Nine outstanding achievers will be honoured by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) at annual graduation ceremonies which start on 15 April and continue for eight days.

Honorary degrees will be conferred on the accomplished individuals for their outstanding contributions in the human rights, scientific, arts, social sciences, political, and academic spheres.  The individuals have through their vision, humanitarian efforts, resilience, social conscience and innovation in their respective fields, made a profound change in the lives of people both in South Africa and globally.

The individuals are:

Professor Hugh Paul Africa - Doctor of Education (posthumous), Dr Uche Veronica Amazigo - Doctor of Science, Mr Johnny Clegg - Doctor of Music, Ms Ela Gandhi - Doctor of Social Science, Mr Daisaku Ikeda - Doctor of Social Science, Mr Ranjith Kally - Doctor of Literature, Dr Mosibudi Mangena - Doctor of Science, Professor Welile Shasha - Doctor of Medicine and Mr Carl Wright  - Doctor of Administration.

Hugh Africa passed away recently so the award will be accepted by a family member at the ceremony.

 Ms Ela Gandhi: Doctor of Social Science (honoris causa)
Gandhi’s outstanding contribution to social change in South Africa has been made through promoting the continued relevance of her legendary grandfather Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent action for justice, peace and development as well as through promoting education about non-violent methods of resolving conflict and building positive relationships between people of different races and faiths.

In keeping with Mahatma’s vision, Gandhi actively promotes respect and tolerance among people of different faiths.  This has led to her appointment as a Vice-President of the World Council of Religions for Peace (WCRP) and service on the Advisory Board of the Parliament of World Religions. Gandhi has a personal record of distinguished service in the advancement of democracy, social justice, social service and community leadership.  She has promoted the ideals of the great Mahatma Gandhi through her selfless efforts to improve the lives of the poor and less fortunate. She is passionate about creating a society where peace, tolerance and harmony flourishes.

Concerned about the high levels of violence in South Africa, particularly among young people, she established the International Centre of Non-Violence (ICON) at DUT in 2007 to promote the teaching of non-violent methods of resolving conflict to schoolchildren and university students throughout South Africa. In 2002, she received the Community of Christ International Peace Award and in 2007 the Padma Bhushan Award from the Government of India for her outstanding community service – it is India’s third highest civilian honour and was conferred on her by Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam.

 Mr Daisaku Ikeda: Doctor of Social Science (honoris causa)
Ikeda, who had a humble upbringing in Japan with limited opportunities in his youth to pursue formal education, has gone on to make globally significant contributions in the fields of education, peace and the promotion of culture. Championing a philosophy of engaged dialogue, Ikeda has pursued dialogue with leaders on a broad range of subjects including science, politics, education and culture.

He has published books in a variety of languages, founded an internationally recognised education system, and created several institutions active at the international level in the promotion of peace research and cultural exchange. His wide ranging contributions have led to him to receiving honorary doctorates from more than 300 institutions in about 50 countries as well as honorary citizenship and other commendations from 720 cities, states and local governments.

As a Buddhist philosopher, Ikeda became the President of the Soka Gakkai lay Buddhist movement in 1960 at the age of 32.  The movement now has a global network linking about 12 million members in more than 190 countries. In this capacity he encourages members in the process of personal transformation and societal contribution.

The Soka Education system he founded is a student-centred approach based on a belief in the limitless potential of every individual.  Educational institutions he has founded include kindergartens in six countries, an elementary to graduate level school in Japan and a liberal arts university established in the United States which is ranked in the Top 100 best National Liberal Arts Colleges by the US News and World Report Best Colleges 2012 Rankings.

 Mr Johnny Clegg: Doctor of Music (honoris causa)
Clegg’s iconic status in the international and Southern African popular music world stems directly from his articulation, through his widely acknowledged musically expressive language, of the most pressing realities of South Africa’s polarised racial and social identities. His musical debut at a crucial moment in the country’s struggle against apartheid was revolutionary in its juxtaposition and reconciliation of White and Zulu culture and its enlivening of a celebratory ideological model for tolerance and human brotherhood of South Africa’s abundant cultural and ethnic diversity.

