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CPUT’s CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Milling, and Mobile Robotics teams are gearing themselves for the coveted first prizes at the World Skills Competition (WSC) which is currently underway in France and Germany.

CPUT CNC Milling and Mobile Robotics teams have their eyes fixated at being the first teams from the institution to do so.  Vuyani Moni, a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering said the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is sending two teams from CPUT, one to Leonberg, Germany and another to Bordeaux, France to participate in World Skills Competition.  CPUT teams are participating in CNC milling and Mobile Robotics skills in Germany and France, respectively.

This comes after the CPUT competed in the national competition that was held in Durban in June this year where the gold medallists were sent to participate in an international world skills competition.

The Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering recently hosted a send-off ceremony for the two teams at Bellville Campus. Simphiwe Nqabisa, HOD: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, said: “As the department we are very proud of our students, we are proud that we can send students to Europe. Go there and represent the department, institution, and your country, we are proud of you.”

Prof Suresh Ramsuroop, (Acting) Dean: Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, said he was hoping for more participation in the future. “Thank you so much for the effort and sacrifice that you have made to represent the country,” enthused Ramsuroop.

Laeeq Jefferies, a Mechatronics Engineering final-year student, said: “The journey to get to where I am today was not easy, it took a lot of discipline, commitment and hard work. Despite all challenges that you are faced with, you have to keep your head up and have a positive outlook in order to overcome all these challenges along the way.”

Mikhail Solomons, who will be graduating with his Advanced Diploma in Mechatronics, said his journey was quite challenging thus far. “Having to manage the workload of completing Mechatronics, while doing additional activities outside my course such as the World Skills Competition. I do believe that I am self-motivated and that is what keeps me going.” 

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering Lecturer, Dr Fareed Ismail, was “extremely” happy to see what was happening. “When you go overseas you will realise that you are top dogs because you are streetwise. You are making us proud. I am so excited. May you do your best.”

Academic excellence and determination were at the centre of the recent Vice-Chancellor’s Prestigious Achievers Awards ceremony where the new cohort of recipients were celebrated.

The ceremony, held at the Cape Town Hotel School on the Granger Bay campus, also celebrated the success of four awardees who have graduated.

The awards programme was started in 2018 and is bestowed annually on deserving Master’s and Doctoral students who have shown academic excellence and an embodiment of the CPUT graduate attributes.

The 2022 awardees are:

  • Oritonda Muribwathoho (completing a Doctor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering. Her research title is: Development of metal matrix composites suitable for hulls and ship decks.
  • Murendeni Nethengwe (completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences) Her research title is: Evaluation of antioxidant potential and mechanism of action of phenolic compounds from South African indigenous plants used in the management of diabetes-related male infertility.
  • Shaun Mgoma (completing a Doctor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering). His research title is: Recovery of valuable compounds from agricultural food using green technologies: Process design and Techno-economic analysis.
  • Bongisiwe Zozo (completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry). Her research title is: Purification and characterisation of the native black soldier fly larva Protein.
  • Mzoxolo Ntabeni (Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering. His research title: The influence of academic and industry-specific project management qualifications on the effectiveness of project managers in the construction industry.

The four recipients who have graduated are:

  • Dr Yvonne Maphosa (Doctor of Food Science and Technology)
  • Dr Imisioluseyi Akinyede (Doctor of Engineering in Civil Engineering)
  • Sivenathi Jayiya (Master of Public Relations Management)
  • Sihle Ngxabi (Master of Horticultural Science)

Chairperson of the Awards Committee, Prof Joseph Kioko, said the recipients have the potential to achieve great things.

Kioko said that too often, such excellent potential is extinguished by a lack of funds or resources, resulting in many brilliant, possibly life-changing dreams being deferred, often forever.

“Fortunately, humanity has in itself the ability to provide the spark or the fuel that would keep those lights shining all the way to a brighter future. For a fitting example of what we can all do, one needs to look no further than people and entities like the Mauerberger Foundation Fund and its chairperson, Advocate Diana Yach. The foundation has been generously supporting these awards and has ensured that the spark in many bright minds at CPUT has been kept alive. On behalf of the committee, I’d like to express our deep gratitude to Advocate Yach.”

Recipient Oritonda Muribwathoho said she was immensely thankful for the award, adding that it would mean “less stress” and allow her to focus on her studies.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Chris Nhlapo saluted the recipients and said he hoped that some of the recipients would become professors and vice-chancellors at the institution.

Yach said she was pleased to announce that the amount allocated to CPUT was being increased this year.

She said the awardees had fulfilled the dreams set out when the awards programme was first established.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Student film steals the limelight

A seven-minute short film by a gifted group of film students was recently announced as the winner in the Best Student Film category of the 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP), held in Cape Town.

The 48HFP is held in several cities around the world and requires teams to make a movie (write, shoot and edit) in just 48 hours.

Lecturer Kay-Lynn Simmers said that 30 film students from first- to third-year competed in the competition​.

