MUT and Moses Kotane Institute sign an MOA

Shaking hands are MUT VC, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, left, and MKI Acting CEO, Thandeka Ellenson. Witnessing the signing are staff members from the two institutions

On the morning of 21 June 2019 MUT and the Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) signed a memorandum of Agreement. The MOA would enable a collaboration between MUT and MKI to drive economic transformation in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, in line with a mandate by the Province’s Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA). “The two institutions will collaborate on mutually agreed research projects, for which specific terms of engagement will be detailed in project plans signed-off by project leaders. The areas of collaboration will include research on rural and township economy, entrepreneurship, governance, community development, engineering and agriculture”, said Prof Ndlazi executive director in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor.

The signing of the MOA is in line with the MUT Vice-Chancellor, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza’s Anchor Strategy which seeks to revitalise Umlazi Township. As part of that revitalisation, Dr Malaza believes that that MUT has to ensure that the Fourth Industrial Revolution does not put the people of Umlazi at the periphery. “As a University anchored at Umlazi Township; we need to guard against our people being adversely affected by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are now in the process of creating forums on how we could advance the Anchor Strategy”, said Dr Malaza. “These forums would ensure that we are not imposing our aspirations to our communities but we are forming partnerships to discuss solutions on challenges”

Acting MKI CEO, Mrs Thandeka Ellenson said that they would also like to see innovation driving the partnership between the two institutions so that both institutions can grow together.

Vice-Chancellor thanks staff for raising University profile to guests

Marketing and Communications department staff, with Dr Malaza, seated, middle

MUT Vice-Chancellor, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza thanked the Department of Marketing and Communications (MarComms) for its role in organising the University’s 40th celebrations last weekend.

Dr Malaza, who called the MarComms team into a meeting, and told staff that he saw it fit to pass on the important message as it was also echoed by stakeholders that visited the University during the celebrations. “I felt it was necessary for me to extend a word of appreciation, I think you put the University in a good light with stakeholders, business partners, and possible friends of MUT.  We made a lot of friends through these celebrations.  The feedback I received from our visitors was very positive.  Thank you for the creativity, people were commenting very positively about the format and the arrangements,” said Malaza.

One of these stakeholders was Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Founder of the University, who was honoured with a mosaic mural and an annual public lecture bearing his name.

On several occasions, Prince Buthelezi thanked the organisers for a job well done and the University for its vision. Responding to the speech delivered by Dr Moss Mashamaite at the inaugural Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi lecture on 15 June 2019, Prince Buthelezi singled out Mbali Mkhize and Zama Sishi, Senior Director, and Director in the department, respectively. Prince Buthelezi also thanked Dr Malaza for his effective leadership and for devising a strategy to integrate the University to the immediate community. Prince Buthelezi expressed great appreciation for the contribution the University has made in the last 40 years. He also reiterated on many occasions how Dr Malaza was transforming the University.

MUT 40th celebration in pictures

MUT 40th celebration in pictures – www.mut.ac.za/mut40  

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, left, with MUT VC, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza during the opening of the gallery. The opening of the gallery was one the highlights of the 40 year celebration

The flagship 40th celebration has come and gone. But it would be worth a while to reflect on the events a bit. This great event was hailed a big success by the many guests who attended, including esteemed visitors like the Founder of the University, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The multi-themed event started off with ‘Town meets Gown’, on 14 June 2019, wherein MUT staff donned their academic regalia and took over Mangosuthu Highway, and turned back at the KwaMnyandu intersection, much to the amazement and joy of the local people. The ‘Town meets Gown’ was the first of its kind in Umlazi. It was followed by the unveiling of the Prince’s mosaic at the University’s Anniversary Lane. Next was the visit to the gallery at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. This was a jaw-dropping experience for the viewers. The open hallway in the faculty had been transformed into a magnificent art centre, showing the history of Umlazi Township, the University, and Prince Buthelezi.

Please visit   www.mut.ac.za/mut40 to view the pictures of all the events that took place from 14-16 June 2019.  Also remember that you can still visit the gallery until 28 June 2019.

MUT longest serving academic makes it to the University history book

Prof Landman checks a news article about him at the gallery

This is a face that only a mother can love. This is how Professor Koos Landman of the Department of Civil Engineering reacted when he was shown a picture and a news article that is displayed at the Faculty of Natural Sciences as part of the history of the University. “I am really honoured that the organisers of the event saw it fit to include me as part of the history of the University,” said Professor Landman. Professor Landman is the longest serving academic member of staff. He joined MUT 37 and a half years ago. He donated to the Department of Marketing and Communications a copy of a speech that was delivered by the Founder of the University, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on 3 April 1982. Prince Buthelezi was amazed to hear about that, and said he himself did not have a copy. Prince Buthelezi is known for curating historical material. When he and the other guests visited the gallery on 14 June 2019, he requested an opportunity to meet Professor Landman. Unfortunately, Professor Landman had to be away for his birthday. The gallery is part of the University’s 40th celebrations.