His musical career demonstrates pride in the African heritage and his role is pioneering in its mediation between pervasive power asymmetries imbued by modernity to Africa and South Africa in particular. With a career spanning over 30 years, Clegg is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most prolific musicians and performers.

In April 2012 he received a National Order, the Order of Ikhamanga, for ‘his excellent contribution to and achievement in the field of bridging African traditional music forms, promoting racial understanding among racially divided groups in South Africa under difficult apartheid conditions, working for a non-racial society and being an outstanding spokesperson for the release of political prisoners’.

Through his musical talent, musical performances and anthropological research, the dynamicity of both industrial and changing Zulu culture was articulated in the contemporary era. His pioneering scholarly research has delved into the most contentious issues of Zulu cultural adaption, including adaptive social performance practices and indigenous forms of conflict resolution.

Clegg – who campaigned against the injustices of apartheid and was instrumental in putting the new South Africa on the world map - has performed at all four of Nelson Mandela’s 46664 AIDS Awareness Concerts in South Africa and Norway.

 Dr Mosibudi Mangena: Doctor of Science (honoris causa)
As South Africa’s first Minister of Science and Technology, Mangena presided over the formulation of policies and the introduction of initiatives which drove the National Research and Development and Innovation agendas. During his tenure as Minister, Mangena was the driving force behind several initiatives for the promotion of Science and Technology, research and development as well as innovation.

His main achievements during this period include: the development of the South African 10-year Innovation Plan; the development of the National System of Innovation Policy; the establishment of the Technology Innovation Agency; the launch of the South African Space Programme and making the bid for the SKA (Square Kilometre Array); the commissioning of the South African Micro Satellite and the Sumbandile Sat; the launch of the South African Research Chairs Initiative and winning and launching the African component of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

His tenure also saw the expansion of relations between the South African science and technology system and those of other countries.

Mangena chaired the SADC ministers responsible for science and technology, and the continental African Ministers’ Council on Science and Technology. He is a prolific writer and has authored four books: On Your Own (1989); A Quest for True Humanity (1996); A Twin World (1996) and My Grandmother is Permanent (2004).

Mangena was the first patron of the Sowetan-Telkom Mathematics and Science Teacher of the Year Awards and the founder Chairperson of the SA Literacy Initiative and Masifundesonke Reading Campaign.

 Professor Hugh Paul Africa: Doctor of Education (posthumous) (honoris causa)
Africa, an education consultant, has contributed to the development of Higher Education in South Africa as a selfless leader who has served in the field for more than 50 years in various roles. He has been at the forefront of Higher Education transformation in the post-apartheid era and has distinguished himself through his high sense of integrity and care for others. A respected academic, Africa served on the Council on Higher Education and also provided exceptional leadership as Chair of the Higher Education Quality Committee which instituted a national system of quality promotion and assurance.

He was the past Chair of the US-SA Fulbright Commission Board, the Vice-President for Africa on the International Council for Distance Education, and served on the Provincial Board of ABSA and the Board of the Institute for Global Dialogue. During 2001 he served as a member of the National Working Group and during 2003 was a member of the Higher Education Restructuring Reference Group.

Africa is a highly respected educationist who has contributed to the development of Higher Education for over 50 years.  He has made major and distinguished contributions to advance Higher Education, transformation and scholarship.

 Dr Uche Veronica Amazigo: Doctor of Science (honoris causa)
A Nigeria-based public health specialist and scientist, Amazigo has made an outstanding contribution to the control of River Blindness, a neglected disease afflicting rural communities in 19 West African countries. She undertook pioneering research that formed the scientific basis for establishing the UN/World Bank-administered African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC).

