Address By The Minister Of Higher Education, Science And Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, on the occasion of the Inauguration of Chancellor of MUT, Mr Sandile Zungu


17 March 2023

Programme Director

The Chancellor, Mr Sandile Donald Muziwenkosi Zungu;

The Administrator, Prof Lourens Van Staden;

Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Marcus Ramogale;

Deputy Vice-Chancellors and other members of the Executive Management present;

Officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training and my Ministry ;

MUT staff;

The leadership of the students;

Distinguished guests,

Members of the media,

Ladies and gentlemen




First and foremost, allow me to thank the Administrator of the University for inviting me to this special occasion of the installation and inauguration of Mr Sandile Zungu as Chancellor of the Mangosuthu University of Technology.

I am deeply honoured to be a part of this special occasion and share this special historical moment with you, your family, the entire MUT community and South Africa at large.

Ladies and gentlemen

Mr Zungu’s association with Umlazi is a personal one, he was born here in the fourth largest township after Soweto, Tembisa and Katlehong.  We are proud about his accomplishments and significant networks within the business community, locally and nationally.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest congratulations to Mr Zungu on his appointment as the Chancellor of this University.

I believe your appointment as a Chancellor of MUT presents enormous opportunities for this University to tap into your networks for funds to contribute toward a sterling future that must be felt and experienced by people of Umlazi.

Having appointed Mr Zungu, the University must seek to leverage his networks and associates to improve the profile of MUT, including linking MUT with industry in order to facilitate Work Based Learning for all learners of this university.

Both my Departments of Higher Education and Training and Science and Innovation and I,  wish you the greatest of success in your appointment and we are looking forward to your contribution in the rebuilding of this University.

Role of a Chancellor

Ladies and gentlemen

The role of the Chancellor is to preside over all congregations and in particular confer all degrees and award all diplomas and certificates at graduation.

Though the office has no executive powers, given the context of our higher education system, the Chancellor, provides leadership to the University without being its manager or governor.

You are an ambassador advocating to raise its profile, and advancing its interests nationally, regionally and internationally. As the University’s titular head, you have an important ambassadorial role for the University, working with the Vice-Chancellor and the Council Chairperson, in this case the Administrator, to represent the University in the external community.

As MUT Chancellor you may be expected to act as mediator and unifying symbol during times of disputes. This is important because governance and management at MUT has been a matter of contention for many years, resulting in instability in the office of the Vice-Chancellor.

The University has been a subject of ministerial interventions more than any of the other institutions since its establishment as a university, with three (3) independent assessments have taken place, and two administrator appointments.

A common theme emerging from the various Independent Assessor report is that of an institution whose institutional identity and ethos are counter to the notion of what a university should be.

I trust you will support MUT leadership and management in the supreme task of reversing that history and join in the effort to rebrand this institution amongst the best that South Africa can offer.

This university enrols over 13 000 students annually. We therefore must not underestimate the significant of the role that this university plays in this community and our country at large.

We know that education provides the means for many in our communities to escape poverty.

As our former State President Nelson Mandela puts it: Education is a great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of a mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.”

Therefore, without any fail, there is therefore an expectation for this University to provide high quality student experience and outcomes because no country can develop unless its citizens are educated.

The 2021 Independent Assessor Report recommended that a concerted effort should be made to transform the culture of this University. We must thus rebuild the image of this institution and strive to be impactful if we seek to ensure that MUT remains relevant to the future.

MUT must define its inherent advantages, the opportunities it can explore and the needs it can serve, the areas it can lead over the next decade and beyond.

With its own advantages, this university must not seek to be like any other that we have in our country, but it must craft its own trajectory and its own unique identity.

I trust that under the leadership of the Administrator, Professor Van Staden, working together with the Management of this University and the new Chancellor, we will begin to see the tide turns; and the University becoming more impactful particularly in the area of Umlazi.

The role of Universities of Technology

Ladies and gentlemen,

The changing nature of work—which favours more flexible and shorter- term assignments— has been widely cited as a key challenge for our future education system.

Therefore, our Universities of Technology (UoT’s) such as MUT have a critical role to play in promoting the knowledge and skills required to facilitate the critical transitions which South Africa has to inevitably embrace. I must also indicate that  MUT is among the 7 of the 26 universities which is assigned this critical role and must not deviate from it.

To ensure that we close this gap in the provision of these critical skills, UoT’s were therefore established to provide essential professional, technological and applied programmes to enable us to bridge the gap between the world of learning and the world of work.  It therefore becomes important that UoT’s must not stray from their critical mission.

We cannot have our UoT’s embark on ‘mission drift’ away from their core mission and wanting to become traditional, academic universities. This would be fatal to our vision of a differentiated higher education and training system, as envisaged in the White Paper on PSET of 2017.

