MUT graduates and students to jet off to Bell’s German plant

From the right, Zeyn Adam, and Dr Nofemela, and the students and graduates, listening to Dr Connie Israel, who was addressing them online

While it is true that the number of South Africans that are unemployed is high, and continues to rise, it is still true that those that dedicate their time to acquiring more knowledge put themselves in a better position to land jobs. It is that kind of thinking that drives the 16 Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) students and graduates that are doing their workplace training with Bell Equipment Company, South Africa, in Richards Bay, north of KwaZulu-Natal.

Bell Equipment is a heavy machinery manufacturing company. It is known for its heavy earth-moving vehicles. These students and graduates will be leaving for the company’s plant in Germany, from 3 March 2023.

Dr Fundiswa Nofemela, the Director of the Department of Cooperative Education at MUT, said the graduates and students will spend three months in Germany.

“This is a great opportunity for our students and graduates to learn and explore the world,” said Dr Nofemela.

Dr Nofemela said that the four students and 12 graduates have already spent three months in Bell’s Richards Bay plant, which is the headquarters of the company. They are under the tutelage of a professional and caring team of Zeyn Adam, Assembly Quality Manager; Martin Moodley, Senior Quality Engineer; and Nkululeko Ngcobo, a Senior Quality Engineer, who graduated in 2010. Adam described Ngcobo as “a professional who does not bring politics into the workplace”. He is exemplary, Adam said.

Moodley has been training the students and graduates for the past three months. He is satisfied with their performance and behaviour. He will accompany them to Germany as their team leader.

The students and graduates said they were glad to have been given the opportunity to acquire more knowledge about the company, which would put them in good stead to land jobs or empower them to create their own companies.

Former Mangquzula High School learner, Hlengiwe Basha, said “the experience will open doors for me to grow as an individual. I will learn more about the manufacturing of machines. This is my area of interest.” Basha said she was curious about machinery. Her grandfather was a tractor driver in Port Shepstone. She will graduate next year.

Mthembiseni Mlondo, a Mechanical Engineering graduate, said the opportunity to go to Germany was a “dream come true” for him. He said he always wanted to go overseas. He said the experience he would gain would improve his chances of landing a job. Mlondo said he wanted to show other students with disabilities that it was possible for them to make it.

Adam’s message to the students and graduates was that they needed to carry the South African flag and their family names high. Adam said there was hope for the country because the students were the future. Adam, Dr Nofemela, and Brand South Africa’s Toni Gumede advised the students to carry the country’s flag with pride and represent South Africa well while overseas.

Speaking at the farewell event for the graduates and students, Executive Director for Institutional Advancement at MUT, Dr Connie Israel said: “This relationship with Bell Equipment signifies a movement forward, as we seek to advance the mission and vision of the University. On behalf of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and Executive Management of MUT, its staff and students, we wish you well. Remember, travel is not a reward for working, it’s education for living.”