There were two CPUT teams, CPUT Team 1, consisting of first- and second-year students and CPUT Team 2, consisting of third-years.

CPUT Team 1 won the Best Student Film category for their film titled: One Last Time.

Simmers said the short film starring William Matsepane and Sihle Thole, follows Paul as he travels back in time to meet the love of his life, Maya, one last time.

The winning team members were: Kay-Lee Simmers (team leader and executive producer), Tandile Qhinga (director), Emily Münch (editor), Mzwandile Zondi (editor), Keletso Lesetla (editor), Sivikele Mbata (Director of Photography), Mpho Mbi (Director of Photography), Senamile Xashimba (Producer), Tashkeen Van der Westhuizen (Writer), Gontse Mmekwa (Writer), Phila Mabuza (Writer), Bee-Ago Coetzee (Boom Operator), Kaylee Prinsloo (Lighting) Robert Phiri (Script Supervisor) and Koketso Marupinng (Art Director).

Simmers said she was immensely proud of the students’ hard work and dedication during the competition.

“Many participating in the competition are freelancers in the film industry, so we hope to bridge the gap and put our students on par with industry players.  We faced some difficulties regarding stage 5 load shedding. Despite this, both CPUT teams wrote, filmed, edited and submitted their films on time.”

The team won more than R65 000 in prizes.

Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Student gamer is top of his game

Events Management student Zuhayr Abrahams proved that he was ahead of the game during the recent University Sports South Africa esports finals where he was crowned FIFA champion.

“It felt so surreal. I was just trying to take it all in,” he said about the moment he was announced as the winner at the UCT Sports Centre.

“The CPUT players all came to support me. It felt like it wasn’t just an individual win for me but for all of CPUT.”

Zuhayr, who matriculated from Livingstone High School, said he initially played against his friends and about four years ago decided to start going to tournaments in Cape Town.

“I tried it out and it took me about a year to become really competitive in the scene.”

He eventually signed with Orlando Pirates and his highlights include qualifying for the eLaLiga FanCup in Turkey.

He has since signed with professional esports organisation ATK.

Zuhayr, who hails from Crawford, said making time for classes, studying for tests and gaming is a balancing act. To ensure that he stays on top of his game he tries to dedicate at least two hours a day to gaming.

He thanked his CPUT teammates and his family for their support.

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Talented student wins award

The Department of Architectural Technology and Interior Design has achieved another accolade.

Third-year student Daniel November was recently announced as the joint runner-up in the PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative and won a R17 500 prize.

The top 10 finalists and their lecturers attended the awards ceremony in Johannesburg at the end of September.

While the level of talent shown in the competition submissions was high, the judges decided not to award a first prize for the competition this year. Instead two runners-up, including Daniel, were announced.

Department of Architectural Technology and Interior Design students took part in a few competitions this year with each discipline being given the option to choose a competition they would like to participate in.

The Department indicated that much of the third-year group had participated in the PG-Bison competition to highlight the up-and-coming talent and draw support from around the country, with the brief written into the third-year curricula of participating educational institutions.

Daniel, Ayesha Noordien and Danielle Adams were the top three CPUT students who entered the competition.

Daniel’s Sunbird’s Nest entry, a mixed-use community-based housing project inspired by the natural beauty of the KwaZulu-Natal coastal region, made an impression.

“This PG Bison competition was equally challenging and highly rewarding in the end. I was able to show my ability to critically engage with the brief and its requirements, design a creative solution to a problem and give input into the future of affordable housing in South Africa.” said Daniel, who hails from Grassy Park.

“I want to send out an enormous thank you to my lecturers, Nikheel Joshi and Gingirikani Maswanganye, who supported me on this journey and stood like proud parents at the awards evening in Johannesburg; it was truly a wonderful and fulfilling experience.”

Lecturer, Nikheel Joshi said he was very proud of Daniel’s achievement.

“Daniel was able to stimulate critical dialogue through his exploration of the brief and was able to show much heart in his work. I would like to also commend him for his commitment to engaging with the competition while remaining committed to the expectations/deliverables of his current internship. We believe that this is a crucial skill to develop for any architectural practitioner. Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow colleague, Gingirikani Maswanganye, for her invaluable contribution to all students’ work,” said Joshi.

Lecturer, Gingirikani Maswanganye said the experience provided exposure to the top three CPUT students’ entries as well as to the participating lecturers.

Curriculum Officer, Ayanda Buwa said the curriculum is designed to assist students to develop the knowledge and interpersonal skills needed to work in the fields of architecture and interior design.

“In line with this goal, we expose our students to programmes that aim to put them in real-world settings, better preparing them to put what they learn into practice. We are honoured to participate in the annual PG Bison Education Initiative, which celebrates youthful talent, offering lifetime opportunities, fostering real-world learning, and encouraging creative thinking in our students,” said Buwa.

Head of Department, Rayner Moodley said Daniel’s achievement highlights his commitment, hard work, and perseverance toward his studies.