Work-integrated learning, learnerships and similar strategies enabling our students to integrate theoretical training and practical, industry-knowledge and experience, is absolutely important to retain and indeed expand. This is particularly important in the context of the challenges  facing South Africa.

We therefore need a post school education and training system that is skills centred, innovation led and entrepreneurship driven.

It is for these reasons also that our UoTs must also aim to become anchor institutions in the development of the localities in which they are embedded.

Innovation and skills development are crucial to provide the catalysts for uptake of new job opportunities, to create new products and services, and to grow critical sectors of our economy.

I would like to see  our PSET institutions working much more collaboratively than in previous times, specifically to construct partnerships between Universities, TVET Colleges, industry and local communities around key economic sectors.

In this regard, I see the District Development Model (DDM) as an ideal geographical set of spaces around which to construct workable partnerships between these institutions collaborating together in solving development challenges at a local level – for example, water management, food production, renewable energy for low-cost housing, and so forth.

PSET Response to current protest

Programme Director

I also would like to take this opportunity to reflect on some pertinent issues affecting our post school education and training sector, particularly in relation to our sector’s response on current protests taking place in some of our institutions.

I would like to thank all our stakeholders, particularly our Vice Chancellors, organised through Universities South Africa (Usaf) and the South Africa Union of Students (SAUS) and our Trade Unions who heeded to our call for further engagement at an institutional level to deal with challenges that were raised by students and some labour unions at various institutions in our country.

This led to the end of most of the protests taking place in some of our universities and TVET colleges in the past two weeks.

As I have said in my public statement the best place to develop localised mitigation strategies to deal with students and worker challenges is at the institutional level.

I therefore would like to restate that using internal mechanisms, through forums such as the Institutional Forums, would be the most appropriate platforms for all institutional stakeholders to resolved any challenges that might arise.

I however remained concern about the violent nature of some of the protests, which in part manifested isolated acts of intimidation of students, staff and members of the public and the destruction of public and private property.

On submission of enrolment data and NSFAS funding

I also want to further urge all our institutions who have not submitted their enrolment data to NSFAS to do so urgently and accurately, in order to enable NSFAS to  promptly process the student allowances in instances where such allowances have not been proceeded due to incomplete data.

As a Department we are also assisting NSFAS with additional funding to ensure that its IT systems capabilities expand in direct proportion of the number of students NSFAS supports. We therefore have set aside R54 million for NSFAS system support.

Let me also indicate that for MUT in 2022 alone, NSFAS accommodation supported about 9343 student, noting that just over 14 000 students were registered at MUT in 2022. Around 66% or two- thirds of students supported at this institution are NSFAS bursary recipients.

As I have indicated publicly, to date 1,084 574 students have been funded by NSFAS in 2023.

Of the total number of first-time entering students provisionally funded 532,602 are SASSA beneficiaries – this accounts for 80% of First Time Entering Student who applied and are funded by NSFAS. 443 617 Student have opted to study at universities as compared to 211,235 students that have chosen TVET college as their preferred institution to study.

Again, NSFAS has improved its systems to enable it to make real time funding decisions.  At this stage NSFAS is able to make real-time funding decisions for SASSA beneficiaries, while it continues to engage with SARS to enable the same for all its other applicants.

Programme director, I felt that it is important that I highlight these important developments that are taking place in our sector before I conclude on remarks today.

Thank you for very much for the opportunity to be here today and I wish MUT success under its current leadership.

Word Count:1810

Mr Sandile Zungu’s speech on the occasion of his installation as Chancellor of MUT


The role of universities in serving the developmental needs of their immediate communities and society

Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Madam Bridget Motsepe-Radebe, Pan-African Parliament Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Africa

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, The MUT Founder

Anlin Sun, Acting Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Durban

Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

Dr Marcia Socikwa, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

Emeritus Justice Sisi Khampepe, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria

Dr Judy Dlamini, Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand

Sandile Zungu, the Chancellor-elect and his family

Professor Lourens van Staden, the MUT Administrator

Prof Marcus Ramogale, the MUT Acting Vice-Chancellor

Members of the royal family

Industry Captains

Executive Management of MUT

The Student Representative Council

The Convocation Executive

MUT Staff and students

Distinguished guests which includes unkosikazi wami, umkhwe nomkhwekazi wami, osbari bami, my brothers and sisters, friends, ladies and gentlemen


Heeeeeebe! Usuthu!….


I am deeply honoured for the opportunity to contribute to Mangosuthu University of Technology as its Chancellor for the next five years. I was initially reluctant to accept the Chancellorship, only because of the calibre of leaders on whose shadow I will have to walk. Let’s name the former MUT Chancellors: Reverend Dr KEM Mgojo, former premier Willies Mchunu and former minister Lindiwe Sisulu. How do I begin to walk in the shoes of such African giants? I am not the one to shy away from responsibility. I therefore commit to doing my best to honour the tradition of Chancellorship which my predecessors championed for this university.

