A high powered business breakfast meeting is to be hosted by the Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) at Durban’s International Convention Centre on 6 August.

A panel comprising prominent leaders will discuss the leadership role played by women in the development of society and the South African economy.

Panel members will include the Chairperson of Mbekani Investment Holdings Limited and Aspen Pharmacare Ltd, Dr Judy Dlamini; Chief Executive Officer of SANPAD, Dr Anshu Padayachee; Chief Executive Officer of the Richards Bay Coal Terminal, Ms Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane; and Chair of the UKZN Council, Mrs Phumla Mnganga.

The panel will provide its perspective on managing in turbulent environments; research as a business product; alternative approaches to managing business challenges and skills shortages.

The breakfast is part of the GSB&L’s commitment to the training and development of ethical leaders who are versatile and successful in all spheres of life and equally passionate about social and local economic development of South Africa.

To fulfill its mission of educating managers and leaders to create value to society, the GSB&L has introduced discussion forums on contemporary business and leadership issues to which eminent leaders have been invited. The first discussion forum in the series titled: “The Role of Politics in Business”, was held in March.

The event is aimed at creating a platform for high profile women leaders to critically engage on issues related to the leadership role they play in the development of society and the South African economy.

The event is open to the public at a cost of R350 per person. For bookings telephone Ms Nokukhanya Mthanti on 031 260 8673 or email:

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This year’s winning poster presentation at the Human Patient Simulation Network (HPSN) World Conference held in San Francisco was championed by a team of UKZN academics from the Department of Anaesthetics. 

The team are all based at the multimillion rand Simulated Modules in Anaesthesia and Resuscitation Training (Smart) Centre which was officially launched at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital as one of a kind in Africa. 

They demonstrated that hi-fidelity simulation could be actively utilised in large audiences with a satisfactory outcome despite literature studies showing that simulation generally involves smaller group sizes. 

Human patient simulators represent the latest in state-of-the-art simulation technology to train medical personnel at all levels of medical education without risk to patients, to cut mistakes by professionals and, when errors happen, to find out why. 

At its launch, the Smart Centre became home to STAN – a sophisticated human patient simulator valued at R2.8m with its name being an abbreviation of Standard Man. 

Denoting the significance of some of the work to be done at the centre, STAN spends its days crashing into all manner of medical trauma such as heart attacks, asthma attacks, blocked airways, and collapsed lungs, among others. 

In March 2009 the SMART Centre was tasked with designing and implementing an innovative way of using its newly acquired METI HPS simulator in a setting to accommodate a large number of participants in a single session during the annual CME scientific meeting of The South African Society of Anaesthesiologists at the ICC in Durban. 

A carefully designed malignant hyperthermia scenario using STAN as the patient was designed with 11 slides involving participation by the audience. Using an interactive voting system, Digivote, the Department was able to adequately engage the audience of over 50 participants in actively managing the chosen “patient”. The results of the Digivote were displayed on the large screens in the venue and consensus was sought before proceeding to the next stage of the managed patient. 

Mr Naren Bhimsan, Manager of the Smart Centre said: ‘This method (presented at the Conference) improves accessibility of full function patient simulators to a previously untargeted audience at CME functions.’ 

HPSN World 2013 united over 1 000 international healthcare simulation experts to share best practices and see new simulation technologies.  ‘This helps to optimise our simulation learning environment and see the latest in healthcare simulation technology,’ said Bhimsan. 

The Smart Centre presentation was masterminded by Bhimsan and his colleagues: Dr Eric Hodgson, Dr Christian Kampik and Dr Dean Gopalan. They said the audience-driven procedure was a unique and highly beneficial way of engaging over 50 people to one simulator; and this opened new doors for innovative teaching and learning. 

In partnership with international companies, AstraZeneca and Baxter, the Smart Centre already trains medical doctors who fly in on Saturdays, in addition to training fourth-year MBChB students, postgraduates and healthcare professionals such as nurses. 

Bhimsan was proud to announce that in addition to STAN they had a “baby version”. The Anaesthetics Department looks forward to the official launch of another Smart Centre at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg – another of UKZN’s teaching hospitals. 

Bhimsan said Grey’s Hospital was already home to a portable version of STAN which could be transported between the theatres and the ICU, and between hospitals for enhanced teaching practices.

