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Tuesday, 01 November 2022

Super League C crown for CPUT Rugby

The CPUT Rugby Club has been crowned Super League C 2022 champions.

The winning trophy was presented to the club during the recent Western Province Rugby Awards Dinner, held at Kelvin Grove.

“CPUT Rugby Club will be promoted to Super League B in the 2023 season, which is the second best League in Western Province Club Rugby,” said Bulelani Mlakalaka, Sport Development Officer: Rugby, Boxing and Tennis.

“It was a great honour to accept the award on behalf of the university. I must say the CPUT rugby club is very happy to be promoted to the second best club rugby in the Western Province Rugby Union Club Rugby,” he added.

He accepted the trophy at the event with club captain Siyasanga Ngubelanga.

Mlakalaka said the Club was only four years old.

“For many years CPUT Rugby was in a merger with Gardens Rugby Club and the club was called CPUT Gardens. In 2018, Mr Siyabulela Mkwalo, who was a manager of Sport Arts and Culture, and myself wrote several proposals to the Western Province Rugby Union, seeking a breakaway from the merger and forming a University rugby team like other sister universities in the Western Cape.”

Once the proposal was approved Mlakalaka had to draw up a five-year plan in 2019 with the aim of taking CPUT rugby to the top club league in Western Province Club rugby, called Super League A.

“In 2019 we had to start from the lowest league, called City League, which is the fourth division. At the end of the season in 2019, we managed to get promotion to Super League C although we did not win the trophy.”

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the plans had to be delayed for two years.

“On our return to the Western Province Club Rugby League after two years we had to push with our five-year plan. The League started one day after we lost the Varsity Shield finals against Fort Hare in Alice, Eastern Cape but the CPUT Rugby Club did not sit down and lick their wounds.”

CPUT Rugby Club was placed second on the final log and according to the format of the league, the top four teams play against each other in what Western Province Club Rugby called promotion and relegation semi-finals.

On 17 September CPUT defeated Macassar Rugby Club in the semi-finals with a final score of 22-12. CPUT then club qualified for the finals.

On 24 September the club faced Strand Rugby Club and won the finals 26 -19.

“On behalf of CPUT, I would like to congratulate the student athletes (players) and coaches. They all put their body on the line to represent CPUT. It is my dream to put CPUT rugby on the map. I will always push my technical staff and players to work extra hard so that our team can be recognised all over South Africa,” said Mlakalaka

He thanked all CPUT supporters, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo and the SRC for their support.

The team’s head coach is Alastair Theys, the assistant coaches are Jongi Nokwe and Sentle Lehoko, the strength and conditioning coach is Brandon Isaacs, the physiotherapist is Byron Isaacs, the team managers are Bongani Ntshobodwana and Theo Lwandile Ngqwala and the club captain is Siyasanga Ngubelanga.

Tuesday, 01 November 2022

Polish your skills like Diamonds

You are like rough diamonds and studying is part of the process of polishing you. This was the inspirational message that world renowned jeweller Yair Shimansky delivered to a class of second year Jewellery Design students recently.

Shimansky opened the jewellery store bearing his name in 1993 and now it has three branches in Cape Town and one in New York.

The New York based businessman travels to South Africa, and Cape Town, a few times a year and he says making time to inspire the next generation of jewellery designers is a priority for him.

“There is a shortage of artists who can produce quality work, so my suggestion is that you should focus on the element of jewellery making that you are good at like setting or designing- then put your energy into that,” he says.

Shimansky says there will always be a market for quality pieces, if the students tap into their own unique point of view.

“Tourists want to come to South Africa and take something home. Don’t be afraid to be different and stand out, base your jewellery on a story,” he says.

The businessman also encouraged the students to be prepared to fail and to share those experiences with their classmates.

“If you are setting a stone and it breaks, then put your hand up and ask for help. That way someone may know what went wrong, others learn from the experience and everyone grows.”

The students also took the opportunity to pepper Shimansky with questions about how he built his business from a fleamarket stall to a multi-billion rand operation. He ended off by declaring CPUT students as some of the best that the industry has to offer.

