MUT Council re-instates chairperson after forensic investigation

Press statement: Bheki Hlophe, 082 432 1805                                             26 October 2020 For immediate release

MUT Council re-instates chairperson after forensic investigation

The Council of Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) has re-instated its chairperson, Mr Morailane Morailane after he was exonerated of any wrongdoing through a Council-commissioned forensic investigation by SNG-Thornton. Council deliberated on the final report and adopted it at its virtual meeting of the University Council held through Microsoft Teams on 23 October 2020.

In a statement to the MUT community, Interim Council Chairperson Dr Zethu Qunta explained that Council resolved that it “should invite back to Council, members of Council, such as the Chairperson of Council, whom the SNG-Thornton report has exonerated”. The investigation was commissioned to probe alleged corruption and irregularities at the University

Dr Qunta’s statement also added that the Acting Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Professor Marcus Ramogale will continue in his acting capacity.

“The university community and all stakeholders are requested to give the Acting Vice- Chancellor and his management team maximum support as they execute their duties and responsibilities,” said Dr Qunta.

ENDS

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

Statement on an incident where two individuals were allegedly stabbed at MUT

19 October 2020

For immediate release

Statement on an incident where two individuals were allegedly stabbed at MUT

On Sunday 18 October, the Mangosuthu University of Technology community woke up to the news of a near fatal incident in which two individuals were allegedly stabbed at a “University event” on Saturday. Because this was not a planned University event; it was difficult to even locate the University contact person who might have been at the forefront of planning the event.

The incident took place at the time when the University is busy with its semester examinations and continuous assessments. MUT is at the forefront of running various campaigns dissuading students from social gatherings and had thus suspended any form of social gatherings. It is unfortunate that such an unsanctioned soccer tournament took place at the university on Saturday, 17 October 2020

This matter is currently under investigation with the South African Police Services and a court case was today postponed to 27 October 2020. The University is also conducting its own internal investigation to establish what happened.

The University wishes the two individuals a speedy recovery.

Azwi Mufamadi (Mr)
Director Public Relations & Brand Management
Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 819 9417
E: mufamadi.azwi@mut.ac.za

 

 

MUT welcomes the last group of students back to campus

Press release                                                                                      25 September 2020

For immediate release

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805

MUT welcomes the last group of students back to campus

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) is ready to welcome the last group of students to the University while following the COVID-19 protocols.  Second year students are expected to arrive back on campus from 26 September 2020. The Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Dr Manyane Makua said that preparations were currently underway to welcome this group of students and to facilitate their safe return to residences and campus. “I am pleased to announce that the final group, which is our second year students, is scheduled to return to campus for the resumption of face-to-face teaching and learning activities,” said Dr Makua. Lectures for these students will commence on 1 October 2020.

Dr Makua added that only students who must attend lectures will be allowed to be on campus at any given time. According to Dr Makua, the students that require access to the library will be allowed to do so on a rotational basis.  The library will communicate access times to ensure the safety of students and staff at all times.

The second year students will be given orientation on COVID-19 protocols and regulations when they return to campus as part of MUT’s efforts to ensure that both staff and students are safe. This will be run from 28-30 September 2020. Further logistical arrangements will be communicated with the students as soon as they return to campus.

Ends

MUT hosts a public lecture to honour the contribution of nurses

Press release                                                                                      1 6 September 2020

For immediate release

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805

MUT hosts a public lecture to honour the contribution of nurses

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will host a Public Lecture to honour the contribution that nurses make to save lives in their day-to-day work and also during the Covid-19 pandemics. The public lecture comes at a time when the World Health Organisation declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in recognition of the vital role that nurses played this year as the world is battling the Coronavirus.

The Public Lecture is titled, Transformation Leadership in 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

“This Public Lecture is our way of reaching out to touch the lives of our people and bring those outside MUT closer to our campus in order that we may find ways as a collective to build the nation together. This is in line with MUT strategic goals, in particular Goal 4: Targeted national and international engagement,” said Prof Marcus Ramogale, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal at MUT. “This goal outlines MUT’s nation-building agenda. It is for this reason that we have chosen the theme of Transformational Leadership in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.”

The centrality of the role of nurses has been highlighted by stories of nurses selflessly putting their lives on the line to save the lives of those infected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The nurses were quick to adapt to the new ‘normal’ and contributed enormously in saving lives during the outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic. Teamwork, proactivity and innovation which have always been embedded within the nursing profession from time of Florence Nightingale, suddenly became more relevant to everyone; from household, boardroom, remote-learning and many other scenarios. In many respects, transformational leadership became the norm for all of us. We still need to talk loud and clear about transformational leadership and that is the reason why we have the Public Lecture to reiterate the need for transformational leadership,” said Prof Ramogale.

This virtual public lecture will be broadcast on 1KZN television (Channel 261, DSTV) on Saturday, 19 September 2020. During the recording, the media will get a chance to interview the speakers who are well-vest in the nursing profession and transformational leadership.

Heavyweight radio presenter and queen of the airwaves, Dudu ‘Lady D’ Khoza will facilitate the lecture proceedings. Belinda Lehnerdt, Nursing Manager at Netcare Umhlanga, will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way the health sector works. Dr Ntombizodwa Linda, Lecturer at the Department of Nursing Science (DNS) at the University of Zululand, will share the important lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic for training future nurses. MUT’s own award-winning researcher, Dr Maryam Amra Jordaan, will take the audience through the difficult journey of finding vaccines against global pandemics. The keynote speaker, Professor Betty Mubangizi will consider the implications for Transformational Leadership for the nurse and the mid-wife in the context of the urban – rural divide.

The Public Lecture will be recorded on Thursday, 17 September 2020, from 13h00 at the Pearls Capital Hotel in Umhlanga. This recording session will be followed by a press conference to give the media an opportunity to talk to the speakers before the lecture is broadcast on 1KZN.  Members of the media will be watching the lecture from another room as it is being recorded, and social distancing will be observed.

For more information on the speakers and the lecture visit,

https://www.mut.ac.za/publiclecture

 

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

 

MUT distributes learning material to second-year students

Press release                                                                                                  2 September 2020

For immediate release

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805

 

MUT distributes learning material to second-year students

 

As part of Mangosuthu University of Technology’s efforts to save the academic year, MUT will start distributing learning material to second-year students from its Bozzoli and Seme Halls from 3 to 7 September 2020. Students have been assigned Faculty specific days to collect learning material as part of the University’s efforts to enforce social distancing and to prevent congestion. The Faculty of Natural Sciences students will collect their learning material on 3 September; the Faculty of Management Sciences students will collect theirs on 4 and 5 September, while students in the Faculty of Engineering are set to collect on 7 and 8 September.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Dr Manyane Makua said that the University would courier learning materials to all students who are unable to collect their learning material on the stipulated dates. The second-year students are the only group of students that has not been allowed to return back to campus through the phased return. So far MUT has welcomed back clinical students, post-diploma and final year students, along with first-year students who returned to campus on 29 August 2020, to make-up the 66% of students allowed back in campus as per the Lockdown Level 2 guidelines.

First-year students are currently attending the COVID-19 orientation before they start face-to-face lectures on 3 September 2020.

Ends

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT not a high risk institution in terms of COVID-19 infections

Press release                                                                                                  27 August 2020

For immediate release

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805

 

MUT not a high risk institution in terms of COVID-19 infections

Mangosuthu University of Technology wants to put it on record that the Institution is not among six of the high risk universities in terms of COVID-19 infections and transmission, despite erroneous reports by eNCA and other media houses.

The erroneous news reports came after Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande through various media platforms provided measures in the post-school education and training sector during COVID-19 alert Level 2 on 26 August 2020.  In his report, the Minister provided a state of readiness for various higher education institutions to receive more learners onto their campuses.  MUT was announced as being within the six high risk institutions in relation to the provision of multi-modal remote teaching and learning.  The Minister’s announcement was a comment on the stage at which MUT is at regarding the provision of online teaching materials to our students based on the plans and reports that the Institution provided to the Minister.

