The KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) marked a significant milestone on July 12 with a festive groundbreaking at the site of its new laboratory building at UKZN’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine. A three-day scientific symposium focused on the scientific challenges posed by Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV drew distinguished researchers and leaders from South Africa and around the world.


A poetic welcome by world-renowned South African storyteller, Ms Gcina Mhlophe and entertaining musical performances by Durban’s Native Blues added to the excitement of the ceremony. Research by K-RITH scientists is already underway in laboratories at the Medical School and the K-RITH building itself is expected to open in the latter half of 2012.


K-RITH aims to use basic science research to help those afflicted by the epidemic of TB and HIV in South Africa and around the world. K-RITH was founded in 2009 as a partnership between UKZN and the US-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to conduct outstanding basic science research on TB and HIV, translate the scientific findings into new tools to control TB and HIV, and expand the educational opportunities for future scientists in the region.


‘The Groundbreaking ceremony is an important milestone in the development of K-RITH. It is a signal that by October next year the Institute will be completed and ready for occupation, opening a new chapter in cutting-edge research,’ said Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, UKZN’s Vice-Chancellor. ‘This is really exciting for UKZN, for science and for the scientific community. K-RITH will be a unique centre for excellence,’ he added.


Speakers at the event included Dr Sibongile Zungu who represented the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize and representatives from the founding organisations - Makgoba from UKZN and Kurt L Schmoke Esq, Chairman of the HHMI Trustees and Dean of the Howard University School of Law - who shared their excitement at the progress K-RITH has made to date.


‘What a difference a year makes,’ said K-RITH Director, Professor William Bishai, as he stood next to the construction scaffolding that enclosed the first four floors of the eight-floor laboratory building. Bishai, a world-renowned TB scientist from the Johns Hopkins University, was announced as K-RITH’s founding director in May 2010 and moved to Durban with his family in July 2011.

UKZN’s Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, which is based at Mtubatuba in northern KwaZulu-Natal, honoured His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini as its first Patron on July 8.


Africa Centre Director, Professor Marie-Louise Newell, bestowed the honour on His Majesty and took the opportunity to brief him on the Centre’s planned Youth Programme.  The King has a passion for community upliftment, with a special focus on youth and health/life-orientated issues. 

‘His unwavering support for the Annual Reed Dance, a ceremony for the young maidens which celebrates their virginity and abstinence emphasises the King’s dedication to mentoring the youth in their daily lifestyles. The Annual First Fruit Ceremony which is held in December is the male version of the reed dance which celebrates the nation coming together for a prayer for the incoming year. His Majesty revived the circumcision project three years ago and has been a driving force in ensuring its success,’ noted a media statement from the Centre.


In his acceptance speech, the King stressed that: ‘It is important that each and every one of us should become champions of HIV and AIDS... The young ones must … start to be told how important it is to behave themselves!’


Quoting the HIV testing campaign slogan “I am responsible, we are responsible, South Africa is taking responsibility,” His Majesty raised concerns about South Africa’s ability to achieve some of the Millennium Goals by 2014. He said that poverty, unemployment and universal treatment for HIV/AIDS are only some of the goals at risk but ‘I encourage this approach [the campaign slogan] to improve the social fabric of our country.’ 


One of the Centre’s ongoing community-based clinical practices is male circumcision which is encouraged by His Majesty. ‘Not a single boy has died from our clinical male circumcision since its inception. By encouraging male circumcision I was announcing cleanliness to our young boys and to do away with unprotected sex in the process. I was also not saying they should then go out and rape,’ he said.


The King raised his concern about HIV positive patients who are not open about their status and hide behind other diseases such as Tuberculosis. He encouraged a culture of honesty coupled with acceptance as all South Africans are either infected or affected by HIV.


Postdoctoral scholar in UKZN’s discipline of Horticultural Science, Dr Samson Tesfay, is finding out that there is more to the Moringa tree than meets the eye. Through his research, he is discovering what the people of India and Africa have known for centuries: that Moringa oleifera is the most useful tree in the plant kingdom and is truly a multi-purpose wonder.

