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

The Department of Applied Legal Studies has welcomed the second intake of community-based paralegals to the block release version of the pioneering Bachelor of Paralegal Studies programme.
The group of six students received a warm welcome at the Bellville campus recently, where they participated in a two-day orientation programme. 

Dr Noleen Leach, acting head of the department, said the first group of community-based paralegals (CBPs) were admitted last year.

She said preliminary indicators show a mutual exchange of knowledge between the academy and the workplace which is bound to enrich the programme and capacitate the CBPs with advanced knowledge, skills and competencies 

“The majority of CBPs on the programme have done well to date.”

The Community-Based Paralegal project was made possible with funding from the C.S. Mott Foundation and the Open Society Foundation of South Africa. 

 “The department has committed itself to building capacity among the community-based paralegals who have been rendering paralegal services in community advice offices for decades.  These students are the advanced guard and carry the hopes of a sector that has been left behind in the wake of the transformation of the administration of justice.  They are aware that he hopes of an entire sector rests on their shoulders. Their success is the success of the CBP sector.”

Student Jannie Hendricks, who hails from Moorreesburg, said he joined the programme as he is “an activist at heart”.

“We run an advice office and I just felt that having a proper qualification would do so much for me and for the office as well.”

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo recently opened the new Navarre Residence at Wellington Campus, which is a 212-bed extension to the original residence, “with careful attention to the needs of the modern student crafted into the design”

In his opening speech, Nhlapo said: “It is then with a real sense of accomplishment that I stand here today, to see the fruits of that hard labour completed. You see, as the course offerings at Wellington campus became more popular, the university quickly outgrew the traditional residences which had adequately serviced our student community for decades.”

Navarre Residence was built in 1927 and much like now, “was constructed to provide additional student accommodation”. “Decades later we are still faced with a critical student housing crisis. But in Wellington, it was not as easy as simply building something bigger… We were restricted with the options available and the heritage value of many of the buildings meant that wholesale building works were not always possible,” remarked Nhlapho.

He added that however, after years of due diligence the funding and approval for the reconstruction of Navarre was finally approved and “14 months ago, we broke ground”.

In the rooms, the University has accommodation for single and double sleeper options with the ablution and kitchen areas giving “a familial sense which elevates the living experience from simple dormitory life to one where you feel home in your space”.

“We have also been mindful of using environmentally friendly building techniques like a cutting-edge roofing system, natural ventilation, and sun-screening options, all very useful if we consider the temperatures here in Wellington,” Nhlapo continued.

“I think you will agree with me that the result is a well-considered building which is sensitive to its environment and the needs of the students who will pass through these corridors for years to come. I am certainly very proud of what we have created, and I hope that the students who will be lucky enough to be placed here will appreciate and enjoy it.”

The Vice-Chancellor thanked his colleagues in Infrastructure Development and Facilities Management for managing the project from start to finish. “Thank you also to our stellar consultant teams from Colab Concepts, Talani Quantity Surveying, JG Afrika Civil Engineering and PMC Consulting.”

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

SDA promotes learning culture

CPUT’s new Staff Development Academy (SDA) offers staff a one-stop shop to grow their skills.

According to Human Capital: Learning and Development’s Shahieda Hendricks, the SDA strives to offer “ONE SMART platform where all staff development programmes, training information, relevant resources and valuable self-development programmes are available 24/7”.

It will be updated daily with new training programmes and information. The training programmes and information is a collaboration of various internal and external partners.

Staff can now access the Induction programme on the SDA which is available at all times and more than 30 training programmes on offer, ranging from courses offered by the Research Directorate, CTS, Human Capital to Risk Management and many more.

“The SDA aims to promote a learning culture for CPUT staff whilst providing the necessary support in developing skills and knowledge. We cater to the needs of staff members by making available courses which will enhance their ability to complete their day-to-day tasks. By doing so, we hope to promote job satisfaction and increase productivity amongst staff members,” said Hendricks

The SDA will soon add more interesting and valuable resources and opportunities.

The SDA may be accessed using the following methods.

  • Staff members may access the SDA using the following link:
  • Those who do not have access to the link may simply browse the internet by searching up “CPUT Staff Development Academy”.
  • Staff members may also access the link via the email signatures of the Learning and Development team.
Sunday, 20 February 2022

First-years welcomed to CPUT

First-year students are receiving a warm welcome to the CPUT family this year via an online welcoming ceremony, created especially for them.

The pre-recorded ceremony will go live at 8:00 on the CPUT webpage and can be viewed by clicking the VC Welcoming message banner.

Among other things, the ceremony introduces the new students to our campuses, deans and campus life.

In his welcoming message Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, told the students that they had chosen well when they accepted a place at CPUT.

He said the institution has multi-million rand building works and renovations planned for this year and had used the quieter period to forge ahead with these.

“As much as we are improving the infrastructure, I want to ask that you do the same for your own personal growth in 2022. So, as we find ourselves fully immersed in the tide of the new year, I encourage you to find the time in your busy lives to do a life and career review and plot – where it is you want to be on this day in 2023. The institution offers a wealth of self-improvement opportunities because we benefit from you reaching your full potential. Similarly, though, we also need your support to help us get CPUT to its full potential. I am certain I can count on you for that.”

Nhlapo told students that while their academic development was why they chose CPUT, the institution wanted to see students mature holistically during their time at CPUT.

“As a CPUT student you are privileged to have a plethora of student development opportunities available to you for free, courses in life skills like public speaking and time management are on offer while our First Year Experience programme is specially developed to transition you from high school classroom to university lecture theatre. Your physical wellbeing is also catered for by a dedicated clinic, HIV/Aids unit and Student Counselling unit. With these resources, this is the ideal time to be the best version of yourself. I hope you take advantage of this special time in your life and maximise the opportunities at your disposal.”