The Department of Human Settlements (DHS) has sealed a partnership with MUT through the Research, Innovation and Engagements directorate after recently injecting a R3, 5million grant for the DHS Research Chair at MUT. This is not the only investment DHS has resolved to undertake for MUT. A National Human Settlements conference will take place from 5-6 October 2017 at the ICC with MUT as the conference convenor. A DHS team, led by Monwabisi Maclean, accompanied by Prof Sijekula Mbanga from Nelson Mandela University (NMU) held a historic meeting to discuss how the conference could help position MUT’s research and its strength on alternative building technologies to DHS, government and all relevant stakeholders. “The long term goal would be to develop a professional body which will show that research is an important part of DHS. The DHS partnership with universities is based on various niche areas. For example, at UNISA the niche area is public administration, NMMU’s the social sciences, while MUT’s is alternative building technologies. We envisage these niche areas being developed at post graduate qualification level in human settlements for parliamentarians and various professionals. There is ample need for these qualifications,” Maclean said.
For MUT, the highlight of the conference will be the launch of the Human Settlements Chair. The conference hopes to draw various role-players such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and eThekwini Municipality.