MUT holds sport strategy workshop to strengthen its position

Phindani Nene making a presentation

The MUT Sport Strategy is embedded in the University’s Anchor Strategy because sport at MUT needs to make some headway on empowering the MUT students, the youth and people of Umlazi. On 11 July 2019 the Division of Institutional Planning and Research (DIPR) convened a workshop to consult on the draft sport strategy.  Present at the workshop were members from the University’s Student Affairs department; Student Representative Council, MUT Staff Sports Club, Finance, the Department of Marketing  and Communications (MarComms), Operations Directorate, Risk & Compliance as well as Phinda Nene, one of the leading sport administrators in the country, and Senior Manager from an Accounting firm, Price WaterhouseCoopers, Thasleem Osman. Paulo Braga, Hemis Officer at the DIPR, said the renewed focus on sport was as a result of the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza’s vision for MUT to be a global player through sport excellence, and contribute in community development by allowing MUT’s surrounding communities to leverage the University’s resources and sporting facilities.  “Considering that the new Strategic Plan, MUT 2020-2025 focuses on a holistic learning experience, it is only natural to focus on this area where MUT has such a high student participation rate. Moreover, the cognitive, social, and physical benefits of sport participation at universities are the reasons to focus on sports at MUT.” Braga was the facilitator of the meeting.

Nene’s involvement in the MUT Sport Strategy development has shown a potential for MUT sport to move towards a new paradigm shift.   Nene is networked and understands how SA’s ‘Ivy League’ institutions are leveraging sport through sponsorship and using sport to attract students that excel in it. In his presentation which was described as ‘great and valuable’ by the participants, Nene advised that MUT should craft a sport strategy that would make it a global player. Nene said the University should be bold and daring, and knock on doors of prospective funders with a list of what is needed. “You need to decide on what you want to have. Don’t look at this as just sport; look at every sport code as a product that you need to sell to funders and sport supporters. At the end of it all, the sport strategy needs to result in sport as a product that will contribute to the overall MUT strategy,” said Nene.  Nene and Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director at the University’s Department of Marketing and Communications, emphasised that the culture at MUT should change to promote sport activism at the University. Njabulo Xaba, Secretary of the University’s Sport Club, said they were ready to support Management in all its efforts to grow sport culture at the University.  The Staff Sport Club was founded in 2009. It has visited a number of higher education institutions in the country and those of some of South Africa’s neighbours, eSwatini and Mozambique. The Staff Sport Club is natural fertile ground for sport at the University.

Braga ensured that all participants contributed to the strategy so see to it that all aspects of the plan were catered for. Some of these aspects were the risks that are inherent in sport, particularly those that have to do with finances. Osman made a presentation on this area; and Rodney Delomoney, the University’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), made a presentation on the budgeting side of the plan. Other participants in the workshop were leaders of the Student Representative Council.

Far corporation! The team that met to craft the strategy

Far corporation! The team that met to craft the strategy

MUT staff member provide analysis of implications of social media on student activism in South Africa

Mthoko Ntuli

The implications of social media on student activism has been brought to the fore after an article on the issue was published on the African Journal of Higher Education in 2017 by the University’s Student Development Officer, Mthokozisi Ntuli, and a University of KwaZulu-Natal academic, Professor Damtew Teferra. The article explores the impact of digital networks on student activism. The scholarly literature on social media and student activism have recorded that social networks greatly enhances the strength of student movements. However, some scholars have contended that the resulting leadership vacuum, undermines the achievement of their demands and makes it more difficult for the universities and government to effectively respond to such actions. Ntuli said that the outcome of the study was that student activism has adopted new ways in which students organise and have engaged in protest movements under banners of #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall and #OutsourcingMustFall. These movements were organised and mobilised using digital communication media such as Facebook, Twitter and others, to galvanise support. We conclude that higher education institutions and the government need to become more conversant with the implications of digital infrastructure. It therefore recommend that higher education institutions should create an environment that supports and encourages effective use of social media through provision of the necessary infrastructure.

HR&D repositions itself to improve services to staff

HR&D staff, with other MUT staff at the breakaway

In its efforts at ensuring that University governance principles were adhered to, and to maximise the benefits the University would accrue, MUT’s Department of Human Resources and Development (HR&D) had a break-away session from 2-3 July 2019 wherein the department put together a programme towards this goal.