A Spirit of Gratitude prevails as MUT turns 40

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Dr Malaza

From 14-16 June all roads will lead to Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) where the University will be having its 40-year celebrations. The first event on 14 June will be an academic parade to King Zwelithini Stadium to meet the people of Umlazi. This is a ‘Town Meets Gown / Yazisa umakhelwane wakho’ event. Staff will be bearing gifts for the people of Umlazi who were affected by the recent floods. The University will also be donating furniture to schools and affected families. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Founder of the University, will be leading the parade.

Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, Vice-Chancellor & Principal of the University, believes that if MUT is to succeed in implementing its Strategy 2020-2025, it first has to revisit its humble beginnings. “For the University to celebrate 40 years of existence without a purpose would defeat the very cause for which the University was formed as a Technikon in 1979”. One of the key goals of MUT Strategy 2020-2025 is national engagement, particularly focusing on nation-building.

“MUT will always be guided the fact that its establishment was based on a humanitarian philosophy. It was based on a fundamental approach that those who can and who have should uplift those who do not have. It is this spirit of altruism that built MUT into what it has become 40 years later. MUT should replicate what the Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi did by knocking on the door of Sir Harry Oppenheimer for seed funding to establish MUT,” Dr Malaza said. Today, MUT has over 40,000 alumni, some of whom are also sending their children to MUT. These alumni are part of the 15 students that enrolled with the University in 1979. In 2019 the University has enrolled 13 000 students.

The capstone events are the unveiling of the Prince Buthelezi mosaic mural, the opening of a mini gallery showcasing the culture of Umlazi Township and the life of Prince Buthelezi. There will also be a public lecture on Saturday, 15 June 2019 in honour of Prince Buthelezi. The speaker will be Dr Moss Mashamaite.

On the side line of these events will also be the Alumni Homecoming weekend, filled with sports, Master’s Classes, picnics, and prayer.

MUT opens its Spirit of Gratitude gallery

The Faculty of Natural Sciences, where the gallery is housed

As part of MUT’s 40th anniversary, on 14 June 2019 MUT will open a temporary gallery exhibition at its Faculty of Natural Sciences, showcasing the history of MUT and Umlazi Township. The gallery, which opens this afternoon, affirms the Institution’s position of being rooted in Umlazi and destined for the world.

“The gallery is an important part of our celebrations as it further affirms that our history as an Institution is intertwined with that of the community we are located in, Umlazi. As an only University wholly-located in a township, 40 years means four decades of changing the lives of ordinary people in Umlazi and South Africa as a whole. We cannot tell the history of MUT without talking about Umlazi, and vice versa,” said Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, MUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

The gallery, which will official open at 13h00, will chronicle the history of both MUT and Umlazi Township. It will take visitors into a journey down memory lane in the life of the two intertwined communities.

Umlazi is one of South Africa’s biggest and oldest townships, yet material on the history of this area remains scarce in museum and archives yet the community still has beautiful stories and pictures of life in Umlazi 40 and even over 50 years ago. MUT, on the other hand, does not have its own gallery or cultural centre where its history is document and displayed.

“As an Institution and in terms of our Anchor Strategy, we want to develop with Umlazi Township. We are looking for donors who can assist us with financial resources to establish a cultural centre within the University where we can document and share the history of MUT and Umlazi Township. Other universities around have their own in-house galleries and archives, but for a poor University such as our own it will take us a while to get there, which is unfortunate because history of Umlazi is getting lost,” said Dr Malaza.

The History of MUT and Umlazi Township Gallery (temporary) exhibition will be open to the public from 15 to 21 June 2019 between 10h00 and 15h00.

MUT launches annual Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Public Lecture to honour its Founder

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

The 40th anniversary at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will also see the launching of an inaugural Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Public Lecture on Saturday, 15 June 2019. The intention is to have this as an annual event. The lecture is named after the MUT Founder, Prince Buthelezi, in honour of his efforts and vision to make the Institution a reality.

“As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, it is also an opportunity to look back and reflect on the history of the Institution, where it currently is and the direction that it will be taking in the future with our Strategy 2020-2025,” said Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, MUT Vice-Chancellor & Principal. “We want to use the annual lecture to discuss some of the issues that affect our communities and the continent at large.”