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Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Mr Daniel Mminele recently visited the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship between the academic community and the Reserve Bank. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a strategic partnership between the School and the Bank in the areas of research, free flowing access to information and to encourage responsible community engagement. Mminele said that it is important for stakeholders to understand what drives the Banks policies and for academics to be part of the forums where these policies are discussed.

‘We want to interact with the academic community in a manner that will respond to research, lectures and projects that we could look at in partnership with academia. Students need to understand that the theoretical underpinning they are getting here is their ticket into the business world which makes creating this link so important,’ he said.

Dean of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Professor Anesh Singh welcomed the Reserve Banks initiative in engaging with the school, especially since improving research is a priority for the School.  ‘Producing quality research is one of our challenges as a School therefore access to information and data is an important area for interacting with the bank.’  Singh also proposed that a strategic partnership with the Reserve Bank could assist in generating third stream revenue for the School.

Academics in the School were given a platform to share their views and ideas on how this partnership could benefit teaching and learning. These views included:

 - Members of the Bank delivering guest lectures to students so that they can make a connection between theory and practice. 
 - The School facilitating members of the Bank to engage with the community through hosting events and scheduling visits to the Durban and Pietermaritzburg campuses. 
 - Academics and practitioners working together on research that will respond to unemployment, the labour market and economic policies and sharing new ideas and policies.

Mminele welcomed these views and assured the academics that his office would ensure that this mutually beneficial partnership is a success. Partnerships that address challenges within the University and unlock students’ academic potential are applauded and supported by the College of Law and Management Studies.

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Five UKZN hockey players and a judoist were members of the University Sports South Africa team at the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.

More than 13 500 athletes and members of delegations from 170 countries as well as about 1 500 media representatives were in Kazan from 6 to 17 July.

The Universiade, rated as second to the Olympic Games in terms of stature, is an international sporting event which is staged every two years in a different city. It consists of 10 compulsory sports with 13 compulsory disciplines and up to three optional sports chosen by the host country.

A record 10 622 participants took part in the event in Shenzhen, China, in 2011, while 174 countries participated at Daegu, Korea, in 2003.

Embracing the motto of Excellence in Mind and Body, the Summer Universiade incorporates educational and cultural aspects into 12 days of sports competitions, allowing university student-athletes from all over the world to celebrate with the host city in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship.

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One of UKZN’s most exceptional women scientists, Ms Prudy Seepe, is listed in the health category of this year’s Mail & Guardian 200 Youth South Africans edition.

Born in Pretoria and raised in the rural village of Ramogwerane in Limpopo, 31-year-old Seepe is a doctoral candidate in the Discipline of Occupational and Environmental Health and the Traditional Medicine Laboratory at the College of Health Sciences (CHS).

For this, she and two others in the College received the Department of Science and Technology’s (DST) South African Women in Science Award in 2012. The DST Fellowship supported her PhD focus on the development of new treatment therapy of TB using African traditional medicine as well as improving existing TB therapy.

Seepe’s study includes screening anti-mycobacterial activity of African traditional medicine used to manage TB, as well as improving and developing appropriate screening methods for testing traditional medicine. The study is also significant for teaching the importance of scientific research in traditional medicine.

Seepe highlighted that traditional medicine provided healthcare for most people (60-80 percent) in South Africa and formed the foundation of various modern therapies used today. She said the TB bacilli were becoming resistant to almost all of the current anti-TB therapy and there was an urgent need to develop new anti-TB drugs.

‘It made sense to combine my biomedical knowledge in TB research with that of the traditional health practitioners (Herbalists) to help fight the disease’.

‘Although African Health Practitioners are not recognised by the South African government as part of the health care system, there are practitioners who truly understand the calling and are accountable for their patients safety and wellbeing,’ said Seepe.

‘These are the practitioners who are willing to evolve with time and are open to learn about the new disease outbreaks.  My project allows collaboration with these kind of practitioners and it is important for knowledge sharing which will help fight some of the diseases that we are dealing with.’

Seepe said although a large part of her project focused on scientific validation of traditional medicine, her other interest was empowering African traditional Health practitioners. This involved Traditional Medicine Laboratory shared information to raise awareness about what was meant by scientific research and the processes involved to prove the efficacy of traditional medicine against certain diseases

This work included explaining the Draft Policy on Traditional Medicines and how it aimed to regulate traditional medicine, the Rights and Laws protecting the traditional health practitioners during the research process (including intellectual property rights), and explaining the difference between listing and registration of traditional medicine with the Medicines Control Council (MCC).

