click here to view CPUT's Privacy Plan >>>

Monday, 18 November 2019

Boost for emerging farmers

Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying and Centre for Water and Sanitation Researcher, Dr Bongani Ncube, is beaming with confidence after she played a leading role in the successful launch of a website that will support ‘smallholder’ farmers with water resource management.

The website was developed from a research project which is titled, Approaches for Emerging Farmer Participation in Water Resource Management: The Case of the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA), Western Cape. As a project leader, Ncube collaborated with BGCMA and the University of the Western Cape to develop and implement joint research and capacity building programmes based on the BGCMA research and training needs for emerging farmers. The launch was held in Worcester recently.

The main objectives were to assess the progress in accessing water by small-scale and emerging farmers, challenges faced by the farmers in participating in water resource management and to explore the opportunities for engaging the farmers in water allocation processes.

According to Ncube, the Water Research Commission funded the project and translation of the package from English into Afrikaans and IsiXhosa. The website is freely accessible and it can also be accessed via mobile phones. The package is also downloadable in the three languages. “For the farmers who do not have smartphones the package has been printed into hard copies for free distribution via the participating institutions,” she said.

Other participating institutions include the Department of Water and Sanitation, Berg-Olifants Proto CMA, Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and African Farmers Association of South Africa. Meanwhile, CPUT played the coordinator and facilitator roles.

BGCMA Chief Executive Officer, Jan van Staden, said the website will play a huge role in assisting the emerging farmers to access the agricultural information which was not easy to find before. “The website will enable the emerging farmers especially from the previously disadvantaged communities to know where to go for support. With a click in a button they will know who to contact or where to go for any particular information.”

The excellent work produced by postgraduate students was acknowledged and showcased during the recent Postgraduate Conference.
Hosted by the Centre for Postgraduate Studies, the event gave Masters and Doctoral candidates the opportunity to deliver presentations and present posters on their research activities and innovations.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, said the day was an important one on the CPUT calendar.

“If we are serious about building One Smart CPUT, we have to encourage each and every student and say: ‘this continent needs you, this country needs you’.”

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Prof Marshall Sheldon, said the event aimed to give postgraduate students, who were close to graduating, the opportunity to share their results with an audience and engage in a scientific way.

“It’s also to acknowledge the great work our postgraduate students are doing and to provide us with an opportunity to create a research environment and build up a culture that we want to build within CPUT as we close our vision 2020 and transition into our Vision 2030 to become one smart CPUT.”

Research Director, Prof Dina Burger, encouraged the delegates to use the conference to explore opportunities to link up with the research being done by others.
“That is ultimately what research is about – working together and going beyond your own discipline and looking at things from different perspectives.”

The winner in the oral presentation category was Uchenna Okwuosa (MEng Mechanical Engineering), whose presentation was titled: Development of Shrouded Thrust Vectoring System for Short Take-Off Control. In second place was Talent Moyo (DComm Marketing) while Lizel Hudson (Doctorate in Radiography) was third.

The winner of the poster presentations was Kayla Arendse (MTech Retail Business Management), whose presentation was titled: Critical success factors for e-tailing: a case study of clothing retailers in Cape Town. Bulelwa Ntobela (Master of Horticultural Science) was second while Shaheed Roos: (Master of Horticultural Science) and Romuald Kouami Tchamba (MEng Mechanical) tied for third place.

The universities in the Western Cape mutually benefit from best practices and advances in the crucial and dynamic teaching and learning space in higher education, so that they remain responsive and current in order, to attract and engage the best minds.

Tuesday, 05 November 2019

First digital research hub in SA

CPUT added yet another feather to its cap when the Marketing Department recently launched the country’s first Brand and Digital Research Hub.

A beaming smile glows and shines with true joy, on Chemistry Masters’ student, Bongisiwe Zozo, after producing the best poster at The First African Conference on Edible Insects held in Harare, Zimbabwe, recently.

A CPUT lecturer is the first person in South Africa to test a new Higher Education Policy on evaluating creative works.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Research Ethics under the spotlight

Challenges, controversies and emerging issues within research ethics came under the spotlight during the institution’s Annual Research Ethics Day.