The Inaugural Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi lecture will be presented by Dr Moss Mashamaite on Saturday, 15 June 2019 at Seme Hall at 17h30. Dr Mashamaite; who is a businessman, a writer, and motivational speaker; will present a talk titled, Education as an eternal fountain for community development.

Dr Mashamaite’s topic is in line with MUT’s anchor strategy which puts community development at the core of the University’s responsibilities in the community where it exists. The lecture will look at how education could be used for community development, a subject that is close to MUT given its proximity to the Umlazi community.

Stepping up the University resilience

Dr Mabaso

Dr Jerome Mabaso, Director: Risk & Compliance, has in less than six months since he was appointed, immediately plunged into building business continuity resilience within MUT. Dr Mabaso’s unit is partnering with Rhodium Business Solutions to implement a Business Continuity Management (BCM) programme for the University. Dr Mabaso, said: “The BCM programme will provide MUT with a framework for building MUT’s resilience with an effective response that will safeguard the interests of our students, staff, as well as brand MUT. It will also ensure that MUT has a satisfactory level of business continuity that will provide protection from a range of threats, ensuring continuity of business operations and service delivery.”

The BCM programme will be kick-started by a series of engagements with staff. “It will help provide guidelines for developing, maintaining and exercising Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) for all business units, divisions and departments. This will provide MUT with the ability to respond to emergencies, recover and restore operations and business activities during business interruption events,” Dr Mabaso said.

The following methodology will be used to implement a Business Continuity Programme for MUT:

  1. Develop a BCM policy and framework
  2. Analyse the impact to the business
  3. Develop a BCM strategy
  4. Develop Business Continuity Plans
  5. Test the Business Continuity Plans

Picture caption: Dr Jerome Mabaso with Mr Brad Harrison, Specialist Advisor: Rhodium Business Solutions

Firming up partnership management

Prof Ndlazi

Prof Nokwethemba Ndlazi, Executive director in the Office of the VC’s mandate on national and international engagement is making headway within the University. Last month Prof Ndlazi worked with faculty deans, a research professor and the research directorate to recommend staff for the SATN PhD Capacity Enhancement Programme. “We recommended seven candidates for this programme which will admit 50 academic staff members and support them for three years, through to the examination of their dissertations. Four MUT academics have been admitted to the programme and they will be announced shortly in a small ceremony as this is a huge achievement,” said Prof Ndlazi.

Prof Ndlazi is now working with a new the deans on a new DST sponsored programme: Fellowship in Academic Excellence and Leadership.  This fellowship is aimed at preparing early career academics to become a new cohort of South African professors across the disciplines. More information will be available on the intranet.

MUT staff rearing for the Comrades Marathon this Sunday

 

Dave Pons, and his wife, Staphanie-Lynn

Two MUT academics will be joining thousands of runners this Sunday on a mission from Durban to Pietermaritzburg on foot as they compete in the Comrades Marathon. Dave Pons, a lecturer in the Department of Agriculture, and Dr Bethel Mutanga, a lecturer in the Department of

Mutanda, front, has a number of races under his belt

Information Communication and Technology (ICT), said they were both ready for the ultimate marathon. “I enjoy the up run,” said Pons, while Dr Mutanga said he favoured the down-run because he does not have problems with his knees. “The down run can affect your knees as you descend. But I will be fine. I don’t have knee problems,” said Dr Mutanga. The two academics will be joined by Boy Maphumulo, a security personnel at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Maphumulo has run six Comrades Marathons. He is also comfortable with the down run. Please let us send them congratulatory messages and tag @MUTcampus, @MUT_Alumni @MUTSchools. Maphumulo’s number is 51631, Pons’ is 18074, and Mutanda’s 25419.

Meet one of the MUT veterans: Elizabeth Magwaza (AKA Ellie)

Elizabeth Magwaza

Elizabeth Magwaza, or Ellie as she is affectionately known by her colleagues and friends, has lived at Umlazi Township since the days when Inkosi Cele owned the reserve from Malukazi to Ezimbokodweni and Isipingo to Ngonyameni.

Ellie has worked at MUT for 36 years. She is a Library Assistant. “I started working at the library when it was located at the bottom of the stairs of the Staff Lounge where the former offices of Research, and TELP were located. This is where the current Civil Engineering offices are,” said Ellie. She started off as a cleaner in 1983 and was soon promoted to be a catering assistant under the leadership of Mama Grace and Mama Maria. At the time, Ellie had a JC certificate (Grade 10) and studied by ‘post’ to complete her Matric.

