A budding academic in the Department of Public Administration and Economics at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) took a conference by storm when he presented his paper. Vuyo Khumalo, a contract lecturer in the department, presented what was voted the best paper at the 21st South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) Conference, which took place from 26-30 September 2022 in East London.
Khumalo’s paper was named the “Best Overall Emerging Conference Paper”. The paper was titled, “Curriculum reforms in the scholarship of teaching Public Administration”. The Head of the Department, Dr Yvonne Mvuyana, said that it was Khumalo’s first presentation at the SAAPAM conference.
Khumalo said the paper was about the response of universities to the need for capacity building and improving education, training, and innovation for the realization of the government’s vision, as envisaged in the South African National Development Plan (NDP).
Khumalo said he fought nerves as he conducted the presentation. His colleagues helped to calm his nerves. Khumalo described it as a “great opportunity for me as a young, upcoming academic. It was a wonderful experience being able to engage with seasoned academics and new scholars from all over the world.”
The following staff members in the department also made presentations: Siphamandla Gumede – “The role of institutions of higher learning in preparing future public servants”; Bongi B Dludla – “Professionalisation of the Public Service: Challenges and Opportunities”; Dr Yvonne Mvuyana – “Disaster Risk Governance and its effects on poor communities: A case of eThekwini Municipality”, and Bonga Ndlovu – “Performance Management system as a mechanism to assist the eThekwini Municipality in delivering on its mandate.”