The Disability Unit recently presented an informative webinar titled: Overcoming Barriers in the Workplace.

The presenters were the Unit’s Dr Amanda Ismail (Head of Department) and Lillian Fortuin and the main aim was to raise awareness about the topic.

The Unit strives to empower and support students with disabilities to reach their full potential in an inclusive academic environment.

“This is a webinar within the final year experience programme, which aims to prepare students for life after CPUT. In addition, it is also done to provide disability awareness and sensitisation,” said Ismail.

The webinar highlighted some of the barriers, including physical barriers such as not having ramps or lifts, as well as some of the common attitudinal barriers people with disabilities face in the workplace, including focusing on a person’s disability rather than their abilities.

It also discussed some of the barriers people with disabilities face when seeking employment such as inaccessible work premises and work tools and lack of structured support for young people with disabilities when making the transition from school to work.

Guidelines for people with disabilities to overcome these barriers were provided as well as tips for employers on how to overcome these barriers.

These include equipping managers with tools and resources to support individual needs and making reasonable accommodation and accessibility a priority.

Wednesday, 04 May 2022

Excellent teachers awarded

The remarkable teaching skills of ab 28 academics from all faculties were acknowledged during the recent CPUT Teaching Excellence Awards, which were held at the Granger Bay campus. 

Among the recipients, were Dr Candice Livingston (Education), Dr Trust Matsilele, Alexandra Noble, Amanda Morris,  Dr Sisanda Nkoala, Dr Belinda Verster (Informatics and Design) Dr Oluwaseun Oyekola, Leigh Middleton, Kevin Musungu, Dr Sweta Patnaik (Engineering & the Built Environment), Dr Shirley Le Roux, Johan Van Rooyen, Dr Frans Radloff, Bonita Kleyn-Magolie,  Dr Hanle Theron, Dr Vusi Mshayisa, (Applied Science), Prinesh Bikhani  Raygaanah Barday, Nadia Davids, Frances De Klerk, Dr Ali Almaktoof, Dr Christiaan Hattingh-Niekerk (Business and Management Sciences), Michael Paulse, Dr Yvonne Prince, Roxanne Maritz, Anelisa Motaung, Dr Kathleen Naidoo, Nkosikho Sogwagwa (Health and Wellness Sciences).

In his opening speech, Prof Rishi Balkaran, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, congratulated the winners. Balkaran said the recipients were working beyond the ordinary to make sure that the students learn.

Two awardees were each given the chance to do a short speech. Dr Oluwaseun Oyekola mentioned that as lecturers they have experienced the #feesmustfall and #Rhodesmustfall protests leading to shutdowns in 2015-2016 and beyond those there were multiple internal student unrests at CPUT.  Oyekola said all these have presented lecturers with difficulties alongside opportunities for innovation in teaching and learning. “I have been privileged to ride the wave, rather than struggle against it,” Oyekola continued.

“While CPUT celebrates our commitment to teaching excellence, I’d like to appreciate those that have been committed to me, making this a reality. I’m able to stand before you today because I stand on the shoulders of giants called my colleagues, my wife has been relentlessly a shoulder to lean on and I’ve been upheld by God’s hands. I am a teacher because of the students. I'd also like to acknowledge the continued support I’ve received from Fundani.

“Behind the scenes of the blessing of this teaching excellence award are bruises, blows and breakdowns. Yet we rise! CPUT, thanks for the opportunities you’ve afforded me, thank you for bestowing me with such an honour and this special award.”

Dr Candice Livingston said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the DVC for Teaching and Learning, the assessment committee and Fundani for this award. But most of all, I owe this to the students. I am a teacher. I teach teachers how to teach. I particularly love English teaching…”

Journalism lecturer Sisanda Nkoala will be flying the CPUT flag at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Global Conference in Uruguay next month.

Not only has one of her papers been selected for presentation at the conference, but she will also serve on a panel discussing "Censorious Assaults on Education and Collateral Impacts on Student Press Freedom”.

“I am really excited and honoured to have been selected because the UNESCO Global Press Freedom conference is an important event for the global journalism fraternity. It allows me to deliberate on press freedom, which is one of the cornerstones of a functioning democracy. It is also an important platform to network and create meaningful collaborations to advance my research and teaching in journalism studies,” said Nkoala.

