A Namibian Consulate delegation who recently visited CPUT met with the Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships (SIP) delegation   to promote the good bilateral and multilateral relations between CPUT and Higher Education institutions in Namibia.  

The purpose of the visit by the Namibian Consulate delegation, which comprised of Consul General Selma Nghinamundova and Consul Sarafina Eine Tshilunga, was part of the relationship building exercise that the SIP Office has engaged in to reconnect with the Embassies and Consulates in Cape Town.  The SIP Office delivered a presentation consisting of an overview of CPUT and Internationalisation and then a discussion with the Consulate.

“The idea is to connect to strengthen working relationships as well as to partner with universities in Namibia as a strategy to increase their African footprint and create partnerships with the Global South,” said Dr Tasmeera Singh, Manager: International Relations, SIP.

Singh who delivered the CPUT presentation said: “The objectives were to start to build relationship with the Consulate and work with other universities in Namibia to see on how we can collaborate. This is our action to close the existing gap. We need to create and strengthen relationships with other universities.”

Nghinamundova said part of their office’s mandate was to foster partnerships between Namibian and South African Higher Education institutions. “We’re here to look  for formal engagements with CPUT,” she continued.

“We request CPUT to come up with a proposal [template] on areas (for) collaboration and we will facilitate engagements with our universities, one or two universities even if it’s in terms of student exchange and other areas.”

Singh added that the meeting was “a great success as this is the initial start of a series of meetings and events to follow with the Consulate”. “Overall, a positive meeting with huge potential for success and continuity.”

SIP Director, Prof Judy Peter, who was also part of the meeting, said: “We want to establish this kind of relationships and you [Consulate] are in a best position to indicate which university we can work with [in Namibia].”

A hardworking Human Resource Management (HRM) student recently won first prize in the Marius Meyer South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) Excellence Awards.

Third-year student Andiswa Vili outshone students from higher education institutions around the country to scoop the award.

An excited Andiswa said lecturers had to nominate top-performing students for the award.

“We were instructed to propose in a five-minute pre-recorded presentation how an African HR Practitioner could upskill oneself on self-management and working with people in any one of the SABPP standards,” she said.

During her studies, she has achieved distinctions in well over 70% of her modules and was selected as one of the recipients of the EJ Lombardi Trust Bursary and the Western Cape Local Government SETA Bursary. Andiswa also managed to secure an internship with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems International (a Fortune 500 Multinational IT company) where she was offered a permanent position as a Junior HR Business Partner at the end of the programme.

The SABPP, through the National HRM Student Excellence awards, rewards exceling students in the Human Resources and related fields.

This serves as recognition of their outstanding performance in the field at accredited universities in South Africa; and recognition of outstanding performance by SABPP registered student members.

Head of the Human Resource Department, Dr Liiza Gie, said the purpose of the awards is to encourage and empower top performing, deserving students to keep the profession’s flag flying high.

The awarding of the prizes was administered by the SA Human Resource Universities Forum (SAHRUF). The 2022 theme for the SAHRUF is: Managing Talent in an African Hybrid World of Work.

Andiswa said her first reaction after hearing that she had won “to scream with my inner voice”.

“ I was extremely happy because the topic was one very close to my heart and my presentation touched on a lot of intricacies regarding the role to be played by the HR field in the advancement of technology and 4IR as we move more towards working online/virtually. I felt reassured, and my thoughts and ideas were validated after winning first prize.”

The young HR entrepreneur said it was also an honour to be invited to the SABPP 40th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Ceremony, where the award was presented to her.

Andiswa thanked her lecturers and family for their support.

“I have nothing but love and gratitude for all my lecturers, especially Mr (Sihlangene) Mgudlwa - he saw something in me that many had either not seen or ignored, a passion for the field of HR and a pursuit of excellence that I had forgotten I had in me.”

“I would not have been able to achieve half the milestones I achieved this year, without my family. I am truly grateful to everyone who has supported me in everything I pursued in my journey,” she added.

She plans to relocate to the United Kingdom to expand her business and embark on her postgraduate studies.

Monday, 28 November 2022

Student selected for Junior Boks

Anelisa Ndamase says she has no words to describe her emotions when she was informed that she had been selected for the Junior Springboks.

“When I saw a squad of 26 players, I couldn’t believe that my name was part of those 26 players selected for Springbok Juniors,” says a joyful Anelisa.

The 19-year-old Human Resources Management second-year student is originally from Ntlaza, Libode, a small village in the Eastern Cape, but she grew up in Khayelitsha, Cape Town where her rugby skills were polished from the age of 12.