The Acting Senior Director of HR&D, Bheki Shezi, said they felt that the department had to reposition itself so that it could improve its service standards to staff and students. Shezi said the main aim of the break-away was to devise a plan for the department to align its operations with the University’s strategic plan. Shezi said: “Our department is a nerve centre for effective implementation of Mangosuthu University of Technology’s strategic plan. As a result, HR priorities, plans and activities are to be aligned with broad strategic objectives of the University. The HR workshop we hosted was one of the first strategic planning processes aimed at creating space for the Department and its partners to meaningfully participate in the strategic direction of the Department.” Shezi added that they invited colleagues from other departments to assist in crafting a plan that would be their road map. “We needed colleagues to assist us to gather as much information as possible, particularly on the challenges faced by our clients and the University at large towards the realisation of its objectives in order for us to develop clear and well-defined interventions,” said Shezi.

In his presentation to the team, MUT Vice-Chancellor, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza informed HR&D staff that there were various parts of the Strategic Plan 2020-2025 that the team should respond to, and use them as an umbrella guide for the Department’s plans for the University. Dr Jerome Mabaso, Director: Risk and Compliance, informed attendees of the risks that HR&D had to be mindful of, and extended an invitation for assistance should they need it.

Members of the department came back invigorated and ready to take the challenges. They said they learnt a lot from the exercise, which Dudu Shezi, HR officer described as fruitful. Dudu Shezi added that the exercise was an empowerment drive for everyone, including the interns who performed well in their presentation, and showed leadership qualities. Dudu Shezi said that they now know what everybody in the department was doing; the silos had been broken down.

IRDCE empowers pupils with coding skills

Crafting a bright future! Senele, standing, right, and IRDCE staff and the pupils in the lab

The University is heeding the Vice-Chancellor’s call for everyone to be prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to avoid its adverse consequences. The University’s Institute for Rural Development and Community Engagement (IRDCE) partnered with Information Technology company, 4thIR Innovations Pty Ltd, to teach pupils from primary schools in Umlazi Township computer coding. Lessons started on 1 July 2019 and would end on 27 September 2019.

Professor Busi Nkonki-Mandleni, Director of IRDCE, said that the advance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution was inevitable and had to be prepared for. “There is already a shift in the skills that are required. As a great deal of work is going to be done by machines; the skills that will be needed for survival in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era are complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgement and decision-making, service orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility skills. It is for this reason that IRDCE, in partnership with 4iR Innovations Pty Ltd, has embarked on piloting a Coding Project for 20 Grade 4 and 5 pupils of Umgijimi Combined School and Esphethwini Primary School who have good communication skills and curious minds.”

Professor Nkonki-Mandleni said the overall objective of the project was to expose pupils to opportunities that technology presents in order for them to pursue careers that would resonate with the skills that the Fourth Industrial Revolution would require. Pupils received lessons on computational, structural and algorithmic thinking. The expected outcomes of the project are basic programming, problem-solving, listening and improved social interaction and mathematical aptitude. Professor Nkonki-Mandleni added that the project was a pilot exercise meant to be the beginning of the bigger projects that would accommodate as many schools around Umlazi Township as possible, while also providing MUT students with an opportunity to reinforce their computational skills.

Senele Goba, the Director of 4iR Innovations Pty Ltd, said the pupils were responding very well to their technology lessons. “The pupils are very excited. It is heart-warming to see the pupils learning so fast and developing group dynamics,” said Goba, who holds an Honours degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Cape Town. Goba has vast industry experience.

SAICA charts way forward for the higher education sector

SAICA members at MUT

The Mangosuthu University of Technology’s Department of Accounting and Law has been granted accreditation to offer eight Accounting Technician qualifications. The accreditation for these qualifications was granted by SAICA, who have been delegated authority by the QCTO. The approved programmes range from NQF Level 3 to NQF Level 5. While the university has been granted accreditation until 30 June 2024, annual quality assurance visits will be conducted to confirm that the accreditation can still remain in place year on year.

In a letter to MUT, the accrediting body confirmed that the institution was “accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) to offer the Accounting Technician qualifications”. MUT will start offering the eight programmes in 2020. The last achievement date for these qualifications will be 30 June 2027.