Amazigo successfully co-ordinated and implemented the World Health Organisation’s African Programme for Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) Control based on community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI), allowing community participation and the opportunity for poor communities to make decisions in one of the biggest ever control programmes for a single disease. Showing visionary leadership skills and the ability to motivate and initiate new programmes and secure set objectives, she repositioned APOC from a River Blindness control body to an elimination programme.  Her achievements are impressive and include engaging bilateral and multi-lateral donors and the private sectors to support over 120 000 communities in the control of River Blindness in Africa.

Amazigo was awarded her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Biology and Medical Parasitology) from the University of Vienna in Austria in 1977. Currently an international consultant on public health with emphasis on community-directed interventions, she was from 2005 to 2011 Director of APOC managing the control of River Blindness in 19 West African countries and maintaining the achievements in a further 11 countries.

Her research experience includes strategies for controlling neglected tropical diseases and community-directed interventions. She undertook research on adolescent reproductive health (teenage pregnancy), and produced Broken Wings, a film on teenage pregnancy for the first World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.

She was previously a scientist with the World Health Organisation, a senior Lecturer in Medical Parasitology at the University of Nigeria, a research associate – International Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston in the United States, and a research assistant at the Department of Medical Parasitology and Health at the University of Vienna in Austria.

 Mr Ranjith Kally: Doctor of Literature (honoris causa)
As an internationally acclaimed photojournalist, Kally has been a witness and archivist of some of the most poignant moments in South African history including the 1956 Treason Trial, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chief Albert Luthuli in 1961, the Rivonia Trial in 1963 and the momentous resistance events of the 1970s and 1980s, including the aftermath of the Maseru Massacre.

Kally’s pictures have graced newspapers around the world, are part of the Nobel Collection, are featured in school texts and are depicted on two South African postage stamps.

Now in his 80s, he ranks among the most politically courageous and artistically gifted photographers of his generation with his works exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and at the Nobel Peace Center Commemoration of South African Nobel Peace Laureates in 2009.  He was admitted as an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society in 1967.

His work captured important personalities in South Africa’s history including Nelson Mandela, Chief Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Monty Naicker, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Billy Nair, Miriam Makeba and many others.

Over the years his pictures have documented the pain of forced removals, the loss of innocence associated with gangsterism, the simple life of Groutville, the portraits of eminent struggle personalities, and the everyday contradictions of racial dynamics such as two white men drinking at a local shebeen in Cato Manor, an area classified as “non-white” during the apartheid era.

 Professor Welile Shasha: Doctor of Medicine (honoris causa)
Shasha, a medical scientist and internationally recognised Public Health specialist, has played a pivotal role in health systems reforms nationally and internationally, while working for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Department of International Development (DFID).

During his remarkable career, Shasha has served as Head of an NGO and instituted the follow-up by community health worker-based primary healthcare teams of disease entities at household level, providing an evidence base for the implementation of the health system modeled on the re-engineering of primary health care as elucidated in the 10-point strategic plan of the National Department of Health.

He has facilitated and promoted public health initiatives which have made a difference to poor and rural communities.

Shasha played a leading role in the re-engineering of primary health care as a consultant to the National Department of Health; he conducted a programme evaluation to consolidate and synchronise health research in Kenya; and played a leadership role in the containment of cholera in Limpopo, which was one of three cholera control initiatives he participated in.

He has been involved in the optimisation of the National Programme of HIV/AIDS treatment centres in the nine provinces of South Africa; he served as a leading facilitator for a Public Health Course for students from the United States, Botswana and South Africa, sponsored by the WK Kellogg Foundation; and facilitated the establishment of the Ilimalethu Development Association, a national non-government organisation for sustainable rural social development which focuses on orphans and vulnerable children.

He served as the first and last South African to represent the World Health Organisation in the country as liaison officer for a period of nine years during a challenging period of AIDS denialism. His tasks included strengthening the health system in South Africa, notably the control of communicable diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis and malaria and the creation of WHO collaborating centres in various health disciplines.