Tesfay, originally from Eritrea, completed his PhD thesis in 2010 on avocados as a valuable source of energy and antioxidants.  By chance, he happened upon the Moringa plant when he was approached by an outside company to conduct some laboratory tests on its seeds.  Since then, he has become passionate about this plant, which is virtually unknown to the western world.      

Commonly referred to as the “tree of life” or “mother’s best friend” in many cultures, Moringa oleifera is native to northern India.  The tradition of Ayurveda medicine claims that it prevents 300 diseases. 

The Moringa plant is unique in that every part can be utilised for beneficial purposes.  It has a list of medicinal, therapeutic, nutritive and practical uses.  It is extremely effective in combating malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers.  ‘Moringa leaves contain more Vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more Vitamin C than oranges,’ said Tesfay.  And the protein quality of the leaves rivals that of milk and eggs. 

The leaves, which are the most nutritious part, are used in a variety of ways: they can be cooked or steamed, or eaten raw in a salad; they can be dried at a low temperature to ensure the nutrients remain intact, and ground into a fine powder which can be contained in capsules or used as additives.   The immature pods, full of essential amino acids, can also be eaten raw or cooked, as can the seeds. 

In parts of southern and east Africa, Moringa trees have been cultivated for use in water purification.  The seeds are effective in removing approximately 98 percent of impurities and microbes from contaminated water.  Other use
author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za



In southern Africa, large sectors of society are becoming increasingly dependent on natural resources to deliver benefits and ensure survival. Paradoxically, countries with the greatest challenges are least equipped to meet them. There are two critical dimensions to these challenges: academic and professional competencies within conservation are not responsive to new challenges, and there are few qualified and experienced people to manage these systems.

Recognising this, UKZN is working with a number of partners to determine how to support those who have to make difficult choices around the allocation of benefits in social-ecological systems. This includes developing a cadre of competent professionals who are capable of influencing the management of social-ecological systems towards sustainability.  They will focus on cultivating an enabling environment which supports the emergence and sustenance of an African-centred community of practice.

This evolving community of practice has been titled “Insaka: An African Centred Community of Practice for Management of Social Ecological Systems.” It includes UKZN, Copperbelt University in Zambia, University of Namibia, Monash South Africa, and The University of Montana. These universities are acting within the context of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by all parties last year. The community of practice also includes practitioner groups such as SANParks, Zambian Wildlife Authority, US Forest Service and various non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The first meeting of this group took place in the Kruger National Park last year and, this year, Copperbelt University hosted a symposium in Livingstone. Six staff members, associates and students from UKZN’s School of Environmental Sciences participated. Interestingly, two lead participants, Dr Nyambe Nyambe of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Dr Bimo Nkhata of Monash, are recent UKZN PhD graduates.

The symposium provided an opportunity for participants to exchange experiences and gain deeper insights into the relevance of benefit sharing in the governance and management of social-ecological systems. The deliberations focused on advancing understanding and linking the theory and practice of benefit-sharing.

In moving forward, the intention is to advance understanding and profile the existing research through a set of published papers, develop a short course module that provides an introduction to benefit sharing, and develop a manual as a resource for the short course.<
author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za



The Historical Studies Programme on the Howard College campus hosted the Southern African Historical Society (SAHS)’s 23rd Biennial Conference from June 27-29. ‘With more than 230 delegates from across the world and 180 papers presented this was the largest SAHS conference ever,’ said SAHS President, and UKZN History Professor, Julie Parle.


The conference theme “The Past and its Possibilities: Perspectives of Southern Africa” attracted papers and panels on a wide variety of themes - including histories of health and the environment, biography, the military, and economic history. The papers drew on studies conducted in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, and South Africa.