Sikhumbuzo Mhlongo, Acting Head of the Department said MUT applied for accreditation and was successful 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 the Accounting Technician qualifications at NQF Levels 4 and 5, to Grade 12 Accounting candidates who have not gained entry into Higher Education institutions. These qualifications were previously offered in partnership with other organisations but MUT are now able to deliver the qualifications independently. MUT staff will undergo training in June/July to ensure a high quality of learning delivery,” said Mhlongo.  Mhlongo added that they were going to teach the programme to government officials as well.

MUT sports teams ready to conquer USSA

MUT volleyball team practicing in Bozzoli Hall

While most of the University’s students are taking a deserved winter break, MUT sports teams are wrapping up their preparations for the University Sports South Africa (USSA) games scheduled for 29 June to 11 July 2019. Rugby and hockey teams will take on their counterparts at Matieland (University of Stellenbosch), while the award-winning dance team will be competing at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. The volleyball team will square up to other higher education institutions teams in Central University of Technology (CUT), the bodybuilding team will be in North West University, and the netball team will be at Wits University.

The Head of the Department of Sports, Willie Mkhwanazi, was confident all the teams would do well. “My message to all the teams was that they needed to uphold the name of the University. We are doing our best to support them,” said Mkhwanazi. Mkhwanazi added that participating in sports was giving their students a chance to be better social beings with a brighter future.

The volleyball team coach, Nkululeko Mtembu said his teams were ready to bring trophies to MUT. “I have been with these teams for more than a year. We are well prepared for CUT visit,” said Mtembu, who coaches both male and female student teams. MUT teams have a history of performing well at this annual tournament; there is every reason to believe this trend will continue this season.

Decolonise the curriculum for global relevance

Prof Ramogale: Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Teaching and Learning

The link between education and human prosperity is universally acknowledged. It is for this reason that, in his State of the Nation address last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted “better educational outcomes” as one of the key goals for the government in the next 10 years.

Although there is consensus on the vital role played by education in social and economic development, there isn’t, unfortunately, agreement on how it can be used to achieve this. In South Africa, there is, however, sufficient consensus on the need to decolonise our education as part of a broad plan to strengthen our educational system and, indirectly, our society and economy.

The need to decolonise our education comes out of a recognition that much of what is taught is a legacy from our colonial past, a past which was designed to entrench unequal power relations and privileges for a minority.

The decolonisation discourse has been accompanied by fierce debates about what this concept means. There has also been contention on how to go about decolonising knowledge, and the curriculum in particular. I will attempt to explain how perspectives from didactics can help us decolonise the curriculum effectively.

Didactics, also known as the science of teaching, recognises that if teaching and learning is to be successful, certain universal conditions must be met. These universal requirements are known as “didactic principles”. Of the several principles recognised in didactic theory, there are three which are of special relevance to the decolonisation of the curriculum.

In the colonial era, the relationship between the coloniser and the colonised was hierarchical, with the colonising culture having positioned itself as superior and “civilised” as opposed to the marginal and “barbaric” culture of the colonised. In this unequal relationship, the coloniser viewed anything indigenous as backward and valueless and the colonised were indoctrinated into believing that this was true. For example, in his book Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela says the following about Healdtown, the school he attended for his secondary education in the late 1930s. “Healdtown was a mission school of the Methodist Church, and provided a Christian and liberal arts education based on an English model. The principal of Healdtown was Dr Arthur Wellington, a stout and stuffy Englishman who boasted of his connection to the Duke of Wellington. At the outset of assemblies, Dr Wellington would walk on stage and say, in his deep bass voice, ‘I am the descendant of the great Duke of Wellington, aristocrat, statesman, and general, who crushed the Frenchman Napoleon at Waterloo and thereby saved civilisation for Europe — and for you, the natives.’

“At this, we would all enthusiastically applaud, each of us profoundly grateful that a descendant of the great Duke of Wellington would take the trouble to educate natives such as ourselves. The educated Englishman was our model; what we aspired to be were ‘black Englishmen’, as we were sometimes derisively called. We were taught — and believed — that the best ideas were English ideas, the best government was English government, and the best men were Englishmen.”

By sanctifying the values and beliefs of the colonial master as the golden standard to strive for, colonial education alienated the colonised from their own culture, and turned them into foreigners in their own land. Through its prioritisation of things European at the expense of things African, colonial education undermined, from an educational point of view, the didactic principle that urges that all teaching must proceed from the known to the unknown. By violating this principle, colonial education ultimately rendered its own teaching ineffectual while also weakening the learning potential of the colonised.

What do I mean by this?