It is unfortunate that despite, Dr Nzimande’s clear explanation that the classifications were based on reports by institutions on their operations and plans to complete the 2020 academic year, some media houses have proceeded to create a link between high risk and COVID-19 infections. MUT wants to reiterate that the high risk classification has no relation to the number of COVID-19 infections among MUT staff and students. MUT notes that the report has created an impression that the chances of being infected with COVID-19 were higher at MUT and the other five institutions, which is incorrect and deeply regrettable. What is more concerning is that these media houses did not bother to contact the university for comment on these erroneous stories or for an update on the Institution’s state of readiness as one would have expected.

As things stand, MUT has so far welcomed over 7000 students back to campus as part of the phased return to campus. Taking into account the many precautions and measures put in place to protect the lives of staff and students, the infection rate among our students has been very low.  Today we can report that only three MUT students were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19.  None of the reported student infections could be traced back to campus.  We are confident that all measures put in place are water tight to protect the lives of students while saving the academic year.

Ends

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT increases staff allowed back in the university to 66% 

Press release                                                                                                  25 August 2020

For immediate release

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805

MUT increases staff allowed back in the university to 66% 

In response to the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the country is now under Level 2 of Lockdown, Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) has made adjustments to the number of staff allowed to be on campus at the same time. MUT is now going to add another 33% to the number of staff allowed to be on campus at the same time. This is according to the guidelines from the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, which permits higher education institutions to bring back 66% of their staff members to their campuses under Lockdown level 2.

The acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Resources and Planning, Dr Johan van Koller, issued a request to all Heads of Departments, Directors and Managers to ensure that the percentage of staff is increased accordingly as of Wednesday, 26 August 2020. “Notwithstanding this arrangement, the principle still stands, that, those staff members who are able to perform all their required duties effectively from home, could continue to do so, provided that their respective line managers have agreed to that arrangement,” said Dr van Koller.

Dr van Koller added that the University would continue to observe the Covid-19 safety protocols and ensure that the required PPEs are available for all returning staff members.

The University has also allowed first-year students to return from 29 August 2020. First-year students will be given the required orientation to remind them of protocols to follow to protect themselves from COVID-19. They will resume face-to-face learning on 3 September 2020.

Ends

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT first-year students return to the University in September

Press statement: Bheki Hlophe, 082 432 1805

24 August 2020

For immediate release

MUT first-year students return to the University in September

Upon receiving advice from the Department of Higher Education & Training, the University’s Executive Management Committee (EMC) has resolved to return its first-year students in the beginning of September 2020.

In a communication to campus, Dr Manyane Makua, Acting Senior Director: Teaching and Learning at MUT, informed the University community that the  Institution was expecting first-year students to return to campus from 29 August 2020. As part of the preparations for the return of students, the University continues to put systems in place to ensure the seamless and safe return of first-year students. Student permits will be ready by 28 August 2020.

Dr Makua also said that the university had made arrangements to orientate students to COVID-19 procedures. From 26 to 28 August 2020, first year students will receive training on Covid-19 protocols and regulations. Further training (face to face) will take place at the University’s Bozzoli and Seme Halls from 31 August – 2 September 2020.  The training will take place in groups of 50 students at a time in line with social distancing regulations. The students who would have missed the face-to-face training will be given online training via Microsoft Teams on Thursday and Friday of the same week.

Face-to-face lectures will commence on 3 September 2020. First-year students will be able to collect their printed learning materials from Bozzoli and Seme Halls from 31 August to 4 September 2020. Further logistics will be communicated to students as soon as they return to residences.

Second-year students will return later as determined by government’s Lockdown regulations. These students will be assisted to participate in teaching and learning activities through the University’s various platforms. Printed materials have been prepared for distribution or collection on dates to be announced soon.

ENDS

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT graduate nominated for UK awards 

Press release                                                                                                  2 August 2020

For immediate release

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805

MUT graduate nominated for UK awards 

Presidential Youth Working Group nominee and 2020 MUT graduate, Bright Hlongwane has been nominated for the Prestige Awards. His colleagues in the Isimangaliso Group, a consultancy and media marketing communication firm based in the Durban CBD, nominated him in response to an invitation from Cooperate Live Wire, a London based organisation that is organising the Prestige Awards in South Africa and overseas. Bright was nominated for sterling efforts in youth business participation. Cooperate Live Wire saw his profile online.

Cooperate Live Wire wants to use the Prestige Awards to recognise the efforts of young entrepreneurs put in the economic development of their countries. Young Bright fits into this profile. “I feel very excited and proud to know that our strides as young South African entrepreneurs are known and recognised abroad,” said Bright.

Bright said the Cooperate Live Wire came to know about his efforts through online platforms. “Cooperate Live Wire sent us an invitation upon seeing my profile online. They invited us to take part in the nomination,” he said. The event is planned to take place towards the end of the year, or early in 2021 in London, UK, but it will all depend on the coronavirus trajectory.

At MUT, South Africa and beyond, Bright is known as a staunch advocate of entrepreneurship. During Youth Day (June 16) 2020, he was on Ukhozi FM and eTV News, talking about how important it was that the country’s youth got involved in business as job creators, not job seekers. In 2017, Bright attended the Advanced Entrepreneurship Programme at Stanford University in the United States. At the time, Bright said that he would share the knowledge and expertise he gained with his peers.

Bright was among the 2539 MUT students who graduated virtually in June. He graduated with a Diploma in Public Administration.

End

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT graduate’s wood and coal business fires up 

Press release                                                                                                  2 August 2020

For immediate release

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805

 

MUT graduate’s wood and coal business fires up 

On several occasions while addressing the University staff and students, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Marcus Ramogale bemoaned the fact that no graduate should see themselves as job seekers but as work seekers, “there might be no jobs but there is plenty of work, our graduates would succeed if they focus on finding work,” said Prof Ramogale.

Njabulo Mabaso, class of ‘19 is one such graduate who has heeded Professor Ramogale’s call. His impatience while waiting for responses from prospective employers has resulted in him becoming a business man in his province. He started a business of selling wood and coal.

The 26-year-old Njabulo, who had started a number of businesses and failed, spotted a gap and acted on it.  As far as his current business goes, it all started in May this year. “We had wattle woods in the household. I told my siblings I was selling those woods for us to get money to buy bread. Like everybody, we also use the woods for cooking and to keep ourselves warm,” said Njabulo.

The family has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. There was no source of income. Njabulo himself lost his internship because of the virus. The new venture was the step that gave Njabulo a chance to show his mettle.  “I sold almost six wheelbarrows in a week. That was my first success,” said Njabulo. Soon the family needed to make some important adjustments. “We decided to sell the family bakkie to buy a truck so we could sell more wattle woods. Soon I added coal in my stock that I sell in the township.”  Njabulo gets wattle woods from three local farms, and coal from the coal mines around Ermelo.

Taking lessons from his failed business ventures, Njabulo has a plan to ensure that his current initiative does not suffer the same fate as others he had before. “I want to take advantage of digital space to grow my business. I will use Google and social media to promote it. I will also lease stands around Ermelo where my target market will reach my product.  This will also ease my delivery costs,” said Njabulo.

Njabulo said he was planning to sell the wood to some of the big chain stores in the area but was still finalising the branding of his products. He said social media have been instrumental in reaching his target audience.  “I decided to post at least three messages a day on Facebook using humorous status about my product. This helps to engage my customers, and bring awareness about what I sell,” said Njabulo.

Ends

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT goes even bigger in its fight against Covid-19

Press statement: Bheki Hlophe; 082 432 1805                                             29 July 2020

For immediate release

MUT goes even bigger in its fight against Covid-19

As the numbers of people infected by the coronavirus continues to rise in South Africa, Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) has decided to intensify its efforts to raise awareness of the pandemic and to spread the message of how to prevent it.  MUT has erected a billboard on COVID-19 at its Natural Sciences campus to reach as many people as possible in Umlazi Township.