Her long-term goals include starting a company that specializes in research and distributing traditional medicine in both the local and international market. She also envisages becoming a voice against the exploitation of Traditional health practitioners who are being exploited.

According to The Mail & Guardian 200 Youth South Africans edition’s Executive Editor Tanya Pampalone, compiling this 8th edition was a considerable undertaking, ‘with half-a-dozen researchers independently scouring the country for three months searching for interesting young people doing amazing things.’ She said it was evident that South Africa had a wealth of overachievers ‘full of talent, dreams and drive’.

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Dr Abdul Mirza, a post-doctoral Fellow at UKZN’s Centre for Quantum Technology, was recently listed in The Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 young South Africans.

Executive Editor of the publication, Tanya Pampalone, said each year The Mail & Guardian discovered and profiled ‘200 young people, aged 35 and under, who were born in or have made South Africa their home, and who are full of talent, dreams and drive’.

Mirza describes the recognition as a “milestone”.   He said being shortlisted among another 199 other young leaders inferred that his work was being recognised as an asset to the community and South Africa in general.

‘People appreciate the work that I do and that means the world to me,’ he said.

For Mirza there have been a number of key and defining moments on his road to success. He highlights one particular stand-out moment: ‘I read my Grade 1 teacher’s report after graduating with my PhD - it read: “Abdul has an inherent aptitude for problem solving and an inquiring mind. He seems to enjoy the sciences”. At that point, I knew I had made the right choices.’

Mirza wants to remain involved in technology-based entrepreneurship. He explains that ‘there are vast challenges associated with this as we are discovering as a South African community’.

With his passions rooted firmly in applied research and business, Mirza, is undoubtedly suited to engage with various stakeholders in these fields.

Social entrepreneurship is also a major concern for him and in the long-term he aims to focus more of his valuable time engaged in projects which enhance the quality of life of South Africans, specifically through education.

Mirza remains involved with the Centre for Quantum Technology and is currently researching long distance Quantum Communication.

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Abasebenzi, abafundi, abangani kanye nabaphathi baseSikoleni seClinical Medicine (SCM) e-UKZN nesibhedlela iKing Edward VIII bahlanganyele ukuvalelisa kuSolwazi Dennis Pudifin othathe umhlala phansi eneminyaka eyi-79 kulonyaka.

USolwazi weMithi yokwelapha uqhubekile nokusebenza wadlula isikhathi sakhe sokuthatha umhlala phansi ngo1999 ngoba uthe iclinical immunology imunikeze iminyaka eminingi ejabulisayo yokufunda.

Lodokotela ohamba phambili bakuqgajisile ukuzinikela kwakhe kumukhakha wemithi yokwelapha nokwazi ukuthi abantu baguliswa yini.

Isidlo sasemini besibanjwe egameni lakhe esikhungweni seSikole sezeMpilo lakuphakamiswe umlando wakhe “njengoMfundisi nengcithabuchopho evelele” oshiye lomukhakha uqguqguzelekile.

UPudifin ubeyilungu leBritish Society for Immunology, iSouth African Immunology Society lapho ebephethe khona kusukela ngo1987 kuya ku1988, iSouth African Rheumatism and Arthritis Association, iSouth African Society for Haematology kanye neSouth African Medical Association.

Ubuye waba iFellow weSouth African College of Physicians ngo1961, ilungu leRoyal College of Physicians ngo1970 e-United Kingdom kanye neFellow yaseLondon Royal College of Physicians ngo1979.

UPudifin kuphinde kwaqhakambiswa umsebenzi wakhe e-UKZN kubalwa kakhulu ukufundisa, ukuhlola nokusiza abenza amazing aphansi napezulu.  

Ubewusihlalo weNational Regional AIDS Committee, iKing Edward VIII Hospital’s Infection Control Committee, i-UKZN’s Library Committee neDurban’s City Orchestra.

Ubebuye abenobudlelwano obukhulu neNational AIDS Advisory Group neFaculty of Medicine Board and Ethics Committees e-UKZN yakudala.

UPudifin umenye ukube athule ucwaningo lwakho nge-immunology negciwane lesandulela ngculazi nengculazi ezindaweni ezahlukene ezizimele, amaqembu obudokotela, izinkampani, izikole, iSABC neSATV.