In didactic theory, it is universally accepted that for a learner to acquire new knowledge, the new knowledge must form a link with the knowledge and experiences the learner already possesses. If the new knowledge relates to the learner’s experiences, then the learner will find the new knowledge meaningful and will therefore acquire it with ease and enjoyment. If new facts are not connected to the learner’s existing knowledge, the result is likely to be boredom, alienation and poor motivation.

This probably explains why in the campaign to decolonise our education, young people have routinely complained about how alienating and foreign some institutional cultures in South Africa are. The need to retain the learner’s interest and teach in a meaningful way is the reason teacher-trainees are urged to start with the familiar and then gradually proceed to the unfamiliar.

Colonial education violated this principle of proceeding from the known to the unknown in its foregrounding and veneration of European culture (the unknown) at the expense of the learner’s African culture (the known). Universities inherited this legacy and this explains why, even 25 years after the birth of a democratic South Africa, young people complain of cultural imperialism. So the challenge for universities is to make sure that students are taught first in relation to the experiences they already have and then gradually introduced to new facts and perspectives.

Having started with the familiar, an effective teacher is expected to proceed to the unfamiliar, for staying with the familiar will deprive the learner of new developmental experiences and modes of thought. As we decolonise the curriculum, it is important to remember the continuity imperative, for there is always a temptation in a decolonisation project to stay with the known for reasons that have no bearing on effective teaching and learning but are more connected with chauvinism and cultural pride. In the campaign to decolonise the curriculum, some young people have argued for a “decolonised, Afrocentric” curriculum, with Afrocentrism as a new standard and Africa as the beginning and end of what is worth knowing. But, to do this would not be truly developmental because in progressive thought Afrocentrism is never the end; it is rather a means, a stepping stone to a global platform where scholars engage in intellectual and cultural exchange as equals.

Starting with the known and proceeding to the unknown is inherently progressive because it recognises that while what is familiar is meaningful, a true end of empowering education is mastery of the unfamiliar. By being inward-looking and self-reflexive, Eurocentrism debilitated itself by cutting off links with the infinite riches of global human knowledge — something which may, in part, explain the slow but inevitable decline of the West. The narcissism and self-laudatory expostulations of Eurocentrism are shortcomings that an Afrocentric approach to knowledge and decolonisation must avoid.

In this epoch, where life in the global village has become an inescapable reality, thanks to rapid technological changes, the need to proceed from the known to the unknown, from the local to the global, has become a priority. We must, if we hope to teach for global relevance, decolonise knowledge to enable students to progress from the known to the unknown.

Related to the foregoing principle is another didactic requirement that has the potential to make the decolonisation of the curriculum effective. This principle refers to the need, when teaching, to proceed from the simple to the complex. Teaching that commences with the known does not only make learning interesting and memorable, but also makes it easy and manageable, for what is familiar is usually simple to grasp. But, when a teacher proceeds to the unknown, an element of complexity is introduced, and mastery of complexity is a key objective of worthwhile teaching and learning. Such mastery is made possible by the foundation that the teacher will have created by having started with the known and simple.

Finally, when decolonising the curriculum, we must remember the unity of human knowledge, for didactic theory also recognises the principle of totality, which is also known as the global principle or the principle of integration. Although each person is a member of a family, a clan and nation, on a higher plane each one of us is a member of a single human race — integrated into the whole by virtue of one’s humanness, confronted with similar human problems on account of being an organic member of the human species, and faced with peculiarities of the same human condition. Decolonised knowledge must therefore be integrated with the totality of human knowledge.

This should be easy to achieve if there is acceptance of the need to progress from the known to the unknown, from the simple to complex, and from the local to the global.

Didactic theory can be applied profitably in the decolonisation project. What it teaches us is that we must not decolonise the curriculum with the intention of basking in the glory of African culture and historical achievements, but with the purpose of employing the known, the simple and the local as a springboard for engagement with the unknown, the complex and the global on a higher international plane, for world citizenship is now unavoidable.

Since that time when early humans left the African savannah (the known, the simple and the local) to explore and inhabit the world beyond (the unknown, the complex and the global), the universalisation of human knowledge has been accelerating apace and the shrinking of the globe into a small village has continued relentlessly. Countries that recognise this fact as an inescapable reality of the future, and educate the young for meaningful participation therein, have a better chance of strengthening themselves and their economies.

  • Professor Marcus Ramogale is the deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning at the Mangosuthu University of Technology.

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.