR [b]), and
  2. To inform the development and implementation of a 5-year development plan to address the problems and challenges identified in the Assessors’ and CHE reports (Administrator’s ToR [d])”.

In his invitation to all levels of management, the Institutional Forum, ConvExco, and organized labour, Professor Van Staden also reminded the invitees that, “The Council on Higher Education’s (CHE) Institutional Audit Report on Mangosuthu University of Technology is still outstanding. Once the final report is released by the CHE, I will reconvene the summit to factor in the findings and recommendations into the FIVE-YEAR development plan.”

Professor Van Staden added that the summit would be a safe space that would enable “freedom of expression and encourage robust engagement with the hard truths facing the University without the fear of recrimination or victimisation”. Professor van Staden  strongly encouraged all invitees to familiarise themselves with the Pityana/Favish and Staak Assessors’ Reports, the Administrator’s Terms of Reference and the MUT Strategic Plan and Student Enrolment and Efficiency Plan.

The Administrators’ Technical Team comprises of seasoned professionals who have many years experience between them in the fields of human resource management, financial management, audit and risk management. They are Dr Daya Naidoo, Moretlo Mokuele and Paul Slack.

Electrical Engineering staffer gets sixth ECSA appointment

Anil Lonappan

A University staff member has become a vital cog in the ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa) machine. Anil Lonappan, Lecturer in Department of Electrical Engineering, has several positions at ECSA. Now Lonappan has been appointed as an Endorsement Assessor of ECSA.  Lonappan has said that the scope of this present appointment will include reviewing of the Initial Evaluation Request; initial evaluation from Higher Education Institutes or Private Providers; comment on the initial evaluation request received; and re-review, if required, of resubmitted information by a provider. This is the sixth appointment for Lonappan by ECSA.

Presently Lonappan handles the portfolios of Assessor, Moderator, Reviewer, Evaluator, Trainer for ECSA’s peer review mechanism, and a member of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Audit and Review Panel of ECSA.  He also takes care of the portfolio of ECSA’s registration process of applicants.

Lonappan says that the expertise gained from ECSA “will help MUT to prepare well for the future ECSA accreditation visits. It is a feather to MUT’s cap to have a representation in ECSA’s core business activities”.


Enter EAC awards and stand a chance to win as we celebrate 10 years of unleashing the potential of the office administrator

Mbali Mkhize

From 21-22 September 2023, the University, together with office administrators, will be celebrating 10 years of the Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC). Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director of the Department of Marketing and Communications, and Convener and Founder of the EAC, said the focus of the 2023 EAC “is to build agile office administrators who rise to challenges and can strike a balance in their work, home, and life in general. An agile office administrator has a positive outlook on life and has a set of goals to achieve within a set timeframe and upholds the values of the organisation”. Part of this annual event will be awards that are based on the University’s values, which are Integrity, Respect, Accountability, and Excellence. Please visit  and enter the five awards if you qualify. Besides the excitement of winning one, or more of these awards, the organisers are using the awards to highlight the need for members of organisations to respect the values of their organisations. In her own words, Mkhize says the values are the foundation of an organisation. The closing date for entries for the awards is 15 September 2023. The organisers will follow the applicable guidelines, one of which is that the adjudication panel’s decisions will not be negotiated.

MUT CFO prepares line managers for the 2024 budgeting process

Rodney Delomoney

“The devil is in the detail,” were the words reiterated by MUT’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Rodney Delomoney on 4 September 2024 during a series of budget preparatory sessions.  The Finance department assembled line managers at the University’s Council Chamber for induction on processes to be followed as the University opened the budgeting process for the next financial year.  The CFO, accompanied by Mbukiso Zuma, the Deputy Director: Budgetary Services, told line managers that the main goal for the preparatory sessions was to provide all the requirements and guidelines so that the 2024 budget process becomes a seamless and less confusing process for the department heads.

At the centre of the budget planning sessions was providing clear expectations while equipping line managers with thorough detail on how to prepare departmental budgets, being mindful of various factors taken into consideration by the Budget Committee and Council when the University’s budget is being presented for approval.

The Finance team provided specific explanations on each type of budget allocation, which are: Employee cost; Capital budget; Revenue budget; Operating budget; as well as block grants. According to the CFO, as of next year, there will be centralisation of some budget items such as purchasing of IT software and hardware which must be submitted to the IT&N department. “Budgeting for furniture will be centralised through the Asset management office, while infrastructure needs will be managed by the Operations directorate.  This first category of budgets falls within the capital budget.   Secondly, employee costs, which include budgeting for vacant and new positions, and staff development remain within HR&D, but there should be consultation and agreement on the needs of each department.    “There should be no high-level budgeting, the devil is in the details.  The budgeting process starts with a plan, followed by costing for the plan.  When making budget submissions we expect that you provide as much detail as possible for each budget item, indicating the timing of when the budget is to be spent in line with the activities indicated in the plan,” the CFO said.

Several questions were fielded by the Finance team, which explained every step involved in the budgeting process.  Zuma outlined the timelines allocated for the budget season at MUT.  “Templates and guidelines will be available and accessible on the ITS system from 5 September 2023. We have listened to your request for more time and have allocated four weeks for you to complete and submit departmental budget requests for 2024.  The last day for the submission of the detailed departmental budget is 4 October 2023 to allow sufficient time for the next stages in the process.  The aim is to have the final budget approval before the December break,” said Zuma.

