MUT ADMINISTRATOR, PROF LOURENS VAN STADEN’S SPEECH ON THE OCCASION OF THE INSTALLATION OF THE NEW CHANCELLOR OF MANGOSUTHU UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, PIXLEY SEME HALL, MUT MAIN CAMPUS, UMLAZI TOWNSHIP – 17 MARCH 2023
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
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.