The billboard, which was erected this week, is meant to amplify the message of taking the necessary precautions to the University community and residents of Umlazi Township. The billboard adds to the efforts of the University’s Covid-19 Task Team (CTT), which has been hard at work ensuring that the lives of staff and students are protected as the University pursues its quest to save the academic year.

Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director, Department of Marketing and Communications, said that although MUT had limited resources, the billboard was a necessary to amplify the seriousness of the coronavirus. “We decided to not only target our staff, students and those who follow us on social media, but we wanted to intentionally use a platform that would send the message directly to the people of Umlazi Township, where we are located. This is our way of reminding the people of Umlazi Township that their fate and ours are bound together, and that we have a deep commitment to our community.”

The billboard comes at a time when MUT is in the second week of lectures for final year students (33% of its student population), who returned to campus as part of the phased approach since South Africa has been moved to Level 3 of the national Lockdown. This period of relaxed Lockdown regulations has also been characterised by the skyrocketing of COVID-19 daily infections, with the country’s metropolitans fast becoming epicentres of the pandemic.

“The University continues to do all that is required of it and more to save lives, first and foremost, and to save the academic year,” said Mkhize. “Each individual needs to also play their part in keeping themselves and their families safe against COVID-19.”

MUT has also made masks and sanitizers available to all staff and students who have returned to campus. Social distancing markers have been placed in all key entrance and service locations (including classrooms and residences). In addition to these measures, staff and students are screened by security before they are granted access to campus.

ENDS

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT reinvigorates its safety strategy as 33% of students return to campus

Azwi Mufamadi – 078 528 6065

13 July 2020

For immediate release

MUT reinvigorates its safety strategy as 33% of students return to campus

This morning, Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) welcomed 33% of its student population (final-year undergraduate students) back to campus to complete their academic year as part of the University’s phased return of students. The University has also ramped up its COVID-19 safety strategy to protect staff and students as part of its campaign to Save lives. Save the academic year.

This group of final-year undergraduate students is the largest cohort of students to return to the university at once since government declared a national Lockdown in March. Their return to MUT comes at a time when the country’s infections are rising exponentially and averaging 12,000 new infections daily. In response to these rising infections, MUT has set aside this week (13 – 17 July) for orientating and training students on the health protocols they are required to adhere to as part of the strategy to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

“We would like all our students to be up-to-date on how to protect themselves and how to circumvent COVID-19 infections,” said Professor Marcus Ramogale, Acting Vice-Chancellor & Principal of MUT. “It is therefore important for students to avail themselves for the orientation and training.”

The University has also made masks and sanitizers available for staff and students to collect from the Campus Protection Services. MUT Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Resources and Planning, Dr Johan van Koller explained that one of the wardens on Main Campus would
collect masks and sanitizers for students in main campus residences while the Head of Residences would arrange to send to students residing in external residences.

Dr Van Koller further explained that “students staying in privately managed residences, as well as those not staying in residences, must collect their PPE directly from Protection Services”. Students will complete a register confirming that they have been issued with masks and sanitizers.

Further to making PPEs available, MUT will continue to remind students of the three key protocols to observe if they are to remain safe from the Coronavirus. These are: always wear your mask; maintain a 1.5 metre social distance; and washing hands with soap for 20 seconds, or use a sanitizer if water is not available. Social distancing markers have been placed in key areas where groups of people are
expected, these areas include lecture venues, the library and other strategic spaces. The university has also placed posters across the campus reminding students and staff of the various protocols to keep themselves and others safe.

ENDS

Reopening of MUT in line with the Department of Labour regulations

Press statement: Bheki Hlophe; 082 432 1805                                             27 June 2020

For immediate release 

Reopening of MUT in line with the Department of Labour regulations

Further to the clinical studies students, and staff that were allowed back to the University from 17 June 2020, the University has taken a decision to allow more students and more staff back. This return, which began on 25 June 2020, will be done in line with the Department of Labour regulations, and other applicable guidelines. This is a continuation of the phased-in approach which will also allow students back to the residences.

The first phase included the return of all EMC members, COVID-19 Task Team members, some essential staff members and the academic staff from Biomed, as well as the final year Biomed students. Professor Marcus Ramogale, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, said the return of these categories of staff and students has been treated with precaution in line with the framework developed by the University’s COVID-19 Task Team.

The second phase of the return to campus started with effect from 25 June 2020, and involved the bulk of the University staff and students. Some sections of staff that returned were additional staff from essential service departments such as Finance, Human Resources and Development, Information Technology and Networks, and Operations. Also, all heads of departments, library staff, Department of Marketing and Communications staff, academic staff, among others, have returned. However, heads of department have been requested to submit plans for the segmentation of the days on which their staff will be physically in the offices as they are not allowed to be in the same place in large groups. This is a shift approach, as Professor Ramogale put it. This approach, with respect to both staff and students, will ensure that the 33% regulation is adhered to, as required by the Department of Labour and DHET. This essentially means that some of the staff members still have to work from home. All post-diploma students (e.g. Advanced Diploma; BTech and Postgraduate students); will be allowed to return to campus and residences from Sunday, 28 June 2020. Their lectures should start with effect from 1 July 2020.

Professor Ramogale further stated that in line with the health regulations, staff members who have any pre-existing health conditions (comorbidities), immunocompromised, severely obese (BMI of 40 and above) and those who are 28 weeks pregnant as indicated by the Department of Health will be allowed to work from home, on condition that the staff member has provided the Occupational Health Nurse, Sr. Gasa with a medical report from their respective medical practitioners which confirm their condition. “However, in instances where staff members with comorbidities are unable to effectively execute their functions from home, or where it is essential for them to be on campus to execute critical functions, the exemption principle as allowed by the Department of Health will be applied,” said Professor Ramogale.

Professor Ramogale also stated that all the required personal protective equipments (PPEs) as prescribed by the exemption principle, will be provided to such staff members. The same principle will apply to staff members who are over the age of 60 and where it is feasible to do so, he added. Professor Ramogale also assured staff of their safety. He said that the University had undertaken risk assessments that would ensure that the staff and students were safe. “We are all duty-bound to save lives as well as to save the academic year,” he said. The Acting Vice-Chancellor also paid tribute to essential services staff “that put in an exceptional effort to keep the University going from date of Lockdown to this date.”

 

            ENDS

 

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

2484 to be capped at MUT’s virtual graduation

22 June 2020

For immediate release 

2484 to be capped at MUT’s virtual graduation

A total of 2484 graduands will be capped at this year’s Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) virtual graduation. This graduation will also include the capping of three Master’s students along with other 372 post-diploma graduands.

This year’s graduation which usually takes place virtually can be accessed through www.mut.ac.za/virtualgraduation on 27 June. In a communication to graduands, MUT Registrar, Mike Naidoo informed graduands that the University had opted for a virtual graduation to enable students to receive their qualifications.

“Under normal circumstances you would have graduated in person at the University but given the challenges the country is facing right now we are affording you an opportunity to a virtual graduation ceremony due to the social distancing requirements. For you to receive your graduation certificate the Chancellor needs to announce as follows: ‘I declare that the candidates whose names appear on the programme have complied with the requirements for the award of the Diplomas and Degrees’,” said Naidoo.

The ceremony will start with constituting the congregation and introductory remarks by MUT Chancellor, Lindiwe Sisulu (MP), who was the first to send in her recorded message. Sisulu’s introduction will be followed by an address by the Acting Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Professor Marcus Ramogale. The conferral of qualifications will follow immediately after Professor Ramogale’s address; while Sandile Dlamini, President of Convocation, addresses graduands after the conferral of qualifications. Sisulu will then dissolve the congregation. As if to give graduands a send-off they will remember, the last dance will follow after convocation president’s address.