 Mr Carl Wright:  Doctor of Administration (honoris causa)
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), Wright has dedicated himself over the past 40 years to the promotion of international co-operation, economic development, human rights, social development and development policy, especially in the area of public administration and local government.  For much of this time he has had a close association with South Africa, including the eThekwini Municipality in Durban, the then University of Durban-Westville and the merged University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Wright has spent most of his professional life in the advocacy of international co-operation, the defence of human rights and the promotion of social and economic development.  His career spans policy and representational positions in the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the European Union and other intergovernmental organisations including within the international trade union movement.

He has played an important international leadership role in public administration and policy-making reflected in the establishment and work of the Commonwealth Trade Union Council (CTUC) in 1980 and the Commonwealth Local Forum (CLGF) in London in 1995.

Central to this work has been a commitment to the promotion of international co-operation based on a deep concern about addressing issues around global conflict and political and economic inequalities.  Most recent examples of this resulted in the CLGF becoming the first Commonwealth body to formally engage with South Sudan (September 2011) and Myanmar/Burma (April 2012) with a view to helping to develop democratic local government structures.

His achievements include helping to secure international policy positions in a wide range of areas such as labour standards and trade, codes of conduct for private investors and principles of democracy.

Wright’s work has often involved activism, especially in the area of labour and trade union rights and close engagement with the anti-apartheid struggle over several decades.  This has included campaigning for better worker rights on Sri Lanka’s tea estates in the 1970s, supporting FRELIMO, SWAPO, the UDF and the ANC in the 1980s, and encouraging local democracy in many countries (ie Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe) since the 1990s.

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Professor Mike Savage has won the award for the best presentation at the national combined Congress of the Societies of Crop Production, Horticultural Sciences, Soil Science and Weed Science held on the Westville campus from 21-24 January.

Savage is an agrometeorologist at the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

The congress themed: Innovative Agricultural Sciences for Progress to Meet Research and Development Challenges attracted more than 400 South African and international agricultural scientists.

Savage’s presentation, titled: A Web-based system for near real-time agrometeorological applications, was selected as the best out of about 230 entries.  It examined why such a system was needed, what it comprised and its relevance and future application.

Savage said students often displayed a poor conception of the environment and of climate change; poor numeracy ability; poor interpretation of graphical data; and limited application of statistically manipulating large datasets.  This was owing to a lack of exposure to data, including the graphical display of data that represented the agroenvironment in a meaningful manner.

Savage explained that the web-based system displayed data encompassing agricultural and environmental sciences in the form of tables and graphs. The data was obtained from field-based measurement systems including automatic weather stations, with additional radiation sensors and infrared thermometry.  Reference evapotranspiration, energy balance and radiation balance were calculated, while carbon dioxide and water vapour concentrations were also displayed.

Savage said the web-based system was useful in that it allowed students and staff to access real-time data using the Internet. The system displayed graphics of real-time and historic weather data, allowing students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, to extract data which they could then manipulate, thereby reinforcing their computer literacy, numeracy and statistical abilities and graphical capabilities.

‘The object is to ensure that these abilities are improved while at the same time allowing users to manipulate agricultural, earth and environmental science data that express their environment,’ said Savage.

After the award, Savage - rated one of UKZN’s top 30 researchers - said:   ‘I think the award is humbling but it belongs to a team, including the postgraduates that assisted me, as well as the many undergraduates and honours students who have used and tested the system; and the UKZN Teaching and Learning Office for funding and venturing out.

‘We actually did not know where we were going when we started on this one,’ said Savage, ‘but now that we have received this recognition from our peers at a national level, we can look back with some pride.’

Dean and Head of the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Professor Albert Modi, congratulated Savage on his prestigious award. 

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UKZN’s School of Clinical Medicine has launched a new Discipline in Trauma and Acute Care offering postgraduate medical specialisation in the fields to registrars in training.