However, her rugby journey didn’t start well. When she started playing it wasn’t easy because she was the only girl in her team training with her male schoolmates. “I consistently fell in love with rugby, I think it was because my uncles also played rugby in their days, so I think it was something that runs in the family and still does.”

She adds: “It wasn’t easy trying to fit in during practise time because I was the only girl and the coach wanted me to give up, but I didn’t. Instead, I took the pain as a strength to push for more, I didn’t allow the boys to get to me. Only when I am at home, I would cry because of the hard things I had done making sure that I compete with those boys in order for them to know that also girls can play rugby.”

Her challenges were made worse “because also my mother didn’t support me at that time… She even thought that she was going to lose me because of how the sport is being displayed”.

One day at training her coach, Simnikiwe Ngunda, told her he could see the love, the passion, and attitude she had towards rugby, and that she was giving her best and he loved that about her, and that one day she would play for Western Province, then play for the Springboks and “he even told me that, ever since he started coaching girls, I am the first girl that didn’t give him hard time when he was training me then he just left me”.

Anelisa managed to recruit other girls from her school to form a team. In 2016 she a joined a club called Dolphins RFC and her rugby career really took shape. In 2017 Anelisa was selected to the Western Province Under 16 Women's Youth Training Centre (YTC). Unfortunately, she couldn’t play the tournament because she was still a minor. In 2018 she made the team again and was the under 16s vice-captain for National Week tournament that was held at JEPPE High School for Boys.

In 2019 she also made the team, and she was the under16s captain for the National Week tournament that was held at JEPPE High School for Boys. At the end of the tournament Anelisa was awarded as the best captain throughout the national week girl’s tournament. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the Under 20 Springbok team because I was still young, but coach Lauren said to me, ‘I believe in you, you are still young but keep on fighting I know you will make the team’. Up to this day I still keep her words and believed what coach Simnikiwe once told me about playing for Springboks.”

The person who Anelisa always look up from is Sinazo Mcatshulwa, Springbok women’s rugby player, “because she also started playing rugby at almost the same age as mine, which makes me believe that she also had go through the challenges I have also faced”.

“I will be a role model to the other rugby players, I will be empowering them, giving them hope, I will be bringing skills and sharing my experience with them and also make them understand the meaning of not giving up in their dreams.”

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Department of Defence (DoD) together with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently visited CPUT.

The visit was a fact-finding mission to assess the state of the African Space Innovation Centre’s capability and potential to provide satellite and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) short courses to the defence department.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, who welcomed the high-level delegation says the well organised event “was very successful” and that CPUT is already a major player in space and the building of nanosatellites. “Therefore, CPUT will have an opportunity to contribute and exhibit her prowess to many stakeholders and a broader platform for the benefit of the Republic of South Africa,” Nhlapo boasts.

Prof Veruscha Fester: Assistant Dean: Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Dr Angus Brandt and Chief Engineer, Nyameko Royi provided an overview of activities in African Space Innovation Centre (ASIC) and Royi later facilitated a tour of the space facilities.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships, Dr David Phaho, who outlined CPUT’ sustainability plans for ASIC, was impressed by the interest shown by DoD brass to “our Research, Innovation” as well as training in the Space Science and Technology Initiatives. “The appreciation they showed to CPUT as an engaged university focusing on the needs of society is noted,” Phaho observes.

He continues: “We regard ASIC/F’Sati as a continental flagship programme hence management has committed resources (human resources, equipment) to ensure sustainability as well as overall transformation of the emerging space industry by training students who reflect the country’s demographics.”

In his observation, Humbulani Mudau, Chief Director: Space Science and Technology, Department of Science and Innovation says the University shared their impressive achievements with the visitors. “The University produced seventy-four satellite engineers from all over the continent with 43% as South Africans over a period of twelve years and five satellites from 2009 to 2021, one launched in 2013, the other one in December 2018 and constellation of three launched in January 2022,” Mudau remarks. He adds that in the current cycle the University admitted 58 students with 81% being South Africans.

“We achieved the purpose of the visit, since Dr Phaho also shared the future plans to sustain the ASIC,” he says.

In his remarks, Brigadier General Lance Mathebula voiced his happiness with the CPUT visit and said their mission was to see how CPUT can assist his department in making sure “that we can have our people that are qualified in air and space”. “We prefer to start with short courses first to improve their skills before they start with long courses.”

Reflecting on the event, Phaho says: “It was a high-level delegation who are aware of our footprint in the space sector. They showed an interest in working with CPUT in advancing the sector in the greater national interest.”