My journey and that of MUT are similar in many respects. Like MUT, I was born and raised in Umlazi Township, which is also where I matriculated. MUT and I also share a common first love, Engineering. My first qualification is in Mechanical Engineering, and for MUT, Engineering was the University’s founding faculty. Many people probably know me better as a businessperson or an entrepreneur, which by coincidence is also where the University is headed.

With this background in mind, I want to move to the crux of my speech. My speech will focus on the role that universities should play in serving the developmental needs of society in general and their immediate communities. My speech will not be academic, not in the original sense of the word, but I want to locate it within the culture of public intellectualism. As such, I want to introduce an idea that challenges the often-imagined barrier and/or belief that to contribute to intellectual discourses about issues that our communities face, one must be an academic or a researcher. This idea forms the foundation of a lot of what I am going to share with you.

I am not the first person to comment on the role of universities and neither will I be the last. For example, in his inauguration as Chancellor of UNISA, former president Thabo Mbeki, said, “higher education is also important for good citizenship and for enriching and diversifying people’s lives”.  While former president of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, in his 1963 speech as Chancellor of the University of East Africa said:  “For let us be quite clear; the University has not been established purely for prestige purposes. It has a very definite role to play in development in this area, and to do this effectively it must be in, and of, the community it has been established to serve.”

Part of what I am doing with this speech is to invite you to imagine what the role of our beloved MUT should be given the current challenges. This is an important exercise for two reasons: 1. MUT is located at the heart of a sprawling township, Umlazi, which means that its role cannot be the same as the role played by other relatively more privileged universities in their respective communities; and 2. Being located in Umlazi also means that the university has first-hand experience with some of the challenges that the community is faced with. But Universities are where new ideas are developed, debated and tested; it is also where future generations are educated and trained.

Universities have a moral obligation to also train and educate their immediate community to meet their practical daily needs. For MUT, this would mean reaching out to various stakeholders and offering them much-needed education on issues or subjects that have an impact on their lives and their development. In other words, MUT should be the centre of knowledge not only for those who have been accepted to study and have paid their tuition but also for the rest of the community. As unemployment continues to wreak havoc, MUT is better positioned to champion entrepreneurship beyond the university’s borders by offering seminars on subjects such as cash flow management, tax planning and compliance, customer management and technology innovation in businesses. This will help unlock the entrepreneurial potential of Umlazi Township and bring closer to MUT much needed corporate partnerships.

Institutions such as MUT also occupy a place of pride in the hearts and minds of the people of Umlazi and the rest of South Africa. On a symbolic level, the institution represents hope and ambition. Umlazi, like many of our townships, requires the revitalization of hope and ambition for citizens whose power banks of hope have been severely depleted. With its great symbolic power, MUT can restore hope. Imagine MUT designing a comprehensive and accredited course for taxi drivers focusing on customer centricity, embracing technology, cashless payment methods and Safety Health Environment and Quality? Giving these trained taxi drivers a certificate of attendance (or more) would restore hope and self-pride. For not only does that certificate say they have completed training at MUT, but it also says they have the potential to better their lives. Imagine the impact of that training on the lives of South Africans who use taxis daily. The possibilities are limitless when we begin to think of the university in this way.

Ask any young urban parent about the group of people who are most important in their parenting journey, eight out of 10 would say grandparents. Out of those eight, five will probably say, “if only they could also help with homework”. Imagine a course designed to help pensioners read and write and use a computer with the internet. Think about how proud these grandparents would be of their new sense of responsibility, which also allows them to share in the intellectual development of their grandchildren.

After all, universities are part of an ecosystem of knowledge generation and sharing. What this means is that the University also has a double-edged role of producing and engaging with public intellectuals or what Italian scholar, Antonio Gramsci, called the “organic intellectual”. These intellectuals come in various ages and genders and share their thoughts on various spaces and languages. More platforms are required to intentionally engage with these public intellectuals and the rest of our communities. Knowledge sharing forms the basis for any attempt at developing knowledge that engages communities because sharing knowledge is a two-way street.

How can universities meet this obligation? MUT, like many other universities, has three pillars; that is teaching and learning, research and community engagement. It is the latter of the three that I think holds the key to intensifying the role of the University in the community of Umlazi. This university is rich with academics and researchers in skills areas that could be of great benefit to the community of Umlazi. There are academics who are experts in Accounting, Law, Marketing and Agriculture, to name a few. Refocusing community engagement to respond to community needs would revitalize the hopes and ambitions of the people of Umlazi.