The new discipline will contribute to the MBChB curriculum and prepare candidates for Masters and PhD degrees.

Professor Richard Hift, Dean and Head of School, said the new Discipline was an already existing nucleus of multi-professional medical researchers dedicated to overseeing the “professionalisation” of emergency care for hospitals across the province. 

The programmes are supported by the provincial Department of Health (DoH) and endorsed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) – the regulating body for health professions in the country.

Hift said 2013 would mark the standardisation of emergency medicine in a big way.  ‘Given the scale of the problem it is absolutely essential to set up a strong research and teaching programme. We will be saving money, saving lives and reducing morbidity with our partner, the DoH.’

Hift said registrars would train at the emergency units located in tertiary hospitals which would also serve as the new discipline’s research portal. 

The Acute Care and Trauma Group (ACTG), a coalition of specialists from multiple disciplines affiliated to the School of Clinical Medicine, is the first of its kind in the province and will work under the UKZN banner in the new Discipline to take care of emergencies, generate research, provide community outreach and administer new policies through the School and its affiliated staff. 

Dr Darryll Wood, Head of Ngwelezane Hospital’s Trauma Unit, said provincial hospitals needed to restructure how their casualty departments were run, with emphasis on the need to have clinical governance with specialist input on site at all times. He said most hospitals’ emergency areas were often disorderly and one of the Discipline’s objectives would be to implement a safe and simple system that worked.

‘Ultimately, junior doctors and nurses working in hospital casualty departments will be overseen by doctors who have specialised training in trauma and acute care. 

‘The new Discipline will thus play an important role in emergency medical services; working to stabilise, diagnose and transfer the patient to an in-patient team of specialities in disciplines such as surgery or orthopaedics which would then be responsible for a patient’s definitive management.’

Wood said emergency medicine covered all emergency conditions for patients who were acutely ill – ‘whether they are physically injured or need emergency care for medically life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, kidney failure, asthma, bleeding for medical reasons or children’s severe pneumonia. We specialise to resuscitate and stabilise these patients.’

Hift said emergency medicine was a speciality that was well recognised worldwide but in South Africa it was only really registered with the HPCSA in 2004. ‘We are very fortunate to have a specialised trauma unit such as the one at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban.’

Hift said the new Discipline brought all emergency groups together. Professor Petra Brysiewicz, UKZN expert in emergency health care from the School of Nursing and Public Health, was one of the multidisciplinary professionals involved in masterminding the Discipline. Durban University of Technology’s Emergency Medical Care and Rescue Department also had a significant role to play. 

‘Our short-term goal is for all regional and tertiary hospitals to have specialist units, and in the long-term, to develop district level care and to have proper functioning units to train staff,’ said Hift.

‘Pietermaritzburg’s Edendale Hospital and Ngwelezana Hospital in Northern KwaZulu-Natal are developing as centres of excellence in emergency care.’  Hift said King Edward VIII Hospital would be ideal for training registrars in trauma and acute care once the hospital’s emergency care unit had been restructured. 

While members of ACTG have initiated research on heart attacks, snake bites, toxicology and trauma, Hift said there was an opportunity for extensive research in aspects including studies on how the system of emergency medicine worked, especially for policy, protocol and planning.

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It was a dream come true for a young aspirant doctor when he received the news that he will be able to register for a medical degree at UKZN this year.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, has awarded first year Medical Student, Mr Bahle Tshoba, a scholarship that will cover tuition and accommodation fees with meal and book allowances.

This happened after Tshoba’s plight for financial assistance was published in the KwaZulu-Natal newspaper, The Daily News.  The moving article told the story of Tshoba’s personal circumstances with an appeal for financial assistance to enable him to realise his dream of becoming a doctor.

Tshoba received 6As in his matric examinations and had been accepted at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine but he did not have the money to pay for his studies.

Makgoba, also a Medical School graduate, was so moved by the plight of the student that he called the Editor of The Daily News, Mr Alan Dunn, and requested the student’s contact details.