The University will make arrangements for students to receive their qualifications and/or academic record after the virtual graduation.

“Immediately after the virtual graduation ceremony, certificates and the academic records will be posted to graduates who are in good financial standing with the University. Nonetheless, academic records will be posted to all graduates,” said Naidoo.

                                                                                                                        ENDS

 

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT ready to welcome staff and students in line with Department of Labour regulations

Press statement: Bheki Hlophe; 082 432 1805

13 June 2020

For immediate release 

MUT ready to welcome staff and students in line with Department of Labour regulations

Mangosuthu University of Technology will welcome staff and students back to campus on 17 June as part of the “Save Lives. Save the Academic Year” in line with the Department of Labour regulations.

In communications to both staff and students; Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Marcus Ramogale said: “I would like to announce that MUT is ready to commence a phased-in return to campus for students. This was not an easy decision but the reassurance we have as EMC (Executive Management Committee) makes us confident that we will be safe”.

Professor Ramogale explained that the return to campus for students will happen as follows:

  1. From 17 June, about 65 Biomedical students doing their final year will be welcomed back so that they may complete their clinical training.
  2. Upon their return, they will be provided with the requisite PPE: masks and hand sanitizers will be available at every point of entry.
  3. The Biomedical students will also receive digital information on how to keep safe against COVID-19 on campus, home, community and while in transit.
  4. During the first week, the Biomedical students will receive intensive training on hygiene, social distancing and learning to adapt to the new norm.
  5. All the Biomedical sciences students that would be returning will be issued with permits from the Office of the relevant Faculty Dean.
  6. Biomedical students that reside in residences will be allocated in one unoccupied residence on campus.
  7. All residential students will only arrive on campus on 17 June regardless of where they were previously residing. Thereafter; the University will provide transport to take them to pick up their belongings from external residences.
  8. From 01 July, we will welcome all post-diploma students and will issue similar protocols on how they should return to campus.

For staff members the return to MUT will entail the following:

  1. From 17 June; Executive Management, COVID-19 Task Team members and selected staff members who have been identified by their line managers will be expected to report for duty.
  2. Upon their return, staff will be provided with the requisite PPE: masks and hand sanitizers will be easily accessible at every point of entry.
  3. Staff members will also receive digital information on how to keep themselves safe against COVID-19 at work, home, community and while in transit.
  4. About 65 students from Biomedical sciences will be back on campus and will spend the first week receiving intensive training on hygiene, social distancing and learning to adapt to the new normal.
  5. The Biomedical students who resided in our various outsourced residences, will be provided with accommodation in one of the unoccupied residences on campus.
  6. We are working hard preparing to welcome the next cohort of staff and students from 01 July. Between now and July, we would have undertaken intensive risk assessments such as ensuring that water is available, creating social distancing protocols and ensuring that there is proper ventilation.
  7. All staff members that would be returning need to ensure that they have applied for permits through their respective line managers.
  8. The Human Resources & Development Department will prepare a self-declaration form to be filled in by those people that got sick during the Lockdown and for people that are in the vulnerable group as defined in the regulations by Department of Labour .

“We have done our best to assess all health protocols and guidelines in line with the legislation,” said Professor Ramogale. “Please let us join hands in saving lives and saving the academic year.”

ENDS

 

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

 

MUT drives a campaign to save lives and the academic year as Level 3 of Lockdown kicks in

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805                                                                         4 June 2020

For immediate release

 

MUT drives a campaign to save lives and the academic year as Level 3 of Lockdown kicks in

As part of its total package for the preparations for the reopening of the University, the Mangosuthu University of Technology has crafted a campaign by which it will drive the efforts to save lives and the rest of the 2020 academic year. Announcing the campaign to staff and students, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Marcus Ramogale explained the rationale for the campaign.

“As we charge ahead with opening our campuses on 17 June 2020, I wish to commit all of us to this theme of ‘saving lives and saving the academic year’. It is our fervent aspiration to ensure that we save lives while saving the academic year,” said Professor Ramogale.

Professor Ramogale said the campaign was the University’s response to the recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa was moving to level 3 of the Lockdown which allows the country’s higher education institutions to reopen, but continue to adhere to certain restrictions, the most important of which was to bring back only 33% of their students.

In terms of University’s readiness for reopening, Professor Ramogale indicated that the University had scored some developments with regard to the Teaching and Learning project plans, which are the remote Multimodal Teaching, Learning and Assessment Plan (MTLAP), and the Campus Readiness plan. Both these plans have been developed to ensure that all necessary logistics were put in place in time for the reopening of the University.

Multimodal Teaching, Learning and Assessment Plan (MTLAP)

Professor Ramogale said that this was a comprehensive plan that would ensure that all the students were catered for in terms of the call from Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Science and Innovation, that no student was left behind. MUT has developed remote Multimodal Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Plans, which are currently awaiting the Minister’s approval, and that their details would be communicated to staff and students. The MTLAP is intended to cater for the following categories of students:

  • Students who are unable to work effectively at home under Lockdown conditions, for a range of reasons.
  • Students who do not have access to devices and cannot engage in any form of online or digital learning.
  • Students who may have devices but do not have data and/or connectivity to enable participation in online learning opportunities but could engage in digital learning if electronic material is made available.
  • Students who have devices, data, connectivity and conducive study conditions and can participate in online learning opportunities.
  • Students living with disabilities are part of all the groups described above and multimodal plans also cater to their needs.

Professor Ramogale also announced that there was a comprehensive project plan which would be implemented in line with the phased reopening of the University, the details of which would be communicated by academic Deans in the three faculties – Engineering, Management Sciences, and Natural Sciences.

The elements of the project plan are:

  • The revision of the academic calendar;
  • Procurement of student laptops as announced by the DHET;
  • Distribution of printed learning materials and USBs to students;
  • Facilitation of the phased return of students; and
  • Catch-up interventions during the full return of all students to campus according to the previous degree of engagement with learning materials.

The Remote Multimodal Teaching, Learning and Assessment Plan (RMTLAP)

Professor Ramogale also announced that the Remote Multimodal Teaching and Learning Plan would be implemented in two phases, which are remote multimodal teaching and the phased return of students until all students were able to return to campus. The projection was that all students would return to campus by September 2020, depending on national COVID-19 regulations and related protocols.

The implementation of the RMTLAP will start on 1 July 2020. “Staff members who require access to their offices to facilitate the uploading of teaching and learning materials will be granted a three-day window period to do so,” said Professor Ramogale. Professor Ramogale said that teaching and learning materials would be available on Blackboard from 1 July 2020. Students without access to digital platforms will receive study packs. The University will conduct a survey to determine students’ needs, verify their learning conditions and delivery addresses so it could mail the study materials to students.

COVID-19 Campus Readiness

Professor Ramogale announced that the University’s COVID-19 Task Team was looking into all health protocols, guidelines, and legislation in preparation for the safe return of staff and students. “Systems and processes are being put in place so that when staff and students return to campus, everyone should all be on the same mission, which is: Save the academic year and to save lives, said Professor Ramogale. He added that the University management had commenced developing concrete plans in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus,” said Professor Ramogale.

Currently, University access is only limited to the staff members performing work classified as essential for the University to function.

ENDS

 

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT introduces Work Readiness Programme to strengthen its WIL programme

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805                                                                         3 June 2020

For immediate release

MUT introduces Work Readiness Programme to strengthen its WIL programme

While some other South African higher education institutions are considering scratching work-integrated learning (WIL) as part of their academic offering, MUT has decided to forge ahead, and strengthen its WIL programme. The Department of Cooperative Education at MUT has, among others, added a Work Readiness Programme as a prerequisite for the practical WIL component.

“The Work Readiness Programme is now timetabled and is included in the academic system of qualifications that have a WIL component. This year we have already trained 245 students. Some training is still pending as a result of the early closure of the University,” said Lindiwe Myende, who is driving this initiative at the Department of Cooperative Education.