MUT also has another untapped potential, that of students. We celebrate these students’ graduations every year, but we seldom give a thought to the fact that their education is Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) or not. We need to start integrating public service as part of the requirements for one to graduate with a qualification. Every student can contribute to increasing access to knowledge for community members who need it the most. Why is an Electrical Engineering student not using their expertise to assess household electrical wirings in our informal settlements and where there is a greater need? The same question would apply to Agriculture students and students who excel in Mathematics and Sciences, to name a few.

In conclusion, a university is only as good as the community that surrounds it. When the community prospers, the university also prospers.

With these few words, I wish to assure you, Ndunankulu ka Zulu wonkana, Mntwana wakwaPhindangene that I am very excited at becoming chancellor of the institution you conceptualized in 1974. Honourable Minister Nzimande, you can count on the chancellor of Mangosuthu University of Technology to make this a world-class tertiary institution.


I thank you!

MUT Administrator, Prof Lourens Van Staden’s speech on the occasion of the installation of the new Chancellor of MUT


As the Administrator of Mangosuthu University of Technology, I extend a heartfelt welcome to all attending this inauguration ceremony of the new Chancellor. We are particularly grateful for the presence of various dignitaries who have joined us for this auspicious occasion. I would like to recognise the following people who have joined in the academic procession:

Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Madam Bridget Motsepe-Radebe, Pan-African Parliament Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Africa

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, The MUT Founder

Anlin Sun, Acting Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Durban

Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

Dr Marcia Socikwa, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

Emeritus Justice Sisi Khampepe, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria

Dr Judy Dlamini, Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand

Sandile Zungu, the Chancellor-elect and his family

Professor Lourens van Staden, the MUT Administrator

Prof Marcus Ramogale, the MUT Acting Vice-Chancellor

Members of the royal family

Industry Captains

Executive Management of MUT

The Student Representative Council

The Convocation Executive

MUT Staff and students


Ladies and Gentlemen, you are all welcome. Today’s ceremony is also an opportunity for MUT to pay a special tribute to Umlazi Township, which the institution proudly calls its home. There is no better way to say thank you to Umlazi than by choosing one of its own to be Chancellor. This decision is not only an expression of faith in the university’s immediate community but is also a reminder that the destiny of the university and that of Umlazi are intertwined.

Universities pay careful consideration when choosing their leaders and/or people who will officially represent the institution because of the great responsibilities bestowed on universities. If “a fish rots from the head down”, it is safe to surmise that a healthy one is also healthy from the head down. This idiom is a reminder that it matters who leads, and conversely, not everyone can lead. This is more so in the current South African higher education system which faces several challenges.

Mr Chancellor, the University is humbled that you accepted its request. But “to whom much is given, much will be required”. The university trusts that you will see value in contributing to its re-energising efforts to create meaningful partnerships with corporate South Africa. Your position in the business sector gives you the influence and respect that can change the fortunes of this university. It is well-known that Historically Disadvantaged Institutions are not looked at favourably by potential donors and funders. We hope that your association with MUT will remind the business community that if they are serious about making a difference that matters, MUT should be their first stop. This university is a great place for those who have a thirst for making a difference.

I have no doubt that you will render your responsibilities as Chancellor with great honour, humility and distinction. I wish you a fruitful journey at MUT.

With those few words, I thank you.


MUT warns applicants of WhatsApp scam doing the rounds

Dear Applicants and Parents,

It has come to MUT’s attention that WhatsApp scams are doing the rounds. These scams are targeting applicants. Their modus operandi is to invite applicants who want to study at MUT to pay money using the following payment methods:

  1. E-Wallet
  2. Money Send
  3. Spar Payment
  4. Capitec
  5. Shoprite

All the above payment methods are not the official payment method used by MUT. The individuals luring applicants to pay money using those methods are not acting on behalf of the University. The WhatsApp messages seek to defraud applicants of their hard-earned money by misleading them into thinking they are paying for spaces at the university, which is unlawful and illegal.  All applicants get spaces based on their grade 12 results after they have applied through the Central Application Office (CAO). MUT wants to guarantee you that any money you pay using the five payment methods mentioned above will not go to the University, and neither will it get you space to study at the University.

You are also reminded that MUT does NOT communicate with applicants via WhatsApp messages. MUT communicates with applicants through SMSes using the mobile numbers they provided to the CAO. Any money that you are required to pay MUT should be paid directly to the MUT ABSA, Current Account number: 4063827633, branch code: 632005.

All applicants are advised to be vigilant with their money, and not to be scammed into paying any individual, including students and staff members, for spaces at the University.  Remember to immediately report to MUT security personnel or call 0800 228 999 should you know of anyone demanding money from applicants on behalf of MUT and/or to get applicants space to study at MUT.


Zolisa Gqamane

Deputy Registrar: Academic Affairs