Students from the Department of Nursing Science recently participated in an orientation workshop hosted by HAN University from the Netherlands.

The students were invited for a two-day workshop in Theewaterskloof, which focused on Intercultural consciousness and Cross-cultural communication.

“The Dutch students have done reflection on the South African culture and there has been a lot of learning that took place during the international and intercultural exchange, hopefully being the start of long-standing connections and more workshops in the future,” said Bachelor of Nursing Coordinator, Amy Williams.

Reflecting on the experience, third-year Bachelor of Nursing Science student, Aspasia Solomon, said the cross-cultural communication workshop, which took place on day one, held many important learning experiences and covered a wide range of topics relating to intercultural communication.

“Two things that stood out for me was how different cultures can be so alike yet so vastly different in terms of power index for example, and the need to have an open mind when exploring another culture. However, not only an open mind but also cultural competence, knowledge, sensitivity and limit one’s internal cultural noise.”

Meanwhile a group of first-year students from the Department recently participated in the Night Run to honour Nurses.

The Night Run to Honour Nurses was hosted by the Exceptional Nurse Campaign with the as a fundraiser for bursaries to support student nurses. The message was to honour and express deep gratitude to all the exceptional nurses of our nation.

The Bachelor of Nursing first-year students participated as a group to support their peers and represent CPUT in this wonderful initiative.

“I took part in the Nurses Night Run for the first time and what an amazing experience it was. The run was well supported by non-nurses and quite a few student nurses and registered nurses as well and before the commencement of the run, we were greeted by a few special guests, including the Minister of Health in the Western Cape,” said first-year student, Keziah Dodgen.

“Overall, I had a positive and good experience as I enjoyed the route, got to meet new people and the view we had along the way has been another plus as well. I definitely see myself entering again next year.”

Distinguished Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Mahabubur Chowdhury has been inducted into the esteemed South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS).

SAYAS which was established in 2011, inducts 10 young (younger than 40 years) vibrant researchers who have made a significant mark in their field every year. These members form part of various working groups such as policy making, science communication etc. After five years of service, members become alumni and are replaced by newly elected members.

“This is a stamp of approval on the quality of the research that I have produced so far. This nomination will strive me to do better science and quality science” Chowdhury enthused. SAYAS received 31 nominations from the whole country and only 10 get inducted this year. The process is rigorous.

“Your research impact on the field and your overall contribution to the field are assessed by independent assessors. Only the top 10 candidates get inducted.”

Chowdhury said the Department of Chemical Engineering is filled with excellent academics and that there are only two SAYAS members from CPUT to the “best of my knowledge and both of them are from Chemical Engineering”. “It’s a great testament to the institution, that this institution is nurturing future leaders in their field,” he continued.

“Any prestigious staff achievement is the institution's achievement, as no staff exists without the institution.”

Chowdhury added: “It's very important to do good science. One of my fears is harming science by doing science. Hence, it's very important that the quality of science we scientists do must be of the highest quality.” His aspiration is to “do good science that improves the quality of science we have”.

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

CPUT’s Top Feeder Schools Commended

CPUT’s Marketing and Communication Department has acknowledged the efforts of principals, life orientation teachers and community organisations in inspiring hope in young academically gifted youngsters.

A gala dinner event was recently hosted by the institution to commend CPUT’s top 20 feeder schools. These are schools who consistently enrol the most number of learners to CPUT, and Thandokhulu High School in Mowbray took the top honour.

The event also commended the role that community leaders and their organisations do in ensuring youngsters consider a university education.

Student recruitment Officer Thandokazi Mtshekisa commended everyone present for working in tandem with CPUT to inspire the next generation.

“Without you there is no CPUT,” she said.

“Thank you for all the hard work you are doing in the communities to keep hope alive for these learners and encourage them to come to study further.”

One of the community leaders commended was Latifah Jacobs from Kuils River.

She was nominated by CPUT Student Recruitment Officer Grant Barends who commended her ability to call youth to action in her community.

“Apart from the wonderful community work that she does in Kuils River (feeding the community and assisting with relief when required), Latifah also assisted in mobilising learners from all the schools in the area to participate in a higher education expo that CPUT was participating in. This meant the message of studying further reached more young people than just one school,” he says.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr David Phaho told the guests that he was proud to be partnering with them to make a difference.

“To be in this room this evening means that you have done the groundwork to ensure your learners are eligible for acceptance to CPUT.”

“In short, we understand you and you understand us. Thank you for trusting CPUT as a partner in this journey of educating the future leaders of this country.”

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