Monday, 31 October 2022

New CPUT Council Leadership

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology Council has a new Chairperson and Deputy Chair.

Dr Laurine Platzky accepted her nomination to the position of Council Chairperson while Dumisani Gumbi is the new Deputy Chair. Both are experienced CPUT Council members, with Platzky being a member since 2018, while previously holding the position of Deputy Chairperson between 2020 and 2022.

Council is the highest institutional decision-making body, and its members are a mix of government appointees or are drawn from Senate, SRC, academic or non-academic staff and Convocation. Some of Council’s duties include establishing committees as well as their function, making institutional rules and regulations, refining entrance requirements and the student admission policy amongst other functions.

Platzky is a former Deputy Director in the Western Cape Government where she headed projects related to economic development, tourism, cultural affairs and sport. She was also the Western Cape Co-ordinator of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Apart from her position on the CPUT Council, Platzky has also been a member of the Governing Board of the Western Cape Liquor Authority (2018-2022), and continues to work part-time on academic projects.

Gumbi has been working as an ICT Assurance professional for 17 years specialising in IT Governance, Information Governance, Data Privacy and IT Compliance. He is currently the Group IT Governance and Compliance Senior Manager for a large listed South African Insurer, and is the Western Cape regional director for ISACA’s South Africa Chapter.

Both Platzky and Gumbi are passionate about mentoring the next generation of youth and are committed to ensuring Council maintains its commitment to ethical governance, which has ensured a stable and sound university.

“As a public university, we will rise above vested interests and serve the broad and urgent needs of South African society, through preparing ethical and competent graduates with resilience and problem-solving abilities, who contribute to sustainable development in a rapidly changing country and world,” says Platzky.”

Gumbi describes himself as a “spirited change agent” who believes in the undying spirit and tenacity of our people.

“As a leader in the Governance, IT and assurance sectors, I am passionate about paying it forward and mentoring the next generation of leaders. My experience with the Allan Grey Orbus foundation, means I am able to support and guide future leaders.”

First-year film production student, Anande Kuse, continues to shine in the sport of table tennis.

She recently represented the Cape Town Table Tennis (CTTT) team at the SA Table Tennis championships, hosted by the South African Table Tennis Board in Durban.

CTTT came second, bagging a silver medal in the U/19 team events category, and made it to the group stages in the singles category.

“I’m so happy about the silver medal I received at nationals. I could not play last year when I was in Grade 12. I really worked hard and I’m very proud, “said Anande.

Earlier this year she was elected to represent SA at the International Table Tennis Federation African Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships.

CPUT Table Tennis coach Mfundo Marasi congratulated Anande and thanked the Student Affairs Division for their support.

“As CPUT Table Tennis, we're super proud of her achievements and for representing not only the province, but also our flying CPUT flag high at the national event. We hope the USSA Table Tennis summer games will take place this December 2022, where she'll continue to fly the CPUT flag sky high.”

Media Department academic, Dr Sisanda Nkoala, has been appointed to serve on the Appeals Tribunal of the Film and Publication Board (FPB).

The FPB is a content-classification and regulation authority in South Africa, operating under the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies. The Board's function is to receive complaints or applications to evaluate a film or publication, to classify it according to its suitability for different audiences. These publications include movies, television programmes, computer games and music.

“The Appeals Tribunal, which I have been appointed to, is a structure of the FPB. Its broad mandate is to hear appeals against classification decisions made by the classification committees in respect of publications, films and games. Members of the Tribunal are appointed for a period of five years and serve on a part-basis by the Minister of Communications," said Nkoala.

The Tribunal determines whether, on the merits, the correct decision has been made by a classification committee. It is required by the Act to be independent and to carry out its functions without any bias.”

Nkoala was nominated by a member of the public who was aware of the kind of work she does as an academic.

“To this role I bring my expertise in media law, being a lecturer in this regard. I also draw on my work as a media scholar whose work focuses on the rhetoric and discourse of media texts,” she said.