UDkt Kennedy Nyamande, Ongumphathi wesikhashana sesiKole seInternal Medicine; uDkt Olaf Baloyi onguMphathi yezeMpilo esibhedlela iKing Edward VIII noDkt Fraser Pirie, iPrincipal Specialist ku-Endocrinology and Metabolism, bahalisele uPudifin ekuthatheni kwakhe umhlala phansi.

Bathe ulibekile izinga lokuthi udokotela kumele abe njani futhi aziphathe kanjani.

Bamuchaze njengomuntu ozinikelayo, owenzisisayo nomuntu osebenze kakhulu kunabanye e-UKZN nasesibhedlela iKing Edward VIII.

‘Uyena obeqala izinto,’ kusho uBaloyi, ‘futhi ekundiziseni kwakhe phezulu ifulegi kodwa ubekwazi ukukwenza uzizwe engathi niyalingana.’

UMongameli wesigungu sabafundi bezobudokotela iMSRC, uMnu Nsizwenye Mkhwanazi, uthe uPudifin obeyilo mfundisi obethandwa kakhulu abafundi. ‘Lochwepheshe ubehlale ezigqokele ijazi lakhe elimhlophe nabafundi bebekuthanda ukuvula izincwadi ezibhalwe nguye uma besemtapeni wolwazi. Ngiyethemba uma sonke emikhakheni yethu eyahlukene singakulangazelela ukufana njengoSolwazi Pudifin kunethemba lemiphakathi engcono,’ kusho uMkhwanazi.

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Animal Scientist in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Dr Marion Young, finished ninth in this year’s Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon - now she has been selected to take part in the 2013 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, later this year.

Following her Dusi achievement, Young competed in the Non-Stop Dusi two weeks later – a race which sees competitors complete the 120km Dusi in a day!

The Dusi and Non-Stop Dusi signaled the end of the “river marathon” season and the start of the “flat water marathon” season for Young. 

Preparation for the ICF World Championship is a complicated and involved process. ‘The Dusi was a super platform for base fitness but thereafter we trained specifically for the flat water KwaZulu-Natal Marathon Championships in May and from there one could progress to the South African flat water marathon Championships in June. Both of these competitions were held on Shongweni Dam,’ said Young.

Explaining the selection process for the ICF World Championship, Young said: ‘I won at the KwaZulu-Natal and South African Champs in the sub-veteran category in the K1 (singles) and in the K2 (doubles) categories with my partner, Angela Scruby. My race times qualified me for selection for the World Championships in Copenhagen.’

For Young training is exciting, because of the nature of the discipline. The endurance type training (about two hours on the dam) is interspersed with interval training, from short sprints to the longer speed-endurance intervals of up to 10 minutes in length in each interval.

‘I am extremely grateful to UKZN for support towards my kit and boat transfer to Copenhagen,’ said Young.

While the main goal in Copenhagen will be to win medals, what she is ultimately hoping to do is to encourage more people to participate in the flat water marathon discipline.  She says age is irrelevant with determination, discipline and enthusiasm being key elements.

* Updates on Young’s  progress are on twitter @marionbyoung.  Her blog is:

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The 34th Durban International Film Festival opens on 18 July with a host of local, continental and international filmmakers and movie buffs expected to converge on the city for the renowned event. 

With principal funding by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the festival is hosted by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) and is a special project of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

Over the years, the festival has grown in global stature to being one of the most important global festivals for viewing African and South African films as well as offering audiences the best of the most recent international films. The full programme is now on the web at

Eleven venues around Durban will host 170 films in 250 screenings in a smorgasbord of the best of contemporary cinema. Film-lovers and aspiring and experienced film-makers can enjoy a comprehensive workshop and seminar programme at which knowledge and skills will be shared by film industry experts. 

According to DIFF Manager, Mr Peter Machen, this year the theme focus areas are African cinema with 12 world premieres of South African films - including the opening night film Of Good Report directed by Jahmil Qubeka - Contemporary Europe, American Independent films, films about sexual identifies and sexuality, a Zombie fest as well as a broad variety of films showcasing the best of world cinema.

‘For film-lovers, this is an opportunity to see films from firm favourites as well as to explore new and first time directors,’ said Machen.

‘It is also the chance to view films from new places and foreign language films; to discuss and debate the films and to meet the people who make them. Festival-goers will be delighted to hear the festival has created a new free public marquee with refreshments for sale in front of one of the venues, the Blue Waters Hotel, as a social meeting point.’