“Moreover, his award is a testament that relates to the mentoring and dedication of all staff members within the Department. In the spirit of ‘Oneness’, we aim to ensure that our students are able to excel in any situation or scenario and, are ready for the world of work,” said Moodley.

The Wholesale and Retail Leadership Chair (WRLC) has awarded bursaries to four undergraduate and three postgraduate students to cover their educational and living expenses.

The bursaries were awarded to academically gifted students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. The bursaries were awarded to six Retail Business Management students and one Business Administration student. The bursary winners were: Sbabatso Emihle Sofute (1st Year), Likhona Lukholo Mtiya (2nd Year), Caylin Amber Louw (4th Year), Ziyanda Qwase (5th Year), Innocent Tumelo Ntuli (Master of Retail Business Management), Anushka Benjamin (Master of Retail Business Management) Bongani Bango (Master of Technology – Business Administration).

The first year up to fifth year students get a total of R50 000 each student and master’s level students receive R150 000 each, paid into their student accounts.

Head of Department & Wholesale and Retail Leadership Chair at CPUT, Prof Virimai Mugobo, said the awarding of bursaries to deserving students was one of the deliverables in the partnership agreement between the W&RSETA and CPUT.  Mugobo said one of the key deliverables of the WRLC was to establish international partnerships with universities across the world that offer wholesale and retail-related qualifications. Currently the WRLC has partnerships with universities in countries such as Germany, France, and Sweden.

Caylin Amber Louw, a 4th-Year student,  said: “I am really grateful to W&RSETA for selecting me, the bursary helped me financially  because I was a lot pressure[financially] because my single mother is unemployed and could not afford to pay the fees.”

“We congratulate the bursary recipients and sincerely hope that the bursaries will go a long way in assisting them to complete the 2022 academic year without any financial challenges, thus enabling them to concentrate on their studies,” said Mugobo.

The WRLC has also fully financed two students and one staff member who will be visiting Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW), Ravensburg, Germany as part of the international exchange programme. The students will be in Germany for about three months whilst the staff member will spend two weeks in that country.  The students are Moemtaaz Manual and Aviwe Tapuko who are both third-year Retail Business Management students. The lecturer is Eric van Zyl.

“The purpose of the international exchange programme is to expose our students to international wholesale and retail trends. The programme affords them the opportunity to observe and learn how wholesale and retail businesses operate in the specific country they will be visiting. Upon their return, they [will]share their experience and knowledge with fellow students and staff in the department,” Mugobo continued.

“We wish them well during their stay in Germany and we hope that they will be take the opportunity to learn not only about how wholesaling and retailing are conducted but also learn more about the Germany culture.”

CPUT and Ilitha Labantu in partnership with the African Women Independent Forum and UN Women successfully held the First Annual National Conference of Isisele Senyathi Women’s Hub on African Women’s history to arouse women’s memoirs.

The three-day conference which was attended by national and continental dignitaries on the Bellville Campus was themed: Mobilising African Women Memories through Collective and Collating Historical Knowledge.   This conference was a first-of-its-kind, convening some of the most influential voices in African women’s history from activists, academics, educators in social, political, government, health, technology, creative industries and the law.

The dignitaries included former South African Deputy President, Baleka Mbete, Minister of Women and Youth (Zimbabwe), Sthembiso Nyoni, ilitha labantu President Mandisa Monakali, Chief Theresa Kachindamoto (Malawi), CPUT Chancellor and Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, and many more.

The conference was aimed at restoring women’s memories and discover the hidden histories and untold stories of African women - from politics, domestic workers, factory workers, educators, union members to the earliest women graduates; and share this information with a wider audience and our unsung heroines by profiling a lifelong learning and intergenerational dialogue, and to recognise the voices of indigenous women and present significant limitations.

In his opening address, Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, said the Institution was making history by joining forces with Ilitha Labantu in “chronicling the struggle stories of ordinary, resilient, and indefatigable women of South Africa.  “We are part of an organisation aiming at lifting the voices, faces and victories of women, telling stories of the leaders, visionaries and change makers who made the history of today. This is in line with the One Smart University we are building.”

Nhlapo added that the conference was an immense benefit for students and aspiring historiographers:

  • To deal with anti-truth, anti-intellectualism/anti-science
  • To strengthen the weakening social contract with society – which must be renewed constantly (Greater Social Ownership)
  • To address the epistemic and cognitive injustice
  • To address epistemic exclusion
  • To counter epistemicide
  • To contribute to the decolonialisation of knowledge
  • To promote knowledge, democracy/Epistemological pluralism

The conference involved presentations, question and answer sessions and facilitated discussions on the main aspects of the seminar.

Amongst the speakers were Aleta Miller - UN Women Representative in South Africa Multi Country Office, former Minister: Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape MEC for Health and Wellness, Executive Director: Office of the Vice-Chancellor Prof Driekie Hay Swemmer, who talked about the role of universities in feminising African women’s history in education.

The event was closed off with a gala dinner and awards ceremony and the keynote speaker was Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.