Myende said that the Work Readiness Programme is a 15-week programme that prepares students for the world of work. Its curriculum covers job search strategies, CV writing, interviewing skills as well as soft skills. The practical element of the Work Readiness Programme, the Employability Improvement Program (EIP), is a direct response to concerns by employers about students’ lack of soft skills, which impacts on their employability. Just like WIL, the EIP integrates soft skills theory training into practice.

In terms of CV writing, the department has introduced CV Clinics. These are consultation sessions which are offered to students as they begin to write up their CVs in preparation for their WIL placement. The CV Clinics help the students to package their skills for potential employers to notice. The Work Readiness Programme has a simulation component that teaches students teamwork, and solving problems as a collective. The programme also teaches students how to manage time, contributing to company productivity by identifying and avoiding resource wastage. This is part of the kaizen-based Japanese philosophy of production.

The department has connections with a Japanese organisation, JICA (Japan International Cooperative Agency), whose ethos is to drive production without wastage. Its philosophy is, “only get what you need when you know when to use it”. That way the amount of resources needed is properly measured, and there is no time and money wasted.

Work Readiness was originally launched in 2011 through a partnership between JICA and the Department of Higher Education and Training. It was first piloted at MUT in 2012 and was rolled out in 2016, resulting in the training of about 700 students. In 2017 a process began to institutionalise it and make it an eligibility criterion for entry into the practical WIL component.

“Between 2018 and 2019, we trained about 2000 students,” said Myende

The programme’s objective is to shift the mind-set of students from campus life to the world of work. It is designed to enhance sought-after skills that the employers are looking for in future employees. Most of the students who are in the programme are those with a WIL component as part of their qualification.

“But we haven’t excluded those without a WIL component. Through the simulation, students are given the platform to enhance and practice their soft skills while acknowledging their weaknesses and identifying their strengths.  It also gives them the platform to learn by doing, thus applying the ‘what into how’ principle. In this way, they learn to enhance their understanding of a good work ethic, as well as improve their behavioural skills and personal characteristics,” continued Myende.

The other aspect of the training is that the students are taught the importance of organisational structures and communication channels. Myende said the training has enabled the students to see the bigger picture and to think outside the box.

“They now know that being in the workplace is not only about doing your duties and getting paid, but also about being productive, solving problems, managing time, working in teams, being creative, thinking logically and critically, and also demonstrating leadership skills,” said Myende.

ENDS

MUT prepares to reopen on 17 June 2020

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) is set to reopen its doors to staff and students on Wednesday, 17 June 2020 in line with the restrictions imposed on the higher education sector.

In a communication to the University community, Professor Marcus Ramogale, Acting Vice-Chancellor at MUT, informed staff and students that the MUT management has decided that:

  • University will re-open on 17 June 2020, for one-third of staff members, both administrative and academic. Administrative and academic HoDs will be requested to identify these staff members in accordance with their departmental work plans and priorities.
  • Clinical training students will also return on 17 June 2020.
  • Exit level students, who will be identified by respective HoDs and the Registrar, will return on 1 July 2020.
  • Other students will return as the country moves into Levels 2 and 1.

Professor Ramogale explained that the decision on reopening was a result of plans submitted by the Remote Learning Task Team and the COVID-19 Task Team which were both approved by the University’s Executive Management Committee.

“The purpose of the plans developed by the task teams is to restore our academic programme and to prepare for your safe return to campus,” said Professor Ramogale. “Saving the academic year and protecting all of you against getting infected with the Coronavirus is of great importance to us.”

The university is busy concluding its final preparation before staff and students gradually return back to the University and its residences.

MUT athletics coach wins KZN Coach of the Year award

When Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) appointed Xolani Mabhida in January 2020 as coach for athletics, they knew they had caught a big fish whose reputation precedes him. His track record of success is just what the University needed to support its commitment to developing sports as one of the Institution’s strength.

Xolani knew from the onset that he needed a plan to improve the performance of his young athletes, while also rewarding them for their hard work and commitment. His plan for MUT athletes was to start small, and build up. He would do this by having a short race on Friday and reward the winners with medals. Students are happy to receive such recognition. “They like to have immediate rewards. This encourages them.  I would be happy to produce two or more athletes that will win at national level, and come back and influence others with the professional behaviour. I want to share my experience with MUT athletes,” said Xolani.

Sport Officer of MUT, Bongile Ganyile said the University was proud to have somebody of Xolani’s caliber. “Xolani has proven that his coaching skills are at an international level. His work has been recognized nationwide. He has produced a Comrades Marathon winner,” said Bongile.

Bongile said that students were fortunate to have Xolani as their mentor and that his experience and successes as a coach would instill a winning culture in the university’s athletes.

Xolani’s successes include being the first South African young coach to win back-to-back ultimate marathon with Bongumusa Mthembu. Under the guidance of Xolani, Bongumusa won the 2017 and 2018 Comrades Marathon. Bongumusa is known as the ‘King of the Two Oceans Marathon’.

Xolani’s athletes have won gold and silver across a number of athletics categories. He coached a South African team that won gold in Nigeria in 2019, and silver in Croatia in 2018. The 2018 success saw Xolani win silver in the Coach of the Year title at the KwaZulu-Natal Sports Awards; second to then Maritzburg United FC Coach, Fadlu Davids.

It came as no surprise when Xolani took the Coach of the Year crown in November 2019 at the KwaZulu-Natal Sports Awards. “In 2018 I was second after Fadlu,” said Xolani. “In 2019 I expected to win the first prize.”

The award cemented Xolani’s place at the top of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial coaching hierarchy, in recognition of his athletes’ impact on internationally significant races such as the Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans Marathon.

Xolani is a qualified AFF coach with Level 3 coaching certificate.  He is qualified as a middle and long distance coach.

 

Electricity consumption to increase at homes due to Lockdown – MUT senior lecturer

Press statement: Bheki Hlophe –  082 432 1805                                           4 May 2020

For immediate release

Electricity consumption to increase at homes due to Lockdown – MUT senior lecturer

The national Lockdown that South Africa is currently experiencing will, according to MUT Electrical Engineering Senior Lecturer, Dr Papy Numbi, have a negative impact on household electricity consumption.

The rise in household electricity consumption could have a major impact on the electricity load, given South Africa’s history of load shedding of electricity during the high consumption winter season.

Dr Numbi, whose research focuses on alternative renewable energy sources to electricity, said that households can expect their electricity consumption to increase as a result of family members being at home throughout the day for the extended period.

“The increase in the electricity consumption is due to our behavioural change, which has impacted our load (electricity consumption) profile. In the past (during normal situations), most energy consumption occurred during the morning peak hours (say from 05h00 to 07h00), when we need hot water and cooking before going to work, and during the early evening (say from 17h00 to 20h00) after work, when we need cooking, hot water, air conditioning and watch TV,” said Dr Numbi.

Dr Numbi said that staying at home 24 hours a day has changed the consumption profile.  Most electricity consumption does not occur in the morning and early evening anymore, but it also happens during the day as many individuals take advantage of the time they have at their disposal as a result of the restriction of movement. “One maybe want to watch TV from morning till night, one can now cook several times, one can now be in need of hot water for many hours,” said Dr Numbi.

The biggest household electricity consumers, according to Dr Numbi, are air conditioner, geyser, stove and pool pump. But this does not mean that the other smaller items will not add a dent to the household consumption.  “Small electricity consumers such as lights can also lead to high electricity consumption if these are left ON for long hours, especially during this period where all family members stay home for 24hours,” explained Dr Numbi.

But there are behavioural changes that we can introduce to reduce our household consumption. For cooking, Dr Numbi suggests cooking once a day. “One can cook a lot of food in the morning, keep in the fridge and warm it whenever needed. This will save electricity cost of using the stove,” he said.