For film-makers there is the Fourth Durban FilmMart, a partnership project with the Durban Film Office and supported by the City of Durban.  This is a film finance and co-production market presented in three strands – Finance Forum, Master Classes and the Africa in Focus seminars. The DFM master class and networking programme is open to registered delegates only. See for further details.

For the ninth year, DIFF partners with Wavescape – a feast of surfing cinema and shark stories including 11 features and five shorts with a free outdoor screening at the Bay of Plenty Lawns on Sunday 21 July, before running at Ster-Kinekor Musgrave from Monday 22 July to Friday 26 July.

The 6th Talent Campus Durban brings together the creativity of 50 selected film-makers from 18 different countries in Africa, chosen from more than 450 submissions.  The film-makers will take part in a series of master classes, workshops and industry networking opportunities during the festival.

Running parallel to the festival is Durban Wild Talk Africa, the continent’s most respected Natural History Film Festival and Conference at the Docklands Hotel from July 23 to 26.  For more info

Principal screening venues are Suncoast Cine Centre; Ster Kinekor Musgrave, Cinema Nouveau – Gateway, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre; Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu; and the Blue Waters Hotel. Other venues include the Bay of Plenty Lawns, the Upstairs at Spiga D’oro and the Luthuli Museum on the North Coast, which will have a special programme of screenings.

Tickets are available at the respective venues and prices range from R25 to R35 (R50 for 3D screenings), except at Luthuli Museum, the Blue Waters Hotel, Ekhaya and Bay of Plenty lawns, where there is no charge.  Entrance to the Short Film programme at Upstairs at Spiga d’Oro costs R20. 

Programme booklets with full details of all the films are available free at cinemas and other public information outlets. Full festival details are also available at or by calling 031-260 2506.

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The latest issue of the Loyola Journal of Social Sciences - edited by UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance’s Professor Betty Mubangizi - offers interesting perspectives on good governance for service delivery in a decentralised system with global imperatives.

Mubangizi approached the multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed biannual journal which is published in India with a proposal for a special issue that would discuss matters of effective planning, monitoring and evaluation for good governance in public service delivery.

This idea was inspired by the annual conference of the Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management (ASSADPAM) which was hosted by UKZN’s Discipline of Public Governance in October last year.

As the Chair for one of the sessions of that Conference, Mubangizi decided to expand on her theme and compile selected contributions into a special issue to enable discussions of the conference sub-theme to be elevated to a wider platform for academics and practitioners.

An invitation was extended to academics and senior students in Public Administration, Management and Governance to contribute towards the Issue – the response was overwhelming.

The project started in November of 2012 soon after the ASSADPAM conference.  It was a rigorous process in which Mubangizi had to prove not only the relevance of the proposed theme, but also, that she was up to the task of producing quality work befitting the Loyola Journal of Social Sciences.

‘Taken as a whole, the collection of articles in the Issue raise important and pertinent questions relating to South Africa’s recently launched National Development Plan. However, while the focus is on South Africa, some articles are of a comparative nature and draw on lessons from international best practice in public governance,’ said Mubangizi.

Mubangizi sees this Issue as a valuable contribution not only to the practice of Public Administration but also as a good foundation for further research and knowledge generation in the Discipline.

She said academics in Public Governance prioritise the responsibility of grooming future public administrators accountable for the country’s public service delivery processes.  ‘Not only is professionalism of the essence, it is also important that we nurture students who can draw from international best practice and are able to establish communication networks that respond to the real needs of the citizenry.’

Commenting on the political role in public administration, Mubangizi points out that, ‘As the public we tend to look at politicians as administrators and directly blame them for administration failures while ignoring the pivotal role that public administrators play as implementers of public policy’.

As political head of a government department, the politician provides guidance in formulating and clarifying the public’s preferences and, through appropriate policy and allocation of resources, assigns these to the public administrators.

‘The role of a public administrator is to provide neutral competence in the process of policy implementation.’

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The Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) shared its vision to cultivate a thriving startup culture in the Province with members of the business sector at the launch of the first ever Startup Weekend in Durban in September.

This creative global initiative, termed the biggest entrepreneurial event ever, will be hosted by the GSB&L from 27 to 29 September.