‘While Bahle may be a biological orphan there is no reason why he should be an academic and intellectual orphan in a country where academic excellence is in such great need,’ said Makgoba, who added that the only condition attached was for Tshoba to work hard and to continue his scholarly pursuits with distinction.

The ecstatic Tshoba said: ‘I am very grateful to the Vice-Chancellor and the University. I am looking forward to realising my dream of becoming a doctor as there is a shortage of doctors in South Africa. This award is an indication of the compassion that exists and that makes me very happy.’

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A research delegation from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) recently visited the College of Health Sciences to foster research and educational collaboration between the institutions on gastrointestinal (G-I) cancers. 

G-I cancers affect the gastrointestinal tract and include anal, cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal, oesophageal, gallbladder, gastric, liver, pancreatic, rectal and small intestine cancers.

The visit to UKZN follows a health seminar held by the South African Embassy in the United States, highlighting innovation and forward-thinking ideas as well as promoting dialogue on key health priorities in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, the Embassy wanted to showcase South Africa’s lead in major health issues affecting the population of Africa, including HIV and AIDS, neglected tropical diseases and non-communicable diseases. 

The visiting delegation organised a symposium at UKZN’s Medical campus highlighting their on-going research on G-I cancers and related topics, saying they hoped to partner with UKZN in order to expand their scope of research and educational network to the African continent. 

Dr Shubhra Ghosh, Project Director for MDACC’s Global Academic Programmes, said there were unique opportunities for conducting collaborative clinical trials with leading centres of excellence in Africa.

Discussions centred on possible exchange programmes between MDACC and the College of Health Sciences for Masters and PhD candidates, similarities and differences in research findings between African populations and American populations, the sharing of best practices on how to diagnose and treat the various kinds of G-I cancers, shortage of specialists in G-I cancers on the African continent, and ways in which early screening for cancers could be implemented in order to avoid common situations where patients present with advanced stages of cancer when they finally consult with medical doctors. 

An interesting presentation by Dr Ernest Hawk, who heads the Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at MDACC, showed that US populations suffered mainly from lifestyle-related cancers whereas African populations had infection-related cancers.  ‘Preventative medicine will probably address the full spectrum of health threats common in aging Americans,’ said Hawk. 

Other MDACC researchers said their impression had been that colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon, rectum and anus – was not as prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa as it was in the US.  However, Professor Thandinkosi Madiba, Head of the Surgery Discipline at UKZN and specialist in colorectal surgery, said 5 000 cases were diagnosed in South Africa every year.

Madiba said colorectal cancer patients took longer to present and this together with delayed diagnosis resulted in difficulty with successful treatment of the condition. 

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Eleven new academic and support staff members who joined the College of Law and Management Studies over the past two months took part  in an induction seminar recently  to learn more about the University’s culture, acceptable practices and performance standards.

The new staffers were addressed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor JC Mubangizi; the Director of College Professional Services, Ms Kathlyn Holland, and Human Resources Manager, Ms Fikile Sithole.

Officially welcoming the new staff, Mubangizi said the seminar was significant for the acclimatisation of new staff at a new institution. ‘Institutions are different. The organisation you are entering belongs to the Higher Education sector with its own idiosyncrasies. Use this opportunity to acclimatise and integrate effectively into your new workplace.

‘It can be daunting when you enter a new organisation and have to find your feet and keep the cogs rolling. This is a big and complex organisation with a number of structures and processes. I hope this seminar gives you a better understanding of this enormous institution and guides you in conducting your responsibilities,’ said Mubangizi.

On the topic of UKZN’s culture and acceptable practices and performance standards of staff members, he said the institution was a melting pot of diversity not only in terms of race, ethnic groupings and foreigners, but also with regard to socio-economic backgrounds and professional levels.

The new members of staff shared their perceptions on UKZN’s culture and observed that the institution encouraged on-going self-learning among staff members.

