A soon to graduate student donates a power supply to the Department of Engineering

Vusi, third from left, shaking hands with Mabalana, while Jeeva, left, and Prof Ralph Naidoo look on

The excitement was palpable. Anil Lonappan, a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering, could not hold it back as he was rushing to invite MarComms to capture a gesture by a student who donated a power supply to the department. Vusi Dladla decided to donate his power supply after finishing his design project, which is based on the principle of how a typical batching plant works. Vusi said he noticed that some students were battling to finish their projects as they did not have the necessary power supply. He will be graduating next year. He comes from Danganya, a village in the south of Amanzimtoti.  The Head of the Department, Mabalana Ndlovu, said the power supply was a big addition to the department. “The students would benefit a lot from using it. It is worth thousands of rands,” he said.   Present when Vusi was donating his power supply was Jeeva Naicker of Mondi Ltd. Jeeva is Chair of the advisory board of the department, and an external examiner.

MUT to firm up its relationship with Umlazi District

Ntokozo, second from left, with MarComms staff at Truro House

Ntokozo Cele, the Acting Director of Umlazi District, said now he could relax. “I have been yearning to meet MUT officials to discuss the partnership our district has with the University,” said Ntokozo, a man who has been in the education system since 1990. Ntokozo said his main focus was that whatever intervention programmes MUT was bringing to his district had to be measurable. “We must be able to see the difference. For instance the grade 12 pass percentage of the learners must improve a lot. We will need to continue working with good performing schools like Menzi High, but we should also incorporate other schools that are not doing so well,” he said. The University’s Department of Marketing and Communications has a number of projects it runs to encourage good performance at schools. One of these is the Circle of Excellence (COE), which happens every year. This is when MUT awards schools that have performed well in Mathematics, Physics, and Accounting, and the overall performance during their last grade 12 examinations. Zama Sishi, the Director, Stakeholder Relations at MarComms, said they were confident of the various programmes they were running with better performing schools, and that they would tailor make for identified schools and/or scircumstances. She said it was now important to also get on board those schools performing below 30% in order to make a meaningful and holistic impact.

MUT celebrates June 16 by telling everyone the relevant challenges

Taking the message to the public!

MUT celebrated June 16 in a different way in 2018. Some staff members and students spent hours at the traffic lights junction outside the main gate, main campus, raising awareness for the community of Umlazi on cyber bullying and gender-based violence. The reason for this campaign, as project leader Lisa Mbongwa said, was that the challenges that the youth of 2018 have to contend with are different from those of 1976, and the succeeding years. “This year we decided to focus on cyber bullying which is prevalent these days. We wanted to spread the message as far as possible, that is why we incorporate the community as well,” said Lisa.

NSFAS takes a giant step towards eliminating funding-related problems

Zwane, wearing a baseball cap, talking to students in the presence of MUT Management

The problems that are associated with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) student support are likely to be a thing of the past. On 7 June 2018, NSFAS CEO Steven Zwane, explained to MUT’s Executive Management NSFAS’s plan to deal with the issues that led to problems in the last couple of years. Most of these were as a result of the Higher Education Institutions’ (HEI) processes and NSFAS’s not aligned. Zwane appealed to all HEIs to team-up with NSFAS to ensure that the teething issues were eliminated. Zwane said their main focus was to make sure that no student was inconvenienced, and that their systems would be geared to accommodate all students that apply on time, and those that he described as ‘walk-ins’ in the system, and also the students that register in the middle of the year since MUT has semester programmes. “In all of this we need institutions to work with us. The main aim is make sure that all the bottlenecks are cleared up so that there will be no interruptions in future,” he said. NSFAS also launched NSFAS Bursary Agreement (NBA). Zwane said he would like MUT students to be the first to sign the agreement with NSFAS. During the launch, NSFAS officials took the students through their paces so they would be familiar with the agreement form.

MUT and Deputy Minister of DHET assure Zolile Khumalo’s family of their support

Zolile’s father, left, with Manamela and Dr van Koller

The Khumalo family in Eshowe, northern KwaZulu-Natal, should find it a little bit easier to deal with the loss of their daughter, Zolile Khumalo after a visit by MUT and the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Buti Manamela on 6 June 2018. Representing the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Johan van Koller, Senior Director, Directorate of Institutional Planning and Research (DIPR), assured the family that MUT was with them. “We are here again to convey our sadness as the University. Please know that we are also feeling the pain that you feel about this tragic loss.  Your daughter was our daughter too. We pray for strength.  We will never forget your daughter. Whatever form of support you need from the University, please feel free to ask.” Manamela said they were there to convey their condolences and to inform that the government had plans to improve security at all higher education institutions. He also said there was a need for both boys and girls to change their attitudes. Also present during the visit were Ms Nonhle Mkhulisi, District Mayor of King Cetshwayo District, Ms Bongie Simelane, Deputy Mayor of Mlalazi Municipality; and Ms Fikile Luvuno, Ward Councillor.