The weekend-long hands-on experience aims to empower aspiring entrepreneurs on the process of developing an innovative idea into a successful and viable startup business. It is envisaged that through this community engagement initiative the GSB&L will inspire a startup culture which is vital to sustainability and economic growth in our Province.

In his address, GSB&L’s Dean and Head of School, Professor Stephen Migiro, reaffirmed the School’s commitment to Entrepreneurship and responsible community engagement and called on the business community to support the entrepreneurial promotion event.

Startup Weekend Durban lead organiser and Associate Professor and champion of Entrepreneurship at the GSB&L, Professor Shahida Cassim, said sponsors play an important role in the event. ‘Getting involved in Startup Weekend gives you the opportunity to contribute to kickstarting the entrepreneurial ecosystem of our region. Stimulating entrepreneurhsip holds potential for employment creation.

‘Your participation gives you access to a global community of entrepreneurs associated with Startup Weekend. Sponsoring corporate participants will unlock the creative potential within you organisation and provide avenues for growth.’

As a precursor to the Startup weekend, the GSB&L will host an innovation bootcamp on August 24. The purpose of the bootcamp is to ignite the creative and innovative process in individuals who lack the confidence in their ability to develop feasible ideas.

The official event will kick off with open oral pitches on 27 September.  Participants bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. On the Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practising lean startup methodologies and building minimal viable products. On Sunday, teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges.

Entrepreneurs will get an opportunity to network and engage with successful business owners, experts on lean startup methodologies through to coaches and judges who come from diverse backgrounds. This will inspire the participants to diversify and expand their ideas utilising the wealth of knowledge they have benefitted from, through engaging with the experts in a variety of different sectors.

Dr Naledi Moyo-Ndwandwe, Deputy City Manager at Ethekwini Municipality which is a key partner in the initiative, applauded the initiative and pledged council’s support to ensure the event was a success.

‘Universities play a huge role in economic development therefore it is right for UKZN to be involved with this initiative. Tripartite partnerships between the city, the business sector and academia are critical to local economic development. We need to create a hub for entrepreneurial programmes which encourage local economic development so key to our economic growth,’ said Ndwandwe.

For more information on Startup Weekend visit:

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School of Accounting academics Dr Karen Bargate, Mr Leo Deodutt and MBA student Mr Justin Williams, won best paper awards at the South African Accounting Association (SAAA) Conference held in Cape Town recently.

About 70 papers from various disciplines within accounting were presented at the biennial Conference which attracted more than 350 academics from national and international universities.

In line with the Conference’s theme: “The Challenge of Responsible Accountancy Academic Citizenship: The Quest to Balance Teaching, Research and Academic leadership”, Bargate delivered a paper titled: “Students experiences of understanding Managerial Accounting and Financial Management in a Writing Intensive Tutorial Programme”.

The paper was part of Bargate’s PhD dissertation and focused on how a writing-to-learn tutorial intervention assisted students in understanding Managerial Accounting and Financial Management (MAF) concepts. The paper’s findings revealed that students’ understanding of MAF concepts was improved as a result of participating in the intervention programme.

‘I am very pleased to win the award as the accounting education category was the category which had the most papers so there was stiff competition from highly experienced researchers. To be recognised by your peers for work done is also very rewarding,’ said Bargate

‘At the regional SAAA Conference last year, I received the best paper award so I could not believe it when I won at the national Conference as well.’

An Analysis of Director Interlocks on the JSE - with Reference to the Top 40 Listed Companies, was the title of the paper by Deodutt and Williams. The paper examined social networks that exist between companies caused by them having shared directors who sit on multiple boards. Deodutt and Williams started working together when Deodutt was lecturing the MBA programme in 2012 and recognised Williams’ outstanding potential after supervising his thesis.

‘I was truly inspired by Justin’s efforts, and suggested that we consider submitting a paper based on his research to the SAAA Conference, where all leading academics from all South African Universities attend and showcase their research efforts,’ said Deodutt.  ‘This award was special in that our University was represented by just two academics and we both walked away with Best Paper Awards in our categories and that feeling will linger on as one of the best memories of my academic career.’

Williams said he was delighted as the research results could be shared in a wider forum: ‘I spent a number of years researching and writing the thesis and wanted to share the findings. It is very gratifying to get recognition for the efforts that were put into the research.’

Bargate and Deodutt were up against tough competition from the other Universities.

‘I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating Karen and Leo and would like to encourage more of you to bring home the honours merely by participating in conferences within your disciplines,’ said Dean of Accounting and Economics and Finance, Professor Anesh Singh.