History enthusiasts along with fellow social scientists and an impressive number of postgraduate students enjoyed two stimulating keynote addresses: the first by internationally renowned scholar of imperialism and trans-national studies as well as of archives and gender, Guggenheim Fellow, Professor Antoinette Burton; and the second by award winning author, newspaper columnist and PhD candidate, Mr Jacob Dlamini who both set the tone for provocative topical discussions, debate and exploring possibilities for southern African in relation to the global picture.


Speaking at the plenary opening session of the conference, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research at UKZN, Professor Nelson Ijumba said it is important to cultivate a culture of intellectuality so that people should not be biased but objective. ‘It is essential that professional academic historians and colleagues working in allied fields (archival and museum services; as well as teachers, librarians, and those working in the heritage sector, for instance), practice scholarly rigour and integrity, which are critical, in both senses of the word, to a healthy democracy’, added Parle.


The three panel discussions on Gender and Feminism and the African Social Sciences; Ancestral Stories; and the State of the Archive were well-conceptualised and were approached with analytical and explorative rigour, leaving no stone unturned in line with this year’s conference theme.


‘Historians are not the keepers of “truth”, but it is their duty to point out manipulations and distortions of the past. This is no less true today than it was 10, 50 or 100 years ago. Historians of the future will continue to play such a role,’ explained Parle. The numerous biographical papers presented at the conference were also a highlight, especially among young scholars.

‘Back in 2009, the EXCO of the SAHS decided to make the encouragement and support of upcoming scholars its priority and set about this by making the confere
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za



Academics from UKZN and the Durban University of Technology (DUT) collaborated in a joint research project entitled: “Multilingualism to Promote Access, Retention and Successful Professional Training” in partnership with the South Africa-Norway Tertiary Development Programme (SANTED) in response to a call made over the past few years by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

The SANTED project is taking centre stage in terms of elevating isiZulu. Part of its long-term objectives are to promote and develop higher levels of language proficiency in isiZulu; to produce graduates who have the capacity to interact professionally in both isiZulu and English; and to contribute to the development of a specialised discourse in isiZulu in selected disciplines by translating selected course materials into isiZulu and by using isiZulu as a language of instruction for tutorials.

Government bodies such as the Pan South African Languages Board (PanSALB) have been putting enormous pressure on large state-aided institutions such as universities to put a firm language policy in place.

This prompted academics, including UKZN’s Professors Nobuhle Hlongwa, Acting Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences, and professor of isiZulu, and Rosemary Wildsmith-Cromarty, professor of Linguistics, to work on a joint research project which culminated in the production of the special issue on multilingualism of the interdisciplinary journal, Alternation, whose main objective is to promote multilingualism in Higher Education.

Hlongwa said short courses were provided for students and staff to learn additional languages and to help students registered for professional degrees such as Nursing, Psychology, Education and Dental Assisting to learn the language of their clients in order to provide a more effective service to the public.

She added that research has shown that English is still the preferred language of instruction at both school and university level, in spite of evidence in Africa and across the globe that the mother tongue is essential for true learning to occur at a deep level.

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande has foregrounded the implementation of language policy in universities.

author email : khanyile1@ukzn.ac.za



In today’s techno-age, when all sorts of activities can be accomplished sitting at a desk and at the touch of a button, it’s refreshing to find young people who will do anything to be outdoors, getting their hands dirty.  This is the mind-set of three Masters students studying Environmental Science on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus. 

Ms Anel Geer, Ms Kate Strachan and Ms Liandra Bertolli all thrive on being outside where they can interact with nature and the environment.  It’s therefore no surprise that their Masters’ research involves a considerable amount of field work in some of South Africa’s most spectacular and pristine areas.  It is also not surprising that their research topics focus on preserving and improving the environment for the future generation. 

Geer and Strachan are conducting research in the broad area of Paleoecology, which is defined as, ‘The study of the interactions of organisms with one another and with the physical environment in the geologic past.’ When questioned about the significance of their work in the grand scheme of things, Geer explained that the key to understanding the future is knowing what happened in the past. The acceleration of climate change obliges one to ask, “Why is all this change happening?”  Both researchers feel strongly that if we don’t know what to expect, we cannot even begin to tell what may happen in the years to come.