Industry must play a bigger role – SETA COO

Sipengane, left, shaking hands with MUT VC, Dr Malaza, while Fundiswa looks on

MUT graduates and students are set to benefit from attending the MUT annual Careers Fair that took place from 31 May to 1 June 2018. Fundiswa Nofemela, Director, Department of Co-Operative Education, said the event gave the over 1000 students and graduates a chance to mingle with the 42 companies that exhibited at the Seme Hall. “Industry provides MUT a chance to create well-rounded graduates. Also, from what we know, our students only know a few companies, the popular ones. The Careers Fair gives them a chance to broaden their view of the working world.”

The importance of the Careers Fair was affirmed by Andile Sipengane, Services SETA COO, who was a guest speaker at the Gala Dinner on the night of the first day. Sipengane appealed to industry to play a bigger role in shaping the academic programmes of higher education institutions so they would be more relevant. This view was supported by MUT’s VC, Dr Duma Enoch Malaza. This would contribute in the employability of the graduates. Industry contributes 1% to SETAs.

Ulundi community benefits from MUT Enactus efforts

Mfundo, right, with another Enactus member, showing the setup they have assembled for the community

One of the measurements of a university is how it impacts upon the different communities within which it exists. Enactus MUT has been playing this role since its inception. This time around it was the Babanango community that benefited. From 24 to 26 May, MUT Enactus went to Babanango, Ulundi, and north of the KwaZulu-Natal, to bring the much needed electricity, particularly to school learners who struggle to do their schoolwork after sunset. Now their academic performance is expected to improve. MUT Enactus installed solar panels in the community centre. The community collected the components and bought the bulbs that are rechargeable. Enucatus trained community members to assemble the device. Enactus has appealed to staff and students to donate R10 or more so they can add more classes to schools. Mfundo Mpulo, MUT Enactus President, said they were about to sign an MoU with Zululand District Municipality for Social and Economic Development Department to buy the components for the electricity device. The project was funded by the IRDCE, with an amount of R52 200.

Nature Conservation makes snake demonstration so students learn to appreciate nature

Nature Conservation, professional snake handlers and students holding two pythons

You can’t preserve and look after what you don’t understand! This is one of the driving philosophies of the Department of Nature conservation, said Prof Peter Small, HOD. It is for this reason that Sithembile Nkosi, a lecturer in the department, organised a demonstration of snake handling.

A professional snake handler, Sicelo Dumezulu, Director, Snake Pharm SA, said his main job was to dispel all the myths about the snakes. “The myths only serve cultural purposes. They emphasize how dangerous snakes are. Not all snakes are dangerous. Also, you need to know how to behave if you are confronted by a dangerous snake like a black imamba. You need to relax, and gently take a step back. Don’t make any fast movement; the snake is faster than you. It will think you are fighting it, and strike.” Sicelo advised that people should keep their surroundings clean, to keep snakes away.

Sicelo also dispelled the belief that a second dose of snake venom counteracts the first one. It only makes things worse, he said.  Sithembile said they wanted their students to get a first-hand experience of snakes from the experts so their view would change, and be in-line with what nature conservation was about.

MUT ethos of work imprinted onto the hearts and minds of learners as they take part in Cell C programme

The happy learners at MUT

The letters ‘MUT’ were quickly turned into a war cry as Lisa Mbongwa brought to a close a day that was full of excitement and learning to the 24 learners from Umlazi Township schools who had been shadowing some MUT staff to learn about what they do on a daily basis. This was MUT’s part in the annual ‘Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work’ programme. The learners said they learnt a lot from the few hours they spent in different departments. Misokuhle Mchunu from Velabahleke High School said she was able to relate what they learn at school with what the Biomed department lecturers taught them. “We learnt different types of specimen in the labs. We also learnt how Biomed staff prepare the specimen for observation. I learnt that Biomed is a fun, interesting and an awesome profession and that women can also do it.” The Biomed staff commended Misokuhle for her being bright. Misokuhle said she wanted to do Medicine. The learners were given certificates of attendance which they held with pride. They jokingly said they would be collecting their pay in the afternoon as they were leaving MUT.

MUT Vice-Chancellor sends condolences over Prof Kamwendo’s death

25 May 2018
Media advisory

MUT Vice-Chancellor sends condolences over Prof Kamwendo’s death

Dr Duma Malaza, newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of Mangosuthu University of Technology has

The late Professor Gregory Kamwendo

expressed his shock at the unexpected death of Professor Gregory Kamwendo, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Zululand. He was shot dead at his residence in Empangeni after 5pm on Tuesday, 23 May 2018.

“As a neighbouring University; we are saddened by this loss and wish the family strength and peace during this difficult time”, said Dr Malaza. “At a personal level, I know Prof Kamwendo as a Dean of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He was an exceptional scholar and teacher. I am sure he will be terribly missed as he was indeed and will always be a timeless icon in the lives of many, especially his students.”

Issued by the Marketing and Communications Department