Unbeknown to her, she was promoted to start on 27 June 1983 as a Library Assistant because she had earned her stripes as a hardworking and loyal employee. Even the Library Director at the time, Phillip van Zyl was surprised to see her wearing her cleaning uniform and had to rush her home so she could change into a suitable outfit for her new role. Her impact in the new role was soon felt. Her presence at the library exit ruffled the students who had been sneaking library material at the exit point. Her hard work and dedication continued to see her through. A few years into her role in the Library, Ellie was promoted to Shelving and later on to Cataloguing.

Throughout her career at MUT, Ellie has had mentors and is grateful to have had those people to help her rise and rise. Years later, Ellie still speaks fondly of Lucelle Webster and Dudu Zulu, the first librarians that developed a passion in her to do well.

The birth of Umlazi Township

uMlazi Township in the forties

Formerly known as Umlazi mission reserve, Umlazi became a place of contention when in the early 1940s government considered it as a relocation point for Cato Manor residents because of its proximity to the south of the area and because, initially, the land was unoccupied and they could resettle there.

The residents of Umlazi reserve mission, together with the Advisory Board, were surprised at this idea, and eventually in the Cape Town Parliament it was announced that the people of Umlazi had approved that the mission reserve should be converted into a township. This prompted the mission community to take action. Delegates from Umlazi were sent to Cape Town to represent the Umlazi residents to former South African Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, and the whole issue was left pending. The delegation consisted of CCW Nxumalo, Rev Alpheus Hamilton Zulu, Rev Siveshe, Gideon Mthembu, Bob Nzimande, H.P. Ngwenya, Z.E. Maphumulo and Chief Albert Luthuli.

A few facts about Umlazi Township

Ogwini Comprehensive High School

Umlazi Township is the only township in the country that has its own registration plate, which is NUZ. Umlazi Township has 26 sections, A through to Z, with the exception of I,O and X, but with an addition of AA, BB and CC. Legend has it that the name “Umlazi” comes from “umlaza”, the Zulu word for the sour acid produced from fermented or sour milk. It is believed that when King Shaka was passing through the area, he refused to drink from a local river claiming it had the taste of “umlaza”. The area was called Umlazi after this incident. Umlazi Township is the biggest residential area in KwaZulu-Natal, spreading over 47. 46 km2.  According to the 2011 Census, there were 404 811 people living in 104 914 households in Umlazi Township.

Umlazi Township has some of the best performing secondary schools in the country, with Menzi High leading the pack with a 100% pass rate in grade 12 in the last seven years. Menzi High is over 50 years old. The school continued to excel even after the passing away of its revered Principal, Felix Mshololo, in 2015. Menzi High is now led by Muntu Ntombela, who is also more than capable. Some of the old schools in the township are Ogwini High, and Vukuzakhe High, which hosted Her Majesty, the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, and her husband, the Prince of Edinburgh, in 1995. Umlazi Township is the only township with a university wholly-centred in it, Mangosuthu University of Technology.

Umlazi Township has all forms of public transport network – buses, mini-buses, and trains branching from Reunion Station and ferrying thousands of people daily over 4km of railroad. There are four train stations, with Umlazi Station as the last one. The other ones are Lindokuhle, KwaMnyandu and Zwelethu. These train stations have become serious economic points where Umlazi Township people sell fruits and vegetables to commuters.  Umlazi Township benefited from the eThekwini Municipality’s investment in infrastructure and the building of two major shopping centres – Umlazi Megacity, and KwaMnyandu Shopping Mall. Read more about business in Umlazi Township: https://www.iol.co.za/news/living-the-good-life-in-umlazi-1076699.

Dr James Elias Ndlovu – an iconic role model in the history of MUT and Umlazi

Dr JE Ndlovu’s son and his family

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi commended Dr James Elias (JE) Ndlovu as one of the people who were instrumental in advising him to establish a Technikon at Umlazi. At the time, Dr Ndlovu was Secretary of Education in the then KwaZulu Government in Ulundi.

Born in 1917, Dr Ndlovu started his life at Mbava, near New Hanover, and proceeded to the University of Natal, Unizulu, and University of Wales in the United Kingdom, before assuming higher responsibilities in the Department of Education. At the time of MUT’s founding, Dr Ndlovu had made enormous contributions to education, he was a publisher of some of the IsiZulu manuals and newspapers.

Dr Ndlovu held influential governance positions in educational institutions and government. He was a member of the University of Zululand Governing Council, Chairperson of the MUT Council, Chairperson of the King Edward Hospital Governing Council and to top it of, Mayor of Umlazi Township.