Funded by the Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Grasslands Programme, Geer is investigating the vegetation history to identify environmental change in the Karkloof area, located in the Natal Midlands.  This highly responsive ecosystem, comprising indigenous forest and Natal mistbelt grasslands, provides an ideal location for palaeoenvironmental studies. 

Geer has extracted a sedimentary core from the Dartmoor Vlei which will be analysed for pollen, charcoal and stable light isotopes.  By analysing the pollen from the core, Geer will be able to detect changes in the composition of the vegetation.  Charcoal analysis will provide insight into past fire history.  Radiocarbon dating, which was conducted in Miami, Florida, has established that the core is

12 000 years old and will therefore provide insight into environmental changes for this period.

UKZN, in partnership with the ETDP-SETA and the Department of Education (DoE) held a certification ceremony for 425 high school subject advisors at the Edgewood campus on July 1. The subject advisers completed a short course on Mentor Training offered by UKZN’s Faculty of Education. ‘This development of subject advisors as mentors to teachers within KwaZulu-Natal will filter through the rank and file of the school system,’ said Acting Deputy Dean: Initial Teacher Education in the Faculty, Professor Labby Ramrathan. 

ETDP-SETA - the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority - partnered with the University and the DoE to establish the course, which provided subject advisors with theoretical insights into mentoring through engagement with recent literature. The course also empowered participants to translate these theoretical insights into programmes of action to mentor teachers. 


‘This has been very useful. The course was a lot of hard work within a short space of time,’ said Advisor for uMgungundlovu District, Mrs Linda Ngcongo who was happy to receive her certificate.


The course was offered in block sessions of five days to three cohorts of subject advisors from participating districts. Five centres were used as delivery sites: Edgewood campus, Pietermaritzburg campus, Ladysmith, Empangeni and Port Sheptone. ‘A sixth, Obonjeni centre was another site where the programme was offered due to demand,’ said Ramrathan.


Participants appreciated working in small classes, being given clear requirements for assessments, having supportive facilitators who used innovative techniques, receiving a detailed programme and working towards outcomes on a daily basis. ‘What I appreciated was receiving our assignment back after we received our certificates today. It will help with self reflection,’ said Ngcongo.


Deputy Dean for Continuing Education and Mixed Mode Delivery in the Faculty of Education, Professor Volker Wedekind and DoE representative, Mr Mandla Msweli raised concern about recently released Annual National Assessment results which reflected very poor reading and numeracy outcomes among school-going youth.

Two international professional surfers have praised a Good Samaritan Durban taxi driver after he personally returned their keys and phones, which they had left in his vehicle.

Lincoln Taylor from Australia and Billy Stairmand of New Zealand were in South Africa to participate in the Mr Price Pro in Ballito on the North Coast.

After enjoying a night out in Durban, they used an Umhlanga Express Cab, leaving their belongings inside the cab.

To their surprise, the following day, their driver Eleazar Bandyambona rang their doorbell and delivered the phones and the house keys to them.


-Published in The Mercury Thursday July 14 2011

author email : online@ukzn.ac.za



UKZN’s first-year BCom Accounting students joined hands with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) to run a week-long Mathematics and Accounting Examination Preparation Camp for grade 10, 11 and 12 learners from previously disadvantaged schools in KwaZulu-Natal.

More than 400 learners from Umlazi, Pinetown, Ugu and Umzinyathi districts and 41 group leaders from Higher Education Institutions spent a week at Adams College south of Durban from June 26 to July 2.


Mr Msizi Mkhize, SAICA’s KwaZulu-Natal Project Manager said that the main aim of the Thuthuka Education Upliftment Fund (TEUF) and SAICA is to ensure that a sufficient number of high calibre learners enter Higher Education Institutions to pursue a career as a Chartered Accountant. ‘These schools projects are an important feeder for recruiting learners for the Thuthuka undergraduate programmes.’