The title of her paper is Language as symbolic action in online violence against South African female journalists on Twitter.

Nkoala said that online violence against journalists is a global phenomenon. Recent studies have documented patterns suggesting that specific groups of journalists defined by gender are likely targets of online harassment intended to prompt women journalists to self-censor.

 “My study builds on this and focuses on using language as symbolic action for mob censorship in digital spaces against selected female South African journalists. Mob censorship is understood as violence exercised by ordinary citizens against journalists to intimidate and silence the press.”

 Through a qualitative content analysis, she analysed how women journalists are subjected to mob censorship in digital spaces through the posts directed at them.

“My main finding is that the most prevalent linguistic devices used to engage in mob censorship of these women journalists are name-calling and chastisement. My analysis highlights that this occurs through belittling them based on race and gender and trying to admonish these women into silence through sexual innuendo and mentalism.”

The panel she will serve on l will consider issues and developments that threaten student journalists' ability to exercise their press freedom.

This year’s conference will take place from 2 to 5 May and the theme is Journalism under Digital Siege.

World Press Freedom Day is observed on May 3 every year and acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. 

Asked what World Press Freedom means to her, Nkoala said it is a day to remember the centrality of a free and functioning press in all our lives.

“In the age of disinformation, knowing that there exists an institution, like the press, that can be trusted not only to help us decipher fact from fiction but also to speak truth to power and be a voice for those whose voices are muted is important. Our press in South Africa has played such an important role in recent years in doing this. Through entities, such as the South African Press Council, where I serve as a public representative, it is encouraging to know that the climate of excellent and ethical journalism, that is also important for press freedom, is preserved.”

Saturday, 23 April 2022


The intricacies of Chemistry and its unlimited potential is what drives the academic success of the Faculty of Applied Science Dean’s medallist.

Clarise Theron is so absorbed in the science, that she has now enrolled for a degree in Chemical Biology, this after just completing her diploma in Analytical Chemistry at CPUT.

Theron says that once you unlock the science of Chemistry it is a fascinating discipline that is rewarding and interesting.

“Unpacking the different layers of the subject and drawing links between the different modules is what I enjoy most. Drawing links between modules and studying the calculations involved with the subject is my passion,” she says.

Theron also credited her lecturer Dr Shirley Le Roux for giving her the confidence to seek a purposeful career in her field of interest. Theron says students who want to replicate her academic success (distinctions in all subjects with special awards) should focus on their own journey.

“Remember that it is totally normal for your path to look different from someone else’s. University is a good time to develop interpersonal skills and grow. Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help,” she says.

“I feel proud knowing that the hard work paid off.”

The FNB UFH Blues beat FNB CPUT 28-27 in the FNB Varsity Shield final in Alice on Thursday.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a season for the Blues. Last month, the players and coaches were rocked by the death of their director of rugby, Elliot Fana. And yet, they managed to pick themselves up and finish the league phase at the top of the standings.

The players appeared nervous in the lead-up to the final yet managed to maintain their composure against a fiercely competitive FNB CPUT outfit, who had won the previous two titles. FNB CPUT held their own at the scrums and generated significant momentum from their maul. Fort Hare still managed to launch from their set piece, though, and a powerful drive by No 8 Yamkela Mzozyana culminated in a try for lock Ayabulela Xhosana.

FNB CPUT continued to attack via their powerful maul and forced yet another infringement by the hosts. Xhosana was shown a yellow card and Fort Hare finished the stanza with 14 men. The defending champions would not be denied for long, though. Scrumhalf Hugan Engelbrecht touched down after half-time, while yet another maul resulted in a try for No 8 Roland van der Heever.

Flyhalf Feghon-Leigh Snyders converted to give FNB CPUT a 22-16 lead as the game moved into the final quarter. Fort Hare responded immediately, with Xhosana grabbing a second try, but flyhalf Keith Chiwara’s missed conversion left the hosts trailing by a single point.

While Fort Hare tired, FNB CPUT appeared to grow stronger as the final whistle approached. Fullback Caine Stadler finished after an impressive build-up by the visitors, and suddenly the game – and the trophy – was FNB CPUT’s to lose. But there was more drama to come. Snyders overcooked a clearing kick and the players went back for a scrum deep in FNB CPUT territory.

