An inspiring group of dedicated CPUT staff members has played a crucial role to help ensure the health and safety of the university community during the pandemic. More than 15 000 vaccinations have been administered at the CPUT Vaccination Centre, and our vaccinators have been right at the frontline. We are sharing some of their stories:

Sarah Roberts strives to serve the community and to promote health and she has done just so while working at the CPUT Vaccination Centre.

Roberts, a professional nurse, joined the centre in January last year as a vaccinator.
“Nursing has always been my passion because it is to care for people,” she said.

She added that one of the highlights of working at the Centre has been to see so many people interested in the vaccine.

“Vaccination is important to everyone in the community and to minimize the statistics.”

Roberts is a widow and mother of three daughters and three grandchildren and hopes to further her studies.

FNB CPUT began their Varsity Shield title defence with a 38-7 win against hosts FNB Rhodes.

Two converted tries, by No 8 Eely Pieters and right wing Christopher Andrews, gave the champions a 14-0 half-time lead.

Lock Moegamat Toffar crossed the line early in the second half for FNB CPUT, before the Stallions finally got on the board in the 54th minute, when outside centre Jano Roux scored a converted try.

FNB CPUT claimed their bonus-point try through flank Keanan Solomons and flyhalf Feghon-Leigh Snyders’ fourth conversion made it 28-7. 

Outside centre Björkan Hendricks and replacement Duran Alexander then scored late tries to round off a convincing victory.

FNB Varsity Shield Round 1 results and scorers:

FNB UFH Blues 13 (8) – Tries: Kamvelihle Fatyela, Migcobo Bovu; Penalty: Keith Chiwara.

FNB TUT Vikings 3 (3) – Penalty: Mauritz Maritz
FNB Player That Rocks: Migcobo Bovu (FNB UFH Blues)

FNB WSU All Blacks 22 (22) – Tries: Sicelo Tole, Ayabulela Zono, Lwandile Mapuko. Conversions: Mapuko (2), Penalty: Mapuko

FNB UKZN Impi 23 (8) – Tries: Menzi Mabaso, Tristan Trollip, Devandré Adendorf; Conversion: Jarryd Nicholl; Penalties: Dawro Kock (2)

FNB Player That Rocks: Menzi Mabaso (FNB UKZN Impi)

FNB Rhodes 7 (0) – Try: Jano Roux; Conversion: Siyolise Mabodla.
FNB CPUT 38 (14) – Tries: Eely Pieters, Christopher Andrews, Moegamat Toffar, Keanan Solomons, Björkan Hendricks, Duran Alexander; Conversions: Feghon-Leigh Snyders (4)
FNB Player That Rocks: Feghon-Leigh Snyders (FNB CPUT)

Written by Varsity Shield

Well-known TV and radio presenter Tracey Lange was the speaker during the Media Department’s first lunch time talk for 2022.

The bubbly Kfm and Tussen Ons presenter spoke about how she has used language as a resource to connect with audiences on radio and TV throughout her career.

She is known for her ability to communicate with her audiences in both English and Afrikaans.

Journalism lecturer Sisanda Nkoala said the main objective of this year’s series was to get journalism students and anyone interested in the role of journalism in society, to hear from professionals in the space, “and then deliberate on the centrality of news media in how we live our lives”

“The advent of social media and the development of phenomenon such as disinformation, have raised questions on the place of news media, given that nowadays ‘anyone’ can create and share content online. The speakers in this series will talk about their journeys as media professionals and reflect more deeply on their views on why the craft of journalism is still important, perhaps now more than ever.”

Nkoala said last year’s speaker series had been extremely well received.

“The series was opened up to anyone to attend and we had requests from other journalism education entities for requests to share some of the sessions. More importantly, our students were able to network virtually with media professionals and use that opportunity as a means of getting mentored. The speakers themselves were extremely impressed with the engagements.”

During the online talk Lange shared with students how she started her career at a law firm and got into a broadcasting career by chance.

She started helping out at a community radio station in Somerset West and said “the doors opened up from there”.

Her first paying job in radio was at Good Hope FM where she initially read the news on weekends.

“Within four months they offered me a weekday position, drivetime position, because it was only the breakfast and drive time newsreaders that read English and Afrikaans.”

“I put in the work and people started realising that I can easily do English and Afrikaans and switch between it quite comfortably. And now it’s something that people know me for.”

Lange told students that much of what she had achieved has been because she took initiative to make the calls and send the emails and encouraged students to “open themselves up to just about any opportunity”.

Enthusiastic lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual (LGBTQIA+) community members and other members of the CPUT community recently converged at the Poolhouse for an event to mark the launch of the Queer Unicorns Student Society.

CPUT Queer Unicorns is an organisation that creates a safe, open, intersectional and equitable space in the university which enables the minority to be free in their pre professional space, to fully participate and contribute with their outmost potential, explained the organisation’s treasurer, Ananinonke Mtalaliso. “Most importantly, the organisation consciously carries affirmations for individuals and all sexual identities. Enforcing advocacy and diversity is our priority,” Ananinonke continued.

