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