The visitors defended for all they were worth but made a couple of mistakes that allowed the Blues one final shot at glory. In the end, it was the Fort Hare scrum that had the decisive say. After forcing a couple of penalties, the hosts called for yet another set piece. When FNB CPUT brought that scrum down, the referee raced towards the posts to award a penalty try – and Fort Hare the title.

The result marks the Blues’ eighth consecutive win of the season.

FNB UFH Blues 28 (13) – Tries: Ayabulela Xhosana (2), penalty try. Conversion: Keith Chiwara. Penalties: Chiwara (3).

FNB CPUT 27 (8) – Tries: Matthew Coenraad, Hugan Engelbrecht, Roland van der Heever, Caine Stadler. Conversions: Feghon-Leigh Snyders (2). Penalty: Snyders.

FNB Player That Rocks: Yamkela Mzozoyana (FNB UFH Blues)

The hard work has paid off for Odette Fourie, National Diploma: Maritime Studies graduate, as she was rewarded with the Dean’s Merit Certificate for her outstanding academic performance over the three years of study.

The Second Navigating Officer was awarded with the Dean’s Medal in absentia during the Dean’s Excellence Awards ceremony held yesterday at Saretec on the Bellville campus. Reflecting on her success and studies at CPUT, Odette said: “What attributed to my success was that I worked hard… Ms Leonie Louw, Mr Francios Conradie, Ms Samantha Montes, Ms Natasha Fowkes were amazing lecturers.”

She was born in Pretoria and attended high school at Mount Edmund Christian Brothers College, matriculating in 2009. Odette then completed her BCom degree in Business Management at the University of Pretoria in 2013. She later completed her BCom Honours degree in Business Management at the University of South Africa in 2015.

In 2017, she enrolled for the National Diploma in Maritime Studies at CPUT to allow her to fulfil her passion of going to sea.  After completing first-year, she spent two years at sea onboard cargo vessels. She returned to complete the remainder of her qualification before the phase-out of the National Diploma. 

 She obtained an average of 87.7%, obtaining distinctions in all 29 of her subjects. She is currently sailing as a Second Navigating Officer and has the objective to obtain her Master Mariner Unlimited License.

In her welcoming speech, Professor Marshall Sheldon, Dean: Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, said the Dean’s Excellence Awards is a celebration and acknowledgement of “your academic performance” and is awarded to the top performing National Diploma and BTech/Advanced Diploma qualifications in each department. “The fact that you celebrated here today as the performing students in your qualification means that despite the challenges experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021, you persevered and succeeded.”

Sheldon added: “Your hard work and dedication will present itself with wonderful and unexpected opportunities…That as you go out into the world, you remember the communities from which you come [from].” The faculty also rewarded the top students from each department.

Among those who received departmental awards was Clothing and Textile Technology student, Basheerah Schroeder who said: “I feel honoured to be surrounded by fellow students who have strived for excellence. After the struggles of studying during Covid-19, this is very rewarding.”

Another Clothing and Textile Technology student, Micha Williams said: “The awards ceremony was a very emotional event for me as it showed that my hard work over the past three years has paid off. The speakers also encouraged me to study further.”

The Dean’s Top Student Award was received by Ayesha Williams: National Diploma/Diploma and BTech/ Advanced Diploma combined.

Friday, 22 April 2022

Home is where the Heart is

The learners of Hangklip Primary may not realise how privileged they are after this Dean’s Medallist chose to return to her old school in Queenstown to teach.

Marche Jordaan was the top achieving student in the Education Faculty and received the coveted Dean’s medal during the Education graduation on Friday morning, for her consistent average of 85% during her studies.

With a national shortage of Mathematics, Technology and Science teachers, Jordaan could have had the pick of positions to choose from after graduation, however she says she was motivated to return home and give back.

“Teaching at my old school is a huge privilege because I always wanted to give back to the community and I feel like this is a good way of doing that,” she says.

“I believe that is how I can make the biggest difference in children’s lives and I know that not everyone is as advantaged as I was so I would like to be there for those learners whose parents are perhaps not fortunate enough to be able to assist them as much as they need.”

Jordaan says her recipe for academic success was never missing an on-campus class, no matter how insignificant the lesson may have seemed.

“I also completed my assignments to the best of my ability, asked for help and learned from others.”