As for cooling and heating the house, Dr Numbi advises: “Open your windows and doors to allow fresh and cool air into the house and try to switch OFF the air-conditioner to save electricity cost. If you have a fan, use this rather as it consumes less power. Also, avoid using your heater as much as you can. You can always use a good blanket to warm yourself up, during the night.”

In terms of heating water for household use, Dr Numbi suggests an hour for a family of three and two hours for a family of more than three. “Use a programmable digital timer to switch ON your geyser automatically, only from 06h00 to 07h00 for a household of three people, and from 06h00 to 08h00 for a household of more than three people,” he said. “If need be, switch ON your digital timer manually in the evening for an hour.”

The pool pump should only be switched on when needed, and incandescent lights should be replaced by compact fluorescent lights and switched OFF during the day, advises Dr Numbi. “Always keep your fridge closed,” he said.

Being vigilant with electricity usage could save households money and spare South Africa from the ever-looming threat of load shedding this winter.

ENDS

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT secures zero-rating of data charges to facilitate online learning

Press statement: Azwi Mufamadi; 078 528 6065                                          25 April 2020

For immediate release 

MUT secures zero-rating of data charges to facilitate online learning

Mangosuthu University of Technology has secured zero-rating of data charges with all mobile network operators (CellC, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom) to widen access to online learning for its students of whom the majority are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In a statement to the University community; Professor Marcus Ramogale, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic Support, explained that the zero-rating of data charges meant that access to certain MUT sites would not incur any data charge from CellC, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom. So far, the zero-rated sites are Blackboard Learning Management System (https://mutelearn.mut.ac.za), Moodle Learning Management System (https://moodle.mut.ac.za), MUT corporate website (https://www.mut.ac.za and https://www.mut.ac.za/virtualcampus) and ITS iEnabler Student System (https://ierp.mut.ac.za/pls/prodi03/w99pkg.mi_login).

The zero-rating agreement comes at a time when South African universities are moving teaching and learning to online platforms in response to the country’s efforts to manage the spread of the Coronavirus. The challenge for universities across the country has been to ensure that all students have equally access to online learning platforms regardless of their economic status.

“Our priority at MUT is to ensure that all our students have access to the necessary platforms where teaching and learning will be taking place,” Professor Marcus Ramogale.  “The University has been hard at work to ensure that the transition to online learning is seamless and that students have the much needed support during this difficult time.”

Data free access to MUT online learning sites will enable students to fully participate in online learning without being disadvantage by the lack of data.

ENDS

MUT update on plans for the completion of the 2020 academic year

Press statement: Bheki Hlophe; 082 432 1805                                             22 April 2020

For immediate release

 

MUT update on plans for the completion of the 2020 academic year

In a message to the university community: MUT Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, detailed the university’s plan to complete the 2020 academic year through a combination of various modes of teaching and learning depending on directives from government on the national COVID-19 guidelines.

Dr Malaza informed staff and students that the MUT Management had decided that:

  1. The University will gradually phase in the resumption of teaching and learning, and the return of students to residences following the lifting of the Lockdown.
  2. MUT’s readiness to comply fully with national COVID-19 guidelines and directives will determine the prioritisation order for students to return to campus and residences. Students in the top priority list will include:
  • Final year students and postgraduate students;
  • Students enrolled in programmes involving practical and laboratory work; and
  • Students with disabilities.
  1. Teaching and learning will resume through a blended education model. The contact mode will be allowed while complying with national COVID-19 guidelines and directives. The University will use ICT-based platforms to the greatest extent possible to complement and enrich the contact mode of teaching.
  2. If the government extends the Lockdown beyond 30 April 2020, the following scenarios will inform the adjustment of the academic year 2020 (AY2020) depending on the evolving national directives.

 

  SCENARIO 1 SCENARIO 2 SCENARIO 3
Return date: 1 June 2020 1 August 2020 1 October 2020
Completion date of AY2020: 24 December 2020 20 February 2021 31 April 2021
Duration: 27 weeks 27 weeks 27 weeks

The decision was informed by three principles adopted by the MUT Management after wide consultations. “The consultation process has included engagement with the student body through the SRC, and with Universities South Africa (USAf) through its structures representing the Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors: Academic, and Registrars. MUT Management has also reflected on perspectives emerging from structures set up by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, mainly the DHET and the Ministerial Post-school has Training and Education System COVID-19 Task Team,” said Dr Malaza.

The three principles which guide the MUT management’s way forward are:

Principle 1: MUT is committed to the completion of the 2020 academic year subject to the evolving national guidelines and directives aimed at combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. MUT will at all times strictly adhere to the guidelines and instructions from Government which will take precedence over all other considerations as we strive towards the completion of the 2020 academic year.

Principle 2: MUT will endeavour to ensure that no student is left behind due to physical infrastructure, ICT infrastructure and internet connectivity issues that are within the control of the University.

MUT is sensitive to the social justice challenges arising from socio-economic inequalities in our society. The University will strive towards ensuring a learning environment conducive to curbing the spread of the novel Coronavirus and will provide, to the greatest extent possible, for the full participation of students in the teaching and learning programme through adequate ICT infrastructure and internet connectivity.

Principle 3: MUT will endeavour to support remote learning for all students. This method of education is the future, even if the University manages to restore the contact mode of teaching and learning to its entirety. The University will invest in enabling our students and staff to have proficiency in the various ICT platforms available.

MUT Management’s decision comes at a time when universities across South Africa are scrambling to rollout online learning quickly to save the academic year from spilling over into 2021.

“Some universities in the country have indicated that they have planned to commence with online learning from 20 April 2020 and it is likely that some work will begin during this period. Unfortunately, given the many challenges relating to the socio-economic status of our students and constraints on Institutional readiness to fully embark on online learning, MUT is not among these universities. In reality, only a handful of South African universities are well prepared for this sudden, disruptive move. Many institutions are reactive and improvising as they go along,” said Dr Malaza.

Dr Malaza also informed staff and students that the further communication would be issued as soon as the President announced the lifting of the national Lockdown. This communication will give more detail on the phased opening of residences and the resumption of teaching and learning, or the most likely scenario for the completion of the 2020 academic year.

ENDS

 

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

 

Statement on early Autumn recess by Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Mangosuthu University of Technology

18 March 2020

Press release statement: For immediate release

Submitted by: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

Statement on early Autumn recess by Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Mangosuthu University of Technology

Following the declaration of COVID-19 as a national disaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 15 March 2020 and the directive to institutions in the South African Post-school System by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande issued on 17 March 2020, the MUT Senate resolved to have an early Autumn recess as per the advice of its health care professionals and external experts in infectious diseases.

The decision was part of MUT’s efforts to take urgent appropriate actions in order to enable the moderation of exposure of students and staff to COVID-19. The University Senate resolved on 18 March 2020 as follows:

  1. The University will be on recess from 18 March 2020 to 15 April 2020. This means that the mid-term break is brought forward and academic activities will resume on 15 April 2020.
  2. All students are to vacate their residences within the next 72 hours. We are cognisant of the challenges this decision will pose for our students. Given the nature of the Coronavirus as communicated by experts, Management believes that this decision is in the best interest of the University and the students.
  3. All international students will be provided with University accredited accommodation that is consistent with the national and WHO directives for dealing with COVID-19. This decision is aimed at reducing movement across national boundaries to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on society.
  4. All staff are expected to work from home unless required to report for duty by line managers in consultation with HR Department and union representatives.
  5. To continue with essential operations, directives will be issued by line managers for skeleton staff to be available during this period.
  6. The 2020 graduation ceremonies have been postponed until further notice. Information will be communicated to graduands in due course.
  7. To reduce the heavy reliance on the contact mode of teaching, the University will strengthen the use of Blackboard, which is an online tool/software to enhance teaching and learning.

MUT and the country have never confronted a threat at this level. We again urge all members of the University to commit to the struggle against this pandemic, irrespective of where they are in the University hierarchy.