A role model looked up to by various people of Umlazi Township, Dr Ndlovu was also instrumental in the establishment of the University of Zululand’s satellite campus called Ophikweni, making the University more accessible to the people of Umlazi. This satellite campus now houses MUT’s Faculty of Natural Sciences. Dr Ndlovu was also instrumental in the establishment of Gamalakhe, Umbumbulu, Esikhawini and KwaQgikazi Colleges of Education. He is survived by four of his five children; Phila, Thandeka, Sikhona and Thina. 

Dr Ndlovu’s contribution to education and his role in the establishment of more Colleges of Education sets him apart as a historical giant of South African education. His influence, visionary thinking and leadership will continue to inspire and be celebrated by many upcoming leaders.

Prince Buthelezi, the politician

In the foreground in the back of the pick-up truck is Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi with President Nelson Mandela and Pik Botha, the last apartheid government Minister of Foreign Affairs

During the height of the political violence in South Africa in the 1990s, leaders of political parties decided to appear to their respective followers together in an attempt to quell the violence.

In the foreground in the back of the pick-up truck is Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi with President Nelson Mandela and Pik Botha, the last apartheid government Minister of Foreign Affairs

Prince Buthelezi the family man

Prince Buthelezi married Irene Mzila, a nurse by profession, in 1952 when he was 24 years old.  In the main picture is Prince Buthelezi, Princess Irene, and their children. The other pictures are of the wedding of the couple, Princess Irene and children, and Princess Irene alone.

Students and staff choose names for new residence and Natural Sciences Building

Students voting

Very soon the new student residence on the University’s main campus and the Natural Sciences Building will have names. A large number of MUT students took time from their busy academic schedule to vote for the name of the residence. The campaign to name buildings was executed by a team of interns at the Department of Marketing and Communications, with Sakhile Mathebula as the project leader.

Senior Director in the department, Mbali Mkhize, said that it was important to get students to own the project from the beginning. “Having interns run this project gave us a fresh perspective and helped us connect with students, who are the beneficiaries of the New Student Residence,” she said. “We wanted the names to be decided in a democratic process by those who will use the building and our students did not disappoint.”

MUT students embraced the democratic process and came out in their numbers to vote. Mathebula said that the students thought it was only fair to give the students a chance to air their views. “Democracy has trickled down to every part of our society. The major part of the democratic process is giving people a chance to vote on decision that affect their lives. The new student residence is already a big part of the students’ lives, particularly those that live in it. We wanted the students, as a collective, to name the new structure. This would make it easy for them to associate with the building, and love it,” said Mathebula.

MUT staff, on the other hand, voted for a name for the Natural Sciences Building. The building was never official named since it became part of MUT during the university mergers. Over 20% of MUT’s staff voted for their favourite names, paving the way for a close contest. The new name of the Natural Sciences Building will be announced as part of the University’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Lindokuhle Khoza, Social Engagement Facilitator at Lindbong Development, said they did everything to ensure that the voting process was free and fair. “Everything we did was transparent. All the stakeholders were represented in all the steps leading to the actual voting. During the day of voting we made sure there was order by giving the students the required information time. My colleagues and I monitored the whole process from beginning to the end to ensure everything ran smooth,” said Khoza, who was the Chief Electoral Officer for the entire process. The results will be announced soon.

Staff vote to change MUT Corporate Identity

Staff had to choose from these logos
Staff had to choose from these logos

Voting for the new Corporate Identity (CI) is over, but the journey into shaping the future identity of MUT continues. It has been a long journey that started in 2012. The new look and feel takes into cognisance the strategic direction as outlined in the strategy 2020-2015.  It also responds to strategy 2020’s vision to be a transforming, equitable, sustainable and academically excellent University of Technology anchored in its communities.  Changing the corporate identity is one of the bold steps towards vision 2020-2025 and beyond. We would like to be on par with the current trends world-wide.  The new look and feel is a symbol of change that indicates the University’s strong intentions to foster international partnerships with like-minded institutions. This can mostly be represented in the form of a logo, which staff have been given a chance to choose. Also MUT would like to be an equitable University that is rooted at Umlazi, but has a global vision. All of this, put together, are compelling reasons for the University to have a new corporate identity.

Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director, Department of Marketing and Communications thanked staff for taking part in the whole process. “We engaged staff and encouraged colleagues to take part in the process so that everyone would feel they were part of the group that ushered in the new era. We want everyone to own the process. We were democratic about the whole process,” said Mkhize. The results of the voting will be announced soon.