“Our mission as an organisation is to establish and entrench a human rights culture in our society as laid [out] in our constitution.”

She added that the organisation firmly believed that the “post-apartheid transformation process for our society involves the prevention of discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity and removal of patriarchal and hetero normative privilege with this we uphold the six values enriched with freedom, equality, human dignity, non-discrimination, non-racism and non-sexism”.

“You are not what people say you are, you are what you know yourself to be and what you love.”

Student Development Officer: Student Governance and Leadership Development, Melani-Ann Hara, coordinated the launch and is providing support to the CPUT Queer Unicorn Structure.  Hara said she was very proud to work with the structure and the executive team.

“This is the very first time ever that we have hoisted the LGBTQI flag at CPUT, I am very proud to be part of this event.”

She said it was a momentous moment for all those who were involved in the establishment of the structure. “An event which proudly celebrated the CPUT LGBTQIA+ community. The launch was enjoyed by all and celebrated our diversity and emphasised the need for the CPUT community to become a more inclusive space for all,” she said.  

The students have put in the hard work throughout last year, meeting with the relevant CPUT stakeholders to build  a LGBTQIA+ Student Structure which has support and a strong foundation to provide a safe space for all and an inclusive CPUT environment. Queer Unicorns secretary, Kabelo Rapholo said: “It is all our responsibility to ensure CPUT spaces are safe and inclusive for all, stand up against discrimination, hate crimes and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community. I would encourage all CPUT students and staff to educate themselves and engage with the CPUT Queer Unicorns Student Society and the activities they will roll out throughout the year. It is up to us to create a truly inclusive CPUT for all.”

 Addressing the guests, Director: Centre for Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Change: Office of the Vice Chancellor, Nonkosi Tyolwana said: “We are here today with the understanding that ending marginalisation and exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people is a human rights priority – and a development imperative

“We are here together to break down the barriers that prevent LGBTQIA+ people from exercising their full human rights. When we do that, we will liberate them to fully and productively contribute to our common economic progress. The investments we make in eliminating intolerance and hate will bring huge benefits across the university agenda.”

Bellville SRC Chairperson, Lutho Xakayi urged the LGBTQIA+ society to be patient with those who are not familiar with them and urged the society and its structure to educate those who are still in the dark about the LGBTQIA+ community rights. “This is a transformation that we have been fighting for,” Lutho said. Head of Student Governance and Leadership development, Sammy Elie pronounced the University’s support for the students’ achievements. “Never undermine what you have achieved today, we endorse what you’re doing.”    

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

Monday, 28 February 2022

DSI delegation visits CPUT

A Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) delegation recently visited the Institution to establish contact with the Research Directorate and get an overview of how research is managed at CPUT.

At the meeting, CPUT was represented by Dr David Phaho – Deputy-Vice Chancellor Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Dr Elisha Chiware- Director : Library Services, Dr Hester Burger – Manager: Unit of Research Integrity, Research Directorate, Dr Patricia Smit – Manager: Research Capacity Development and Dr Nelisiwe Maleka – Manager: Research Uptake Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships.

Burger said the purpose of the meeting was two-folded:

  • To introduce the work that DSI does with research offices, particularly on the relationship between South Africa and Europe and the collaboration in science and innovation research
  • To enlighten DSI about the areas of research at CPUT and activities that are running currently between CPUT and Europe.

At the meeting, the DSI stated that they aim to create contact with the Research Directorate so that they can arrange information sessions.  The department also advised that there are bilateral consortiums on research initiatives with European countries other than bilateral calls e.g. Consortium of minerals and water in Germany and Austria.  DSI coordinates South African-European funded projects. There are annual joint committee meetings chaired by the DSI Director General (DG) and European Commission DG.

On behalf of the DIS delegation, Dr Toto Matshediso stated that  it’s very important for South African institutions of higher learning to use these consortiums to forge bilateral co-operation so that they can have access to information about research initiatives and that the interest is in spin-off companies.

A comprehensive overview was provided by representatives on how CPUT manages its Research and Innovation activities. Meanwhile the DSI highlighted how CPUT  is delivering on its mandate, not just in teaching and research, but also in innovation for the benefit of the people of South Africa citing the successful launch of the three nanosatellites in January 2022 as an example. “The [DSI]colleagues were well informed about our activities and they wanted to inform us about existing  as well as emerging opportunities for research and innovation funding especially from the European Union for CPUT researchers, specifically young and emerging researchers,” Phaho said.

He added that the end goals was to establish a single point of entry within the Research Directorate at CPUT, where opportunities for funding and collaborations managed by the DSI through bilateral agreements with other countries, can be communicated to the wider CPUT Research and Innovation community. “The benefits for CPUT is an opportunity for our researchers (including academics, students and postdocs) to be informed in real time on existing and new opportunities for funding,  partnerships and mobility as they become available through the DSI.”