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A study using national labour force statistics shows South Africa’s youth still experience extraordinary levels of unemployment despite a high level of secondary school completion.

The study was done by three academic staff members - Professor Imraan Valodia, Dr Michael Rogan and Ms Kathleen Diga - within the Discipline of Development Studies, School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS).

It was titled: “Labour Market Analysis and Business Process Services for South Africa: Poverty Reduction through Information and Digital Employment Initiative”.

According to the researchers, Business Process Services (BPS) in South Africa may have a role in providing digital employment in the services sector. Innovative programmes such as the government-funded Monyetla Youth Training Initiative continue to grow after the first round of BPS-trained graduates becoming absorbed into the sector.

‘Yet the small number of BPS companies (both local and international) will need to expand in the country alongside relevant training programmes in order to complement the growth of ICT usage and high school graduates. Such complementary elements would need to work together in order to meet the required talent pool for South Africa’s success in tackling youth employment,’ explained Valodia.

Asked about the implications of BPS and youth labour, Rogan explained: ‘One factor which can play an important role in shifting overseas BPS to South Africa is whether local suppliers of BPS have the capacity to deliver; especially with respect to human resources capabilities.’

‘While statistics show some secondary school education, strong English competence and computer literacy among young people, there are still some questions about whether young unemployed South Africans have the requisite skills to be successful BPS employees should the sector expand.’

Concerning absorbing unemployed youth, Diga says, the data does suggest some interesting possibilities. ‘There is evidence which demonstrates, for example, that unemployed young people have some digital skills which may make them more attractive to BPS firms than the broader unemployed population as a whole.

‘Nevertheless, new younger workers who tend to have far less work experience than the older cohorts of the unemployed may compete with older labour participants with work experience for jobs in the BPS sector. Therefore, strategies to promote BPS and Impact Sourcing have to carefully consider how best to ensure the targeted population is given opportunities for decent work,’ she said.

The research project was a collaborative partnership between UKZN, the University of Nairobi and the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research. This research brief is based upon research supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and administered by UKZN.

The Research Briefs and forthcoming country reports are online at:,12,125,4,0

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The University Intensive Tuition for Engineers (UNITE) programme recently boosted its outreach aims by hosting the Beautiful Intelligent Girls (B.I.G) empowerment project at its learning centre at UKZN’s Howard College campus.

B.I.G. is a holistically oriented project run by the Ukukhanya Development Trust to empower girls with valuable life enhancing tools including motivation, career awareness, entrepreneurship/financial literacy, and constructive adolescent behaviour.

According to the CEO of the Trust, Ms Abigail Crawford, Project B.I.G is one of the flagship projects under the Ukukhanya Development Trust. It is the preferred project of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Office and Department of Social Development as it aims to empower vulnerable girls from marginalised schooling and socio-economic backgrounds.

Conceptualised as a model for developing mind (cognitive), heart (affective) and hands (application) skills, about 150 young women representing six different high schools participated in the project.

Besides hosting the project at its state of the art facility, UNITE staff facilitated workshops around leadership and career awareness.

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The Friends of the International Students committee (FoIS), within the School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHS), recently hosted a function at the Howard College Theatre to welcome all their International students.

Twenty-six postgraduate International students from both the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses attended the function.  Nine of the students are PhDs, 12 are registered at Masters level and the remaining five are at Honours level.

The students are from a variety of African countries including Nigeria, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

According to Dr Thandi Magojo, a lecturer and co-ordinator in Academic monitoring and support at the School, the Friends of the International Students’ aim is to make the International students feel welcome.

‘It is important that the education received by international students is not confined to the classroom but extends to an understanding and appreciation of the local culture and community. It is also envisaged that local students will benefit from interactions with international students through the FoIS,’ said Magojo.

‘Seeing that these students are potential future leaders in their respective countries, in the long term the relationship could have a wider impact beyond UKZN. While it would be ideal for South African students to spend at least a semester in an African institution outside of the country, this is not possible for many of our students at present and it is envisaged that relationships established through the FoIS could possibly enable many of them to learn about and appreciate the continent,’ said Magojo.

Gender Studies PhD student Ms Claudine Hingston said, ‘The Friends of the International Students’ Committee is doing a good job in trying to network with international students and make them feel part of the UKZN family.’

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