SAICA grants MUT accreditation to offer Accounting programmes

Sikhumbuzo Mhlongo showing a certificate of permission

The University’s Department of Accounting and Law has been granted permission to offer eight SAICA approved programmes that range from NQF Level 3 to Level 5. Trudy Paul, Project Director: AT/SA, and Chantyl Mulder, Executive Director: SAICA, said the University has accreditation until 30 June 2024.

In a letter to MUT, the accreditation body confirmed to MUT that it was “an accredited training provider of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).” MUT will start offering the eight programmes in 2020. The last achievement date for this new accreditation will be 30 June 2027.

Sikhumbuzo Mhlongo, Acting Head of the department said MUT was the second higher education institution in the country to apply for such a permission and obtained it in its first attempt. “I communicated with colleagues to assist me with all the necessary information, and also consulted all the applicable University polices. We are now going to offer our programme to Grade 12 Accounting candidates who have not gained entry into Higher Education Institutions, and are working, to study the Accounting Technicians South Africa (AT/SA) qualifications from NQF Level 4 to NQF Level 5. These were previously offered by a different body and MUT has just been offering the venues. Now we have to offer these ourselves. The major change has been that AT/SA has been subsumed by SAICA. Now our staff will have to undergo training in June/July,” said Mhlongo.

Mhlongo added that they were going to teach the programme to government officials as well.

Joy as the Faculty of Engineering receives accreditation

Julia Baah

The National Diplomas in Civil, Chemical and Mechanical Engineering received full accreditation and the new Diploma in Civil Engineering received provisional accreditation during ECSA’s recent visit to MUT.

“You keep quiet. I have a lot to say about you!” Those were the heartfelt words Professor Marcus Ramogale, DVC: Teaching and Learning, said to Julia Baah, the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the EMC meeting on 30 May 2019, the second and last day of the ECSA visit. His words were justifiable given the work that Baah and her colleagues undertook in preparation of the Engineering accreditation body’s visit. The ECSA visit was a do or die for the Faculty. It is one visit a University cannot postpone. It is a visit that has to happen for any university to ensure that what it is offering to students is of acceptable national and international standards.

The ECSA team had a lot of positives about the acting dean herself. Her stature was elevated to in-house experts when it came to new standards, particularly with Chemical Engineering where she is an expert. Kudos go to all the engineering departments. It was not an easy journey.

The ECSA visit was another confirmation that MUT’s Engineering courses are at par with national and international standards. The confirmation was particularly important for the new Diploma in Civil Engineering which is in its pilot phase.

Another feather in the cap for the Faculty of Engineering

Professor Bakare
Professor Bakare

“It is my pleasure to be the first to congratulate you with your NRF rating.  You have once again done MUT proud,” said Dr Anette Mienie, MUT’s Research Director, congratulating Babatunde Bakare, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Professor Bakare is now a Y2 rated researcher. “A researcher in this group is recognised by all or the overriding majority of reviewers as having the potential to establish him/herself as a researcher (demonstrated by recent research products),” this is according to the National Research Foundation. “Hearty congratulations, Prof Bakare. Splendid achievement. More power to your elbow!”, was Professor Ramogale’s encouragement to Prof Bakare.

From NGap to a Fulbright Scholarship

Mantwa Madiba
Mantwa Madiba

Mantwa Madiba will thank her decision to leave all her high life in Gauteng and to start from humble beginnings of lecturing as an nGap Lecturer. nGap is the New Generation of Academics Programme. It is a prestigious programme under the Department of Higher Education and Training which recruits new academics. Madiba will soon be moving to the US as a PhD student in law. More details will be forthcoming soon but for now, Senate has welcomed this achievement.

Prince Buthelezi’s university days

: In the picture, from left, Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, who was married to Princess Phikisele Harriet, the daughter of Zulu king Dinuzulu, and was a brother-in-law of Prince Buthelezi’s father, Chief Mathole. Second and forth from left, Prince Buthelezi during his graduation. Third, University of Fort Hare. Fifth, the University of Fort Hare library
In the picture, from left, Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, who was married to Princess Phikisele Harriet, the daughter of Zulu king Dinuzulu, and was a brother-in-law of Prince Buthelezi’s father, Chief Mathole. Second and forth from left, Prince Buthelezi during his graduation. Third, University of Fort Hare. Fifth, the University of Fort Hare library

MUT Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi registered with the University of Fort Hare in 1948 after he matriculated at Adams College.  At Fort Hare Prince Buthelezi studied History, and met political leaders like Professor ZK Mathews and Robert Sobukwe, who like him, made a mark on South Africa’s political landscape.