The meeting provided insights on research, strategic initiatives, and funding opportunities available through DSI. “Both CPUT and DSI agreed on strengthening the skills development of CPUT postgraduate students, participation of postgraduate students in exchange programmes, and European science forum. The engagements will continue and some of the action points have been executed,” Burger said.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

CPUT’s Vooma vaccination days are back and students are being encouraged to get their shots, not only to protect themselves but also others.

Participating students stand a chance to win one of two R 5000 cash prizes or one of ten R1 000 cash prizes.

The campaign kicks off at the Bellville campus today and there will be goodie bags for all students who come to get vaccinated.

We are hoping to provide 3 000 or more vaccinations over the entire campaign,” said vaccination manager, Benjamin de Waal.

The dates and venues are as follow:

  • 28 February to 4 March - Bellville Campus Vaccination Centre
  • 7 to 11 March – D6 Campus, Admin building
  • 16 March – Wellington Campus Student Centre
  • 29 March – Mowbray Campus
  • 30 March Catsville Residence
  • 31 March – Granger Bay Campus

Students wishing to enter the competition, need to register on OPA via, if they have not already done so in the past.   

Walk-ins are also welcome. Students need to bring along their student card and Identity Document.

Last year’s Vooma campaign was a huge success.

Melanie Marais, Head of the HIV/Aids Unit, encouraged students to get vaccinated

“This is an act of good citizenship. Getting your Covid-19 jab is the most responsible thing anyone can do. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones, your friends and anyone around you. Too many people have lost their lives. Our economy has suffered enough. The power is in your hands to help change the tide of this pandemic by simply getting vaccinated,” said Marais.

De Waal added that even for people who have had Covid-19, vaccination will increase individual and community protection.

“Booster vaccinations are equally important to ensure immunity levels remain high in anticipation of a possible fifth wave expected towards winter. For those who are hesitant, just consider that the Covid-19 vaccines have been approved for used by health authorities across the globe. The vaccines have been studied thoroughly and their effectiveness and safety have been proven and are being monitored across the world.“

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, recently hosted Dr Moncef Meddeb and Vincent Perrier, a delegation from the Embassy of France in South Africa at the Cape Town Hotel School.

Nhlapo said the purpose of the visit was to strengthen CPUT’s current collaboration partnerships with the French “taking the lessons learnt from the successful F’SATI (French South African Institute of Technology) and expanding to the North and West of France”.  The Vice-Chancellor said: “We want to strengthen staff and student exchanges… How CPUT is going to participate in the one week in-person event in France dedicated to the promotion of the South-African higher education and research landscapes.”

The Embassy of France in South Africa is organising the efforts with all French and South African stakeholders, to arrange a one week in-person event in France devoted to the advancement of the South-African higher education and research landscapes between all involved Higher Education Institutions in France.  “The participation of the South African universities is key for a successful week and to achieve the objective of expanding the bilateral scientific and academic cooperation. All South African universities are invited to express their interests and participate in this week-long event in France, to be held between 27 June 2022 and 2 July 2022,” the French Embassy statement read.

The event will include presentations and discussions that will showcase the South African academic landscape and current partnerships, and “will discuss the existing instruments and some relevant ideas and avenues for future partnerships. All French Higher Education Institutions are invited to attend and contribute to the discussions, as well”.

During the event at the Hotel School, Prof Veruscha Fester – Assistant Dean: Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships, Dr Bongani Ncube and Prof Oscar Philander made presentations and gave an overview of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment. Meanwhile, Prof Joseph Kioko, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences with Prof Jessy Van Wyk, Dr Sune Henning, and Prof Maretha Opperman provided presentations and an overview of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

Reflecting on the outcomes of the event, Nhlapo said: “It was an excellent meeting with great ideas and possibilities being that of including Applied Sciences (Agrifood Technology Station, Chocolate making etc) and Water Research, especially the newly acquired Research Chair by Dr Ncube from Engineering,” he continued.

“As we normally say, ‘collaborate or collapse, we believe in collapsing the boundaries to collaboration’. It means increasing our footprint in France and consolidating on the successful partnership we already have with the French. It also means strengthening and monitoring our current programme with the French.”

Nhlapo also revealed some of the agreements he had with the delegation following a closed meeting, “We agreed on a number of initiatives to strengthen and sustain our relations. We agreed on staff and student exchanges. We also agreed with them assisting us in our recruitment drive for a Research Chair in Nano-Satellite”.

Nhlapo also revealed that the University aims to expand the hotel school, “They [French] are also known for the art of French Gastronomy”. “Ferrandi at the heart of Paris is known world-wide in culinary arts and hospitality management. It is therefore our intention to strengthen this area for our Hotel School.”

Written by Aphiwe Boyce