Mrs Farida Lavange said when she arrived she realised a work ethos of independence existed at the institution while Professor Sanjana Brijball noted the University’s move towards a customer service focus and its on-going research.

Regarding what are acceptable practices among staff members, Mubangizi suggested the new employees familiarise themselves with their job profile and work efficiently. He suggested staff become well versed with policies and procedures that guided decision-making at the University.

The importance of research was emphasised once again with academic staff being reminded the institution expected them to supervise PhD students. Mubangizi said one of the reasons why innovative research was promoted was because it determined the amount of funding the College would attract.

All speakers advised them to have a positive outlook about their work, work hard and effectively and take advantage of development opportunities that came their way.

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Professor Imraan Valodia, Associate Professor in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, has been appointed to the Competition Tribunal.

The Tribunal has jurisdiction throughout South Africa and adjudicates competition matters in accordance with the Competition Act (Act 89 of 1998).

In practice, the Act regulates two broad areas of competition - mergers and acquisitions on the one hand and prohibited practices (anti-competitive conduct) on the other. 

Nominated by the Minister of Economic Development, Mr Ebrahim Patel, Valodia was appointed by President Jacob Zuma on January 1 to serve as a part-time member of the Tribunal for five years.

‘I am humbled that the Minister and the President have confidence in my ability to make these important decisions. I am looking forward very much to working with the Tribunal,’ said Valodia.

‘It is very exciting to be involved in a critical area of policy in South Africa. The decisions that are made in the Tribunal have implications not only for firms, but also for the general public.

‘Its decisions have implications, among others, for employment, the process of basic goods and services such as food and electricity.’

Explaining the relevance of the Tribunal to the average South African, Valodia highlighted two prominent cases before the body which had direct and indirect consequences for South Africans:

(i) IN 2012, the Tribunal dealt with the prominent Walmart case. Walmart, a large US retailer, entered the South African market by buying MassMart Holdings, which owns, among others, Game and Makro. The Tribunal had to decide whether the merger should be allowed, and under what conditions Walmart would be allowed to takeover MassMart.

(ii) Another recent case was the merger between two mining companies, Xstrata and Glencore. Eskom was concerned that the merger could result in higher prices for coal, an important input in Eskom's electricity generation.

‘The appointment comes at a very important time for me personally because I have begun again to do some research on these issues so the link between my research agenda and these critical policy issues is very exciting, at a personal and academic level,’ added Valodia.

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UMnu Blessing Mkhanazi, oqedela izifundo zakhe ezingeni lobudokotela emkakheni weHuman Physiology uzobe ethula inkulumo ngocwaningo lwakhe lokucebenzisa izitshalo zamakhambi kunamakhambi ajwayelelike ekulapheni isifo sashukela. Lenkulumo ozobe eyithula emhlanganweni we- Endocrinology eHarrgate e-United Kingdom ngoNdasa.

Lomhlangano omkhulu emhlabeni kunazozonke izikomfa ezikhona kweze- Endocrinology owokucobelelana ngolwazi olusha, ucwaningo oluhamba phambili nezindlela ezintsha zokwelapha. Lomhlangani ubuye ube indlela yokufunda kulabo abafuna ukuba ongoti kulomkhakha nalabo abakade basebenza.

UMkhwanazi uzohamba kanye noNksz Sinenkosi Dube owenza izifundo zeMasters kulomkhakha owaklomeliswa ngesikhala sokuhambela lomhlangano.

Lekomfa izokhuluma ngokuhamba phambili kwezeSayensi, ezocwaningo, ezokusesha nezokwelapha ku-Endocrinology.

Ecwaningeni lwakhe uMkhwanazi uthi abalaphi bendabuko kudala baqala futhi basaqhubela ukulapha abantu ngemithi yesintu ngoba imithi yesilungu ayikwazi ukufinyelela kubantu abahlwempu kakhulukazi kulabo abahlala ezindaweni zasemakhaya.