Electrical Engineering staff complete ECSA training

Prof Naidoo, seated, and Anil
Prof Naidoo, seated, and Anil

Department of Electrical Engineering staff have completed the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) training which is aligned to new qualifications introduced in universities of technology in South Africa.

Professor Ralph Naidoo, and Anil Lonappan are now qualified as assessors, moderators and reviewers in the ECSA’s assessors, moderators and reviewers panel after completing the training on 22 May 2019.

“We can now advise staff and students on the appropriate category of registration,” said Lonappan, a lecturer in the department. Lonappan said the students could register as candidates. Professor Naidoo and Anil are part of the ECSA accreditation panel on Higher Education. Lonappan is also qualified to investigate legal matters pertaining to ECSA.   

The training is also recognised by the International Professional Engineers Agreement (IPEA). IPEA currently has 16 member countries, and three provisional member countries. A person with ECSA professional registration can practice in any of the 16 member countries without any further registration.  Some of the IPEA member countries are Australia, Canada, UK, and USA.

Property group donates to flood victims

Zama, left, and Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Department of Marketing and Communications, right, receiving donations from Ingwe Property staff
Zama, left, and Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Department of Marketing and Communications, right, receiving donations from Ingwe Property staff

The act of kindness towards victims of the recent floods continues. A news article seen by a staff member of Ingwe Property Group, a property firm, has resulted in more donations for the MUT students that were hard hit by the down pour.

Angel Hutchinson, Administrator at Ingwe Property Group, said after seeing the news article online, she asked her colleagues at work to bring more clothing to donate. “My boss and I had been collecting clothing to donate, but had not at the time found a place to give them to. After seeing the article about MUT, I called Nontokozo Nzama.

Nontokozo works in the Department of Marketing and Communications (MarComms) at the University. Zama Sishi, Director: Stakeholder Relations in at MarCommssaid they got a message from the Ingwe Properties last week. “They said to us they would like to contribute in softening the blow suffered by the flood victims, some of whom lost everything. We welcome such assistance, and encourage others to follow suit,” said Sishi. Ingwe Property Group property consultant, Savy Kanniappen, said they were touched by the stories of people that lost so much of their possessions.

Library invites staff and students to advantage of JoVE Video trial period

Patricia Badenhorst
Patricia Badenhorst

MUT library is always looking for ways to improve delivery of information using technology. This is the University’s contribution to ensuring that its staff and students do not become victims of the 4th Industrial Revolution, but instead benefit from the massive technological developments the era brings with it.

This is the reason the University’s Library is inviting staff and students to take the JoVE trial which will run from now until 13 June 2019. “We need to provide our students and staff with new innovative ways to access and process information.  JoVe is one of those ways, as it provides our students and staff with an opportunity to see how cutting-edge technology can be of benefit to them. Through JoVE’s video platform, world-renowned experts show the intricate details of their experiments on video. This will enable our academics and students to be more productive. It will also save the institution time and money,” said Patricia Badenhorst, E-Resources Librarian at the MUT library. Badenhorst said JoVE provides peer-reviewed journal combined with high-quality video demonstrations of experiments with a detailed text protocol, allowing researchers around the globe to learn from each other easily and efficiently. She added that JoVE has produced over 9,500 videos demonstrating experiments from laboratories at top research institutions and delivered online to millions of scientists, educators, and students worldwide. Today, JoVE subscribers include more than 1,000 universities, colleges, biotech and pharmaceutical companies. JaVE trial can be accessed at https://www.jove.com/access under databases on trial from the library page.

For feedback and more information on the database, please contact Ms Pat Badenhorst at badenhorst@mut.ac.za or 031 907 7479.

 

Meet MUT Founder, Prince Buthelezi

Prince Buthelezi, middle, was born on 27 August 1928 Mahlabathini, northern KwaZulu-Natal. Insets, Pronce Buthelezi’s parents, Chief Mathole, and Princess Magogo Constance Sibilile Mantithi Ngangezinye kaDinuzulu. King Dinuzulu ruled the Zulu nation from 20 May 1884 until 18 October 1913

From just 15 students in 1979, to over 13 000 students 40 years later! Forty years, that’s right! From 14-16 June the University will be celebrating four decades since it was founded by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The Prince of KwaPhindangene has been described as a traditionalist, activist, statesman, philosopher, Christian politician, humanitarian and a friend. This week we begin a series of short stories, mainly in pictures, about Prince Buthelezi’s life, from early age to the present.  The pictures are courtesy of the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Museum and Documentation Centre in Ulundi, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Chemical Engineering student provides solution to water problems 

Nkululeko drinking purified water. Note the charcoal in the bottle
Nkululeko drinking purified water. Note the charcoal in the bottle

MUT’s drive for students to become entrepreneurs and business owners is taking shape, in a big way. Many students are beginning to seek opportunities to be employers rather than employees, while at the same time providing solutions to problems plaquing the country and the continent. This is the case for third-year Chemical Engineering student, Nkululeko Msomi, owner of The Ki-Agua, a water purifying business in Kingsburgh, south of Amanzimtoti. The name is derived from Japan’s Kishu Binchotan charcoal which is used to purify water.

