- Prof DJ Close First Rector-1980-1985
Prof DJ Close was the first Rector of the Technikon from 1980-1985. He was a qualified engineer with considerable experience of technical training, both in educational institutions and in industry. He was the inaugural principal of Ndola Technical College in the then Rhodesia from 1960-1963. Prior to coming to Mangosuthu Technikon; he had been the principal of the Salisbury Polytechnic.
He administered over the academic staff that had been seconded to the college by the Department of Education and Training. Part-time lecturers from other academic institutions in the Durban area were utilised whenever necessary.
When he started in 1980, Mangosuthu Technikon, then was administered by the Department of Education and Culture of the KwaZulu Government Service. In 1981, the Technikon was granted an autonomous status under the control of a Governing Council (formerly advisory only) in terms of the KwaZulu Technikons Act of 1981. As a result; this placed Mangosuthu Technikon on the same basis as the Technikon for whites under the Department of National Education.
The first graduation ceremony was in 1985 with 115 students.
2. Prof Alan G. Shakespeare Rector: 1986-1990
During the period 1986-1990, the Rector was Professor Alan G. Shakespeare who had these qualifications: MA (Cambridge), PGCE, C.Eng, FIMM, MM.
During this period, the student population had increased as a result of the Technikon taking over two vocational colleges, one for health and one for agriculture. These were the School of Health Sciences which transferred from Edendale Technical in Pietermaritzburg to the Technikon while the School of Earth Sciences transferred from Owen Sithole College of Agriculture at Empangeni to the Technikon. The Public Administration Department from the University of Zululand was later transferred to the Technikon, too. This take-over by the Technikon was a seamless process given the political climate of the time. In today’s democratic period, a process of this nature would require various consultations and stakeholder engagement meetings, often resulting in unpredictable reactions.
3. Prof AJ Vos Rector: 1991-1995
From 1991-1995, the Rector was Prof AJ Vos. By then, the student population was at 5871 and it is important to note that this is the time when the Technikon introduced the three faculties of engineering, management sciences and natural sciences, a complete shift from what it was originally designed for, i.e. engineering studies.
4. Prof AM Ndlovu: 1997-2008
In 1997, Prof Aaron Mseshi Ndlovu assumed reign as the Vice-Chancellor & Principal. His executive management included Prof Edmund Zingu as Vice-Principal Academic, Prof Gabriel Ndabandaba, Vice-Principal Student Affairs and Ms Ayesha Mohamed, who became the first female and African Vice-Principal, Administration. Prof Ndlovu arrived at a point when the Technikon was defining its identity in terms of strategic planning. He continued with a Technikon Planning Team that had commenced work on the core purpose of the Technikon. Under Prof Ndlovu’s leadership, the team finally produced the Technikon Strategic Plan 1998-2001 which was developed within the context of the National Vision for Higher Education, of:
- Promoting equity of access and fair chances of success to all who are seeking to realise their potential through higher education;
- Meeting national development needs through well-planned, coordinated teaching, learning and research programmes;
- Supporting a democratic ethos and a culture of human rights through educational programmes and practice conducive to critical discourse and creative thinking and cultural tolerance; and
- Contributing to the advancement of all forms of knowledge and scholarship, addressing the diverse demands and problems of the local, national and southern African and the entire African continent.
In its entirety, the strategic plan development involved a wide-range of audience drawn from the leadership of the time and members of the local community. It was approved by the Academic Board and the Technikon Council. From 1999-2002, the Technikon set itself a Three-Year Rolling Plan. By 1998 it had grown to 6298 students from 1988’s 868 students. It had been in 1998 that the Technikon introduced evening classes owing to space constraints.
Prof Ndlovu’s legacy includes the infrastructure development (Seme Hele, West Wing executive offices, the transfer of Ophikweni Campus to MUT). In addition, he played a pivotal role in ensuring the autonomy of MUT during mergers.
5. Prof MK Kgaphola: 2010-2017
In August 2010, Prof Kgaphola was appointed as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of MUT. Prof Kgaphola led the development of the MUT Strategic Plan 2020 which was approved by Council in the same year. Council also approved the Self-Evaluation document, which formed a basis for the HEQC institutional audit.
MUT was audited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) in May 2011. The audit took place as part of the HEQC’s quality assurance system in the higher education sector. MUT submitted a comprehensive Self-Evaluation Report (SER), which was used as the basis for the audit. The SER addressed the following issues: governance, quality management, teaching and learning and assessment, research and community engagement.
In 2014, Prof Mashupye Ratale Kgaphola, was also nominated as the Chair of the South African Technology Network (SATN) and in the same year received an award from the World Educational Congress, a think tank which is managed by the core team and advisory board from India’s world class corporations, multinationals and educationalists.
His legacy at MUT was the infrastructure development that saw the completion of top-notch science and engineering buildings as well as a campus Master-Plan that is today serving as a basis for MUT’s infrastructure development.
6. Dr Enoch Duma Malaza: 2018-current
Dr Enoch Duma Malaza is an Ivy League graduate of the USA (Brown University) and UK (University of Cambridge), having started off at the University of Cape Town.
Dr Malaza has adopted a very strategic approach in moving MUT to the next level. MUT Strategy 2025 is a few weeks from getting approved by Council. Some of the key gains with this strategy include:
- The Anchor Strategy
- Strengthening governance
- Sports development.
Dr Malaza’s Inaguration was the Ministers of Higher Education & Training, Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations & Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu who is also MUT’s Chancellor; and the Founding Father of MUT: Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. They also officially opened the Student Phase 1 Residence which had been having problems with completion.
THE FUTURE: Message from Dr Enoch Duma Malaza
“Over the past 18 months, we have had an opportunity to reflect on what has worked and what has not worked for us. Thus, we came up with a brand statement, ‘Shaping and Owning the future’. We want to have a common purpose for coming to work, we want to be inspired and we hope the Strategy we have developed with staff is driven by their aspirations.
We have been rethinking how we connect to the entire SA, the continent and the world. One of our themes in the Strategy 2025 is ‘National and international engagement’. Some of the short-term programmes relative to this are nation-building initiatives.
Coming out of the 40th celebrations will be the establishment of the Umlazi Cultural Centre. We discovered during this process that the history of Umlazi Township is fragmented and the information researched and collected during the 40th celebrations, make us believe that we could still uncover more historical information on Umlazi Township. We would have fulfilled a mandate of bringing information to our people. We will be going on a fundraising drive for this initiative.
We have already developed a Sports Development Strategy for MUT. We believe that we need to provide a perfect sports strategy that also includes our communities and enhance their participation at national and international levels.
Our strategy is our change agenda and rests on how well we are responding to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and National Policy imperatives. I am assured that our Teaching & Learning portfolio has delved into this by introducing a programme of entrepreneurship as a mandatory requirement into our curriculum so that our students may never become perpetual job seekers but job creators.
We are on course into forging strategic relationships with Umlazi Township and laying the foundation for a partnership that will develop the Township’s schooling, economic and its social welfare.
I am grateful of the executive team that has been working with me since the 2nd of May 2018 when I assumed duties at MUT”.