This challenge requires high levels of commitment and determination from all stakeholders.

[ENDS]

0824321805

MUT’s Senate responds to the State of Disaster

Press release statement: For immediate release

Submitted by Bheki Hlophe: Hlophe@mut.ac.za 

MUT’s Senate responds to the State of Disaster

In an effort to manage the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at MUT, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza Vice-Chancellor & Principal met this morning with Senate to review the proclamation of COVID-19 as a national disaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 15 March 2020.

While noting that there have been to date no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at MUT, the Senate endorsed the directives issued by the President to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained. The following measures are being implemented by MUT with immediate effect:

  1. Inbound and outbound international traveling will not be allowed.
  2. Only critical national travel will be considered.
  3. No gatherings of more than 100 people will be allowed.
  4. The graduation ceremony will be postponed until further notice.

The Senate further resolved that pending directives from the Minister and consultations with other stakeholders, the following measures are put in place with immediate effect:

  1. All contact teaching and learning classes are suspended.
  2. All other academic activities must continue (including student support services).
  3. Where possible lectures can go online.
  4. Access to the library will be limited.

Writing to all staff and students, Dr Malaza, said, “The Senate urges everyone to remain calm. Staff and students are encouraged to wash and/sanitize their hands regularly, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and maintain a social distance of about 1m when engaging with each other during this time of crisis.”

Dr Malaza also said during the Senate, “We are engaging our strategic stakeholders extensively and monitoring developments within the country and across our sector. We will make an informed decision which will be interest of all our staff and students. We wish to assure the parents as well as the public that we will do our best to protect everyone within our reach against COVID-19”, said Dr Malaza.

The University has set up its own Crisis Management Task Team that is focusing on managing risk management and crises response.

[ENDS]

0824321805

MUT hosts CoE awards to celebrate excellence in Umlazi schools

12 March 2020

Press release for immediate release

MUT hosts CoE awards to celebrate excellence in Umlazi schools

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will host this year’s instalment of the Circle of Excellence (CoE) awards to recognise top performing schools in Umlazi Township on Friday, 13 March 2020 at 18h00. The CoE is part of MUT’s anchor strategy aimed at developing the community of Umlazi where it is located.

In its 7th year, the CoE has been instrumental in foregrounding the spirit of competition and excellent achievement among schools in the Umlazi district which has in turn motivated schools to perform better in their matric results.

“We are proud to be offering the Circle of Excellence awards for the 7th time this year. It is encouraging to see that our Township schools have embraced the spirit of competition in pursuit of excellence,” said Zama Sishi, Director: Stakeholder Relations and Management at MUT. “Although Menzi High School has been leading the pack over the years, the competition that the CoE has foregrounded spurred Velabahleke High School, Ndukwenhle High School into second and third position respectively.”

Further than encouraging schools to perform better, the CoE has also provided a platform where principals and teachers could network with each other and share best practices.  This platform has also seen top performing schools mentor their least performing counterparts in their mission for excellence. These schools continue to improve their performance annually.

The CoE will recognise exemplary performance in Accounting, English, Mathematics and Physical Science. Last year, Menzi High School dominated the awards getting first prize in Accounting and Physical Science, while KwaMathanda High School came up top on Mathematics. The schools that achieved 100% pass in English First Additional Language are Enaleni High School, KwaMgaga High School, Menzi High School, Mafumbuka High School, Mason Lincoln School, Shumayela High School, Velabahleke High School, Vukuzakahe High School and Zwelibanzi High School.

The CoE also awards the Most Improved School, Overall Winning Schools, and other special awards. Mason Lincoln, a school for learners with disabilities received a certificate, 10 dictionaries (sponsored by Iqraa Trust) and a R2000 Makro Voucher for being the most improved school in 2018.

“We are hoping to see new schools claim their rightful place as we make the Circle of Excellence bigger. It is the University’s belief that in future we will get more schools challenging Menzi High school for the overall prize. The CoE has already inspired many schools to improve their performance,” said Sishi.

The CoE awards will be hosted at the Hilton Hotel, Durban, on Friday, 13 March at 18h00. The media is encouraged to contact Bheki Hlophe (031 819 7195 or hlophe@mut.ac.za) to arrange interviews with this year’s winners and to attend the event.

 

ENDS

Accused in the murder of Zolile Khumalo has been found guilty

4 March 2020

Accused in the murder of Zolile Khumalo has been found guilty

Thabani Mzolo, the accused in the murder trial of slain MUT student, Zolile Khumalo, has been found guilty of murder. Reading the judgement, Judge Nompumelelo Radebe found the accused guilty of murder, being in possession of a firearm without the relevant license, and being in possession of live rounds. Judge Radebe described the accused as a liar who contradicted his own evidence. The judge said the accused provided a flimsy defense and did not oppose evidence given by his best friend, Simiso Buthelezi who witnessed the shooting. The judge described evidence given by others, including the accused’s friend, the deceased’s friend, police investigators and a pathologist, as credible.

Receiving the news, the University’s Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza said: “This is a great relief to the University. Last year the Senate took a firm stand against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). This judgement is a victory to the University and is sending a message to everyone that GBV will not be tolerated at MUT, and in South Africa. We are hoping that the family will soon be finding closure on this ordeal.”

The case resumes tomorrow for the accused to present mitigating circumstances before he is sentenced.

/ENDS

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

MUT to shut down Durban to demand justice for slain Zolile Khumalo

                                                                                                                27 February 2020

MUT to shut down Durban to demand justice for slain Zolile Khumalo

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will shut down Durban on Monday, 2 March 2020 to demand justice for slain student, Zolile Khumalo, who was allegedly murdered by her ex-boyfriend. The University will march from Lonesdale Residence to the Durban High Court in a bid to highlight the scourge of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and to voice the Institution’s condemnation of GBV.

The march will start at corner Sylvester Ntuli Road and Dr Pixley Kaseme Street (outside Lonesdale Residence) and proceed on Sylvester Ntuli Road towards east, then turn right into Anton Lembede Street and proceed down the street, then turn left into Beach Grove, then right onto Margaret Mncadi Avenue and then right onto Dullah Omar Road where the march will end in front of the Durban High Court.

The march comes at a time when the accused in Zolile’s murder trial is due back in court on Monday, 2 March 2020 for the verdict. The trial has been running since Zolile’s murder two years ago.

“We cannot continue to operate like it is business as usual when we are losing such young precious lives to the scourge of Gender-Based Violence. Our universities cannot be hunting grounds for perpetrators,” said Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, MUT Vice-Chancellor & Principal.  “As an institution, our position on GBV is unequivocal; GBV is unacceptable and has no place at MUT and in our society. The institution is committed to doing everything in its power to eliminate GBV.”

The march will be preceded by a candle light vigil the night before at Lonesdale Residence where Khumalo was slain. The vigil will start from 22h00 – 1h00. (See attached invitation for details.)

“We decided to have a vigil at Lonesdale Residence because that is where the deceased was murdered. This is our students’ way of preserving the memory of the deceased and of saying to the family of the deceased that their pain and loss is also our pain and loss,” said Lerato Luthuli, Secretary General of the Student Representative Council at MUT.

This is not the first time that the University has spoken out against GBV. In 2019, the MUT Senate took a stand against GBV and xenophobia and committed the institution to do everything in its power to fight GBV and xenophobia. As a result of that stand, MUT has this year launched a weekly Black Thursday against GBV campaign to raise awareness amongst staff and students about the scourge, and to encourage the university community to report incidences of abuse.

“Last year was a difficult year for universities across the country. We saw many newspaper headlines with stories of university students, mostly female, who had been murdered. As an Institution, parents trust us with the safety of their children,” said Azwi Mufamadi, Director: Public Relations and Brand Management at MUT. “The safety and security of our staff and students sits at the top of MUT’s priorities. We are not going to tolerate any form of abuse at MUT. The institution will do anything in its power to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to the book and that justice is served.”