“We use activated pieces of charcoal from Japan to purify water, mineralise and PH balance tap, borehole, and harvested rain water,” said Nkululeko.  With one charcoal stick, you are able to purify two to three litres of water per circle for over three months. The charcoal not only purifies water, it also softens and improves the taste of tap water.

Msomi is part of the three Chemical Engineering students that started the business. The other two are Khululiwe Yembe and Fundile Maqhekeza. They are also members of Enactus. For now the small purifying business is based in Kingsbugh, south of Amanzimtoti. The business is growing.

“This is just the start for us. We are looking at building the most innovative water purification plant in the near future. We are negotiating deals with big companies in the industry. We will soon be joined by a full-time administrator and brand and communication office. As a business we have allocated a sum of R19 200 to advance the business.”  The company’s driving philosophy is goal six of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Strategy, which says that: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Msomi is using the business skills and exposure he acquired from Enactus for his business. He has been a member of Enactus since his first year. “I learnt how to start a business, solve a problem than to chase profits, as well as how to lead a team. Travelling gave me an opportunity to rub shoulders with global business leaders,” said Msomi. Enactus is about connecting students with international industry leaders. Beyond Enactus Msomi is now involved in UN work like pushing forward the sustainable development goals, particularly goal six, which has to do with clean water for all world communities, irrespective of their backgrounds.

Nkululeko is also a public speaker – MC and keynote speaker. He uses proceeds from these activities to fund the business. He trains incubators that deal with entrepreneurship in Durban.

Click the link below to view the water purification process used at Ki-Agua: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHV-gLugyCY

MUT graduate from informal settlement takes popular radio by storm

Sam in one of the East Coast Radio studios
Sam in one of the East Coast Radio studios

I still live there! This is how Samkelo Cele, Public Administration graduate at MUT, responded when asked where he was living. Sam Favour, as Cele is known by his listeners, is now a presenter/anchor at East Coast Radio (ECR). He has a music show on Saturday.

“The show focuses on fun and social topics. On Sunday I have a show in which I play local music,” said Cele. Cele started working at ECR on 11 May 2019. He was contacted by ECR’s Programme’s Manager, Zane Derbyshire, with a show proposal. Cele had applied for a show at the station. He said he was excited and grateful that he came to the popular KwaZulu-Natal radio station at the right time. “Taking over such a big show overwhelms me,” he said.   Now Cele communicates with the station’s 1 101 million listeners. He still lives in Kenville, an informal settlement overlooking the Umngeni River in the Springfield area of Durban.

Cele cut his teeth at a community radio station, DYR 105.1 FM, where he had been working since 2017.

Parents continue to support the State of University Address

Parents listening intensely as University officials address them
Parents listening intensely as University officials address them

For the fourth consecutive year, MUT parents still support the   State of The University address, (SOTU). On Saturday, 11 May, executive management took time to appraise parents of developments within the university. Parents listened to reports from a various divisions of the University – the Executive Management, Finance, Operations, and Student Affairs.

First was the Vice Chancellor, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza. After thanking the parents for making time for the meeting, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, gave the reasons for the postponement of the meeting that was supposed to be held early in the year. The VC then updated the parents on what was happening at the University, and the University’s long-term plans in the form of the Strategic Plan 2020-2025. Like all others that followed after him, Dr Malaza pleaded with the parents to take part in the education of their children.

Professor Marcus Ramogale, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, illustrated the importance of the parents’ role in the education of their children. “You are one vital part of the four-legged table. The table won’t do its function if one of its legs is missing,” said Prof Ramogale.

Muzi Khumalo, Senior Director: Operations, gave a detailed report on the state of the University’s infrastructure and future plans regarding infrastructure.

Mbukiso Zuma from Finance spoke about the importance of parents honouring their children’s debt for the sustainability of the institution. He explained to parents that student debt threatened the existence of the university.

Thembi Kweyama, Dean: Student Affairs, informed parents of some of the services that her department offers to students and the challenges her department encountered.

In return, parents engaged with university representatives on their presentations and used the opportunity to check the status of their children’s finances.