“I am very excited and humbled by the appointment because the work of the tribunal is very important when it comes to protecting the public from harmful media content while at the same time empowering people through robust information sharing. In the digital age, where anyone can be a content creator and freely distribute material through online platforms, the work of the FPB is even more needed. “

One of Nkoala’s recent highlights was being invited by GIZ DataCipation project, a pilot working at the nexus between digital innovation and citizen engagement, to train the first ever cohort of African Union Media Fellows in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The AU Media Fellowship equips African journalists and content creators to tackle challenges and opportunities of digital journalism.

“The organisers invited me to train the fellows after they came across an article based on a book chapter I wrote on how African newspapers are sometimes complicit in advancing an anti-African narrative when it comes to their news reports on health matters. This was another opportunity for me to draw on some of the findings of the work I am doing in my research.”

Another recent highlight was participating in the first meeting of the African Journalism Educators Network in Johannesburg, where journalism educators from around the continent gathered for a one-day symposium to discuss potential areas of collaboration to take journalism education in Africa to new heights. The network is spearheaded by Wits Journalism's Prof Franz Kruger, and Nkoala is a member of the steering committee.

“I was invited to present based on my ongoing research on multilingual education in journalism studies. I had the privilege of talking about my project on using the Early South African Black Press as a tool for a decolonial and multilingual journalism curriculum,” she said.

“I count it a real privilege to do research that does not primarily live in journal articles and book chapters only but finds expression in speaking to real-world problems that are facing media. It is particularly meaningful that the work has found resonance to the extent that I am being invited to address the very problems I identify in my different studies. With the FPB I look at issues of content with the AU Media Fellowship I had the opportunity to train journalists and content creators, and with the African Journalism Educators Network, I have the chance to come together with other educators to deliberate on how we can make a meaningful change at the level of the curriculum.”

The Division of Student Affairs in partnership with planetUNI and Planetshakers Empower, have donated sanitary items at the Bellville campus for female students in need.

Student Development Officer, Melani-Ann Hara, said for over six years planetUNI and CPUT have enjoyed a fruitful relationship and partnered in many projects, including stress busters, O-Week student socials and many more.

Hara said planetUNI is the young adult university ministry, and Planetshakers Empower is the social justice arm of Planetshakers Church. Their mandate is to ‘Empower Generations to win Generations’. “Going forward, we believe that this partnership will grow even further,” she said. As part of the hand over, the various partners met to discuss a memorandum of understanding for future collaborations.

Reflecting on the donation, Hara said: “It means a lot to CPUT Student Affairs when faith-based organisations partner with us to meet the growing needs of our students. No female student should be disadvantaged in performing her academic best by not having access to sanitary pads, she continued.

“planetUNI has seen the need and wanted to assist students who are in need. The donations will be distributed through our Campus Health clinics across the campuses for those students in need.”

Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships (SIP) recently hosted a delegation from two American district colleges, the Community College District (SCCCD), Riverside Community College District (RCCD) and EDU Africa with aims to build lasting relationships.

SIP Director, Prof Judy Peter opened the meeting with a short overview of CPUT, which was followed by short presentations on the background of each institution. Dr Lataria Hall presented the background of Fresno City College. Candice Soupen provided a summary of the purpose of the visit.

Peter said the objectives of the meeting was to explore student exchange programmes and obtaining information about opportunities, that can be relayed to respective university committees. Peter added that the meeting also aimed at learning about education systems, distance education, online opportunities and study abroad through distance education. 

She said they were also exploring opportunities for partnerships between organisations, possibly virtual exchange, virtual and travel exchange and traditional study abroad programs.

The also explored faculty professional development, virtually, and mobility programs and possible faculty exchange programs. The delegates also discussed early childhood, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educational systems throughout Africa, including education in rural areas.

CPUT delegates also provided comprehensive information on what is currently available and offered at CPUT as well as any other alternative options currently available in South Africa to assist with information.  Peter said: “The meeting was very constructive, and all institutions look forward to further communication around the potential opportunities for collaboration in the areas of student exchange programmes, early childhood development and information sharing.

“It was noted that some of the collaboration areas could be in line with the CPUT COIL facility to address the objective of virtual platform for exchange students.”