MUT collaborates with a crowd funding organisation to help students with debt

Tammy Green, second from left, seated, Andrew Kubone, third from left, seated, and Lindokuhle Mbatha, second from right, seated, and MUT and Feenix staff members

As one of the steps to generate a third-stream income, and chip away at the student debt, the university has decided to concretise its relationship with an organisation called Feenix. Tammy Green, Student Advancement Manager at Feenix, defines the organisation as “public benefit organisation that connects university students and communities to fundraise towards achieving debt free education”. The organisation was launched in June 2017 as a response to the #FeesMustFall movement. Andrew Kubone, the University’s Financial Aid Office’s Manager, said “the relationship between Feenix and MUT is growing very fast. It is a relationship between people who have a common understanding of the challenges faced by students at institutions of higher learning and are working together to make a difference. This relationship allows both parties to be innovative in creating new funding models”.  The two organisations are in a process of signing a memorandum of understanding soon.

Green said Feenix disbursed R2,682,292.81 towards MUT since it was formed. These funds were disbursed to the University which paid it to the students’  account. Green has more on how funding is done. “Our offering for students includes a secure crowdfunding platform, holistic student development support and potential bursary opportunities”.

Owing students should register their profile with the organisation. Green explains how: “Begin your fundraising journey now by inspiring, activating and rallying your community. Gather all your documents and information; Create your profile on  • Prepare and write your personal story • Upload a quality profile picture • Include a clear certified South African ID copy, and parents/guardian/ family member in the household ID number(s) • Also provide an official fee statement on the official university letterhead, not older than 30 days • Provide latest proof of registration.  Watch all the Feenix fundraising webinars on our Youtube channel while you wait for your profile to be made live.  After your profile has been made live, read through the First R100 Fundraising Guide, and see which fundraising method works for you.

Green said that at Feenix “we believe that fulfilling one’s potential should not be dependent on wealth, and that through promoting yourself and actively fundraising using your Feenix profile, you are able to motivate others to invest in your future and potentially graduate debt free”.

One of the beneficiaries of Feenix’s fundraising campaign is Lindokuhle Mbatha.   Mbatha says he joined Feenix after a conversation with a friend who told him about Feenix crowd funding. Now he has raised R134 761. 60 for himself. He was owing R231 683.15. Now he owes R96 921. 55. Mbatha is now looking for an in-service training for P1 and P2. In 2022 he finished his S4 in Electrical Engineering – Power Systems. Mbatha is now Feenix ambassador. He says he guides new recruits when they join with the organisation. Mbatha says Feenix is the answer to students that are owing their institutions larger sums of money “because Feenix believe that access to education should not be dependent on wealth. Feenix leaves this mark that everyone is connected to one another in an innovative way; it helps communities to grow together”.

Agriculture department staff share some vital research concerns with Research Professor in the faculty  

Professor Davies, second seated, with Department of Agriculture staff after the presentation

Like a seasoned academic and researcher that he is, Theo Davies, a Researcher Professor in the Faculty of Natural Sciences, said with conviction: “I implore you to give me the topics; I will help to populate it”, he said to staff members of the Department of Agriculture to whom he was giving a presentation on 5 September 2023 at the University’s Council Chamber. This was a continuation of a series of presentation that Professor Davies is giving to faculty members to help them to acquire their post graduate degrees, particularly  PhDs, and also so the faculty can be able to turn out DHET approved papers.

The presentation was on how to write a winning proposal for funding. This was not the first time that Professor Davies gave this presentation. He gave it to staff members of another department. But what was different about this presentation was that it resulted in a lively discussion wherein the staff members, all of whom are involved in research work or study, at different levels, got a chance to air their views and problems that are related to research.

Responding to Professor Davies’ highlighting of collaboration in research and other related activities, Dr Karabo Molomo said he was pushed aside at the last stages of a student’s Master’s studies. He had been the main supervisor of the student. Another staff member, Sandile Mthethwa, suggested that an agreement be signed to eliminate problems associated with student supervision at Master’s and PhD levels. To this, Professor Davies, and the Head of the Department, Dr Farayi Murungu, and the rest of the department staff members agreed. Staff members also informed Professor Davies about the challenges they had with their own research projects. For instance, they suggested that it would be much easier for them to deal with data and statistics related part of their research if there was an in-house data analysis and a statistician who would assist them. The staff members also said they needed help with time management, and that the ratio of research and workload was not helping them much.

Professor Davies’ recommendation about international funding was highlighted by Dr Kayode Fatokun.  Dr Fatokun said access to funding is very central to research projects. Hence, his presentation on how to access funding especially via international funding bodies will no doubt assist MUT staff in the writing of acceptable proposal for funding. Dr Fatokun said he got better insights into escaping some booby traps that may have lead to his application for research fund being denied.

Professor   Davies has advised staff to work in small  groups to work on topics. They need to set targets for papers that will accompany the proposal.  He also emphasized that he was available  for supervision of the  staff studying  post graduate  studies.