This week’s instalment of the Black Thursday against GBV event will look at GBV from the perspective of the LGBTQI community. It will run between 12h00 and 13h00 at MUT’s Anniversary Lane on Thursday, 27 February.

Members of the media are encourage to contact Bheki Hlophe (031 819 7195 or hlophe@mut.ac.za) should they wish to attend the event or arrange interviews.

 

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Statement of MUT Convocation Executive after the first meeting which set on the 13 February 2020

For Immediate Release

19 February 2020

STATEMENT OF MUT CONVOCATION EXECUTIVE AFTER THE FIRST MEETING WHICH SET ON THE 13 FEBRUARY 2020.

The MUT CONVEXCO set for its first sitting that followed the Elective Annual General Meeting that was convened on 7 December 2019.

Mr Sandile Dlamini, President of Convocation, said they had plans that would have a impact upon MUT processes, students and graduates. “It should be noted that the current leadership of CONVEXCO is breaking new grounds and putting systems in place, which were not there before, to make our operations run like a well-oiled machine. Initiating systems in place ordinarily comes with challenges and some glitches from time to time, but as CONVEXCO we are optimistic that in due course things will start running smoothly. We will from time to time give an update in various platforms to our constituents, about the status quo of our progress as CONVEXCO.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, gave the CONVEXCO an update on the affairs of the University’s particularly the strategic vision of the Institution. Among other things, the CONVEXCO committed to strengthening its relationship with all University stakeholder, tracking and locating of all MUT graduates and alumni to update the alumni and convocation databases.

The CONVEXCO will be launching chapters starting in KwaZulu-Natal. The first port of call will be Durban.

CONVEXCO took a decision to prioritise empowering MUT graduates. CONVEXCO will also create a database for business owned by MUT graduates (51% company shares owned). This aim of this will be to ensure that certain projects are set aside for MUT graduates. The CONVEXCO also resolved to ensure that all business service providers who are doing business with MUT offer the University’s students work integrated learning (WIL).

CONVEXCO has also committed to contributing in the generation of the third income for the University. The strengthening of the efforts to generate such income will assist alleviating the pressure on the University funds. The ultimate aim is the improve the financial standing of the University, and contribute in lessening the student debt. CONVEXCO intends to appeal to potential donors to help out with funding. Also, as part of the drive to raise funds, CONVEXCO is in the process of opening an MUT foundation.

Also, in CONVEXCO elected Mr Sinothi Ndlovu to be the Treasurer of the MUT Convocation as required by Section 6.2.6. Of the MUT Convocation Constitution. We are confident that Mr. Ndlovu will do exceptional well in his new responsibilities considering his progressive role he has played in the PYB.

CONVEXCO deployed the Deputy President of the Convocation Mr Thokozani Hadebe and Mr Sandile Mbonambi to represent Convocation in the Institutional Forum. CONVEXCO remains optimistic that the voice of Convocation will be heard in every sphere of the institution as we seek to develop and transform the University.

 

Issued by:

Sandile Dlamini

MUT Convocation President

0782747675

 

MUT reaffirms its stand against GBV through Black Thursday campaign

Press Release Statement                                                                             19 February 2020

For immediate release

MUT reaffirms its stand against GBV through Black Thursday campaign

Mangosuthu University of Technology will host the weekly Black Thursday against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) on Thursday, 20 February 2020, to raise awareness against the scourge and to empower students with information to prevent and report GBV cases. The campaign, which runs every Thursday from 12h00 – 13h00 at the University’s Anniversary Lane sees speakers share information about different aspects of GBV and various forms of help.

This week’s theme is “Walking in her shoes”, which requires participants (male and female) to come dressed in all black with high heels to symbolise being in the female victim’s shoes. Last week participants paid tribute to victims of GBV in an event themed “You are not forgotten”, when a speaker from Thuthuzela Care Centre in Umlazi Township’s Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, shared information on what GBV is and how to report it both to the University and to the South African Police Services.

The campaign is part of the University’s efforts to reaffirm its position against GBV and to bring perpetrators to the book. Last year, the MUT Senate adopted a stand against GBV and xenophobia, which was communicated in a statement by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza.

“Gender-Based Violence has no place in our university and society. Condemnation needs to be constant and consistent, and perpetrators must be prosecuted. We are committed to doing everything in our power to eliminate the scourge of GBV within our university and to support those who have been affected,” said Dr Malaza.

The MUT Student Counselling Services has intensified its efforts to encourage students who are affected by abuse to visit their offices for professional help. The University also has a telephone number to report abuse, and cases reported through this number lend in the VC’s and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Resources and Planning’s offices for their attention. The University’s Protection Services has also reached out to students and staff encouraging them to report cases through the phone or in their protection body’s offices.

“It is unacceptable that 2771 women were killed in the 2018/2019 statistical year. We should be outraged that in our country women are five times more likely to be killed due to GBV. We should all lose sleep over the fact that 41,583 rapes were reported in 2018/19, that is an average of 114 rapes per day reported. MUT is ready to fight this culture of abuse,” explained Dr Malaza.

The campaign against GBV comes at a time when the University is still mourning the loss of Zolile Khumalo, who was allegedly murdered by her then boyfriend. The trial of Khumalo’s alleged murderer resumes in court for the verdict on Monday, 2 March 2020.

“Our University is deeply devastated by the loss of any staff or students, more so when such a life is cut short in such a violent manner. On 2 March 2020, our students and staff will march from Lonsdale Hotel (Residence) on Pixley KaSeme Street, through Stalwart Simelane Street to the Durban Magistrate’s Court, to demand justice for our slain student,” said Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing and Communications at MUT.

Members of the media are encourage to contact Bheki Hlophe (031 819 7195 or hlophe@mut.ac.za) should they wish to attend the event or arrange interviews.

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MUT lays the foundation for international students to succeed

Press Release Statement                                                                             19 February 2020

For immediate release

MUT lays the foundation for international students to succeed

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) has started laying the foundation for international students to adjust to their new institution and to introduce them to local communities, which will be the home for the duration of their studies at the University.

The University’s Department of Marketing and Communications has scheduled a special orientation for 33 international students on 20 February 2020, in a bid to connect them with fellow international students and lecturers; and to introduce international students to the immediate surroundings so they would be comfortable, and can easily assimilate into the local population. These students are from Mozambique, Nigeria, eSwatini, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The special orientation will include a tour to a number of places around Umlazi Township, and the city.

“Being away from home can be an alienating experience, especially for first year students who are away from their countries,” said Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing and Communications. “It is the hope of the university that from this small orientation the students will connect with lecturers who can share advise on succeeding when you are in another country.”

International staff and students are an important part of the MUT community. The orientation programme for international students further strengthens MUT’s position against xenophobia. Last year, the University took a stand against xenophobia and Gender-Based Violence, accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor’s statement affirming the University’s position. This orientation is part of the University’s strategy to provide support to international students.

“My department is responsible for recruiting students from South African schools, as well as those from the rest of our continent. It is not enough for us to get the international students registered, then forget about them. To be in another country can be very daunting, particularly for young students. We want them to feel at home,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize added that her department was going to connect the international students with the staff members from their countries. “This is going to make them even more comfortable. We are going to propose to our international colleagues to allow the international students from their respective countries to spend time with them in their places so that the students would have home comfort of some sort. The international colleagues have agreed to take these students under their wings, and ensure they provide enough support for them to prosper academically,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize also added that she and her department decided to embark on this project in the beginning of the academic year because the first six months of the year are crucial in the transition from basic education to higher education and its accompanying freedoms. It is also a time when students from other countries have to deal with culture shock. This is when support is mostly needed.

Members of the media are encourage to contact Bheki Hlophe (031 819 7195 or hlophe@mut.ac.za) should they wish to attend the event or arrange interviews.

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