Uchazile ukuthi izitshalo zokwelapha ezisetshenziswa abalaphi bendabuko kunezinto eziningi ekufanele zibhekwe kwenzelwe ukuthi isikali esinikezwa isigula sifanelekile ukugwema ukuthi lemithi ingabangi ukuthi lesifo sibhebhetheke kakhulu. Enye injongo yalolucwaningo ukuthi lamakhambi anamthelela yiphi ezifweni zesinye nenhliziyo.

UMkhwanazi uthi amaphilisi ehlisa amazinga kashukela emzimbeni kubantu kodwa uthemba ukuthi ocwaningweni lakhe uzothola ezinye izindlela zokwelapha ezinomthelela ongcono.

Uthe uthemba ukuthi uzofunda izindlela ezingcono zokwenza ucwaningo lwakhe kanti uDube yena uthi ukulangazelele ukubona ukuthi abacwaningi baphesheya sebezuzeni ngocwaningo lwabo.

Click here for English version

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The School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences hosted more than 400 agricultural scientists at a Combined Congress held at the Westville campus from 21 to 24 January.

Themed: Innovative Agricultural Sciences for Progress to Meet Research and Development Challenges, the Congress is a national event organised by the Societies of Crop Science, Horticulture, Soil Science and Weed Science.

These are the key disciplines in which understanding of basic sciences is necessary to gain applied science skills for agriculture, rural development and food security.

Chair of the Organising Committee, UKZN’s Dean and Head of the School, Professor Albert Modi said: ‘The congress was organised with an objective of addressing some of the key limitations we have in agriculture.’

Following the welcome address by Modi, four keynote speakers addressed the packed forum.

Professor Johan Bouma, Emeritus Professor of Soil Science at Wegeningen University in the Netherlands spoke on: Re-Framing Soil Science to Face Development Challenges while Lead Researcher: Applied research from One World Sustainable Investments in Cape Town, Dr Stephanie Midgley, delivered an address on: Horticultural Research  and Practice for Improved Nutritional and Food Security in Southern Africa.

Exploring what Food Security Really Means was the topic of a presentation by Professor Keith Bristow, Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Land and Water in Townsville, Australia, while Dr Chris EG Mulder, CEO of the Agricultural Research Station in Nelspruit spoke on: Innovative Agricultural Sciences for Progress to Meet Research and Development Challenges.

According to Modi, the main object of the congress is to bring together all the agricultural scientists in agricultural disciplines to ensure they debate around the issues affecting food security.

The congress also looked at the importance of finite resources which include land (soil), water and energy, which drive livelihoods in the world. Modi said agriculture was the centre of these livelihoods around the world.

About 230 presentations were made over the three days with several highlighting the dangers of scientists working in silos.

Modi said research should be derived from the needs of the people on the ground, adding that scientists needed to make sure that indigenous knowledge was made scientific and brought into research, and later in the text books at school.

The education of people in the rural areas was discussed with the emphasis being on conveying to them the need to preserve land and water and the importance of food and vegetables.

Modi said if government, NGOs and farm labourers worked together, it would eliminate many challenges, such as farm strikes.

Congress participants were treated to excursions around KwaZulu-Natal, to allow them to gain insight into the agricultural sector of the province.

The Congress was sponsored by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Sabic, Monsanto, Pioneer, Sasol, Syngenta, Pannar, Grasland Ondernemings, Taylor & Francis, Omnia, Farmsecure, SA KALK & GIPS, and Kalkor.

A special issue of the South African Journal of Plant and Soil is planned for 2013 to cover the best of the congress proceedings.

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VARSITY SHIELDAndre Greyvenstein (pink shorts) captain of UKZN’s rugby team pictured at the Varsity Shield opening game between UKZN Impi and Fort Hare Blues at the Peter Booysen Sports Park in Pietermaritzburg. UKZN Impi beat their rivals with an impressive 19-7! 
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