‘We have as many as 220 Grade 12, 100 Grade 11 and 100 Grade 10 top learners in mathematics, along with 41 group leaders from the Thuthuka Bursary Fund Programme run at UKZN, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, the University of Johannesburg and the University of Cape Town. The group leaders are hands on in running the camp and with the mentoring of the learners,’ he added.

BCom Accounting student, Ms Nompendulo Zulu, who also had been part of the Camp previously, said that the Camp was helpful to the learners and they also advised them on how to cope after high school.

‘Tasked with boosting the numbers of black CAs in South Africa, Thuthuka is a holistic programme designed to nurture promising African and Coloured students from high school, through university, their workplace training and, ultimately, to prepare them for their qualifying examinations towards becoming CAs (SA),’ added Mkhize.

Mr Sifiso Mncwango, a grade 12 learner from KwaSanti Secondary School said that the Camp was great opportunity: ‘I gained a lot from the Camp that I could not gain in cl
author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za



Senior Research Associate and Acting Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at UKZN, Professor David McQuoid-Mason, has co-authored two medical books this year, both published by Juta & Co. Ltd.

The first book Ethics, Human Rights and Health Law: Principles and Practice, co-authored with Professor Ames Dhai, was published in January. Dhai is the Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at the University of the Witwatersrand. McQuoid-Mason is an external examiner for two Master's programmes at the Centre and he teaches and provides practicals for one of its Masters courses. Dhai was McQouid-Masons’s Law and Medical Practice student in early 2000 at the former University of Natal and obtained a distinction for her research paper. 

The book provides healthcare and legal practitioners with the theory and practical application necessary to understand and apply bioethics, human rights and health law to their present and future work. The main challenges practitioners face relate to ethical and human rights aspects of patient confidentiality and informed consent,  particularly regarding children, termination of pregnancy, end of life decisions and HIV/AIDS and the law. Doctors and other health care professionals need guidance regarding ethical issues and the law. The book is designed to give them some principles and practical solutions to assist them in dealing with the issues that they confront in day-to-day practice.

The book was reviewed in the South African Medical Journal where the reviewer stated: 'My recommendation would be that all practitioners hold this excellent book in their personal libraries for easy reference whenever faced, as we all are from time to time, with an ethical dilemma.'

The second book A-Z of Medical Law is co-authored with Dr Mahomed Dada and was published at the end of May. Dada is the former Head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine. Heauthor email : mavanenei@ukzn.ac.za



A seminar organised by UKZN’s School of Religion and Theology, which launched the first-ever biography of Dr John Langalibalele Dube [Mafukezela], reveals Nokutela, his first wife, as an unsung heroine.

Professor Heather Hughes, of the University of London and the author of the biography, First President, said Nokuthela receives no mention in history, but all that is claimed to have been achieved solely by Dube was a byproduct of their teamwork.

Hughes noted that John and Nokuthela Dube travelled the world together, with Nokuthela was singing and addressing meetings to raise funds for the building of Ohlange Industrial School.

In support of Nokuthela’s pivotal role, Hughes added that: ‘after the demise of Nokuthela in 1917 which coincided with the end of JL Dube’s term as president of the ANC, Mafukezela could not afford to sustain Ohlange - he then began, though unwillingly, to approach the government for funding of the institution’.

Hughes said that it was difficult to compile the biography, as most of Dube’s papers were lost after his death when his study was cleaned by relatives. She added that this was not surprising as most of Dube’s contemporaries did not think about writing about themselves.

Mafukezela was the son of Reverend James Dube, one of the first ordained pastors of the American Zulu Mission and an heir to the Qadi throne. He was a philosopher, Christian minister, essayist, journalist, educator, politician and publisher. He was the founding president of the African National Congress (ANC), the founder of the Ohlange Institute and of the newspaper Ilanga LaseNatali and one of the first published Zulu authors. Among Mafukezela’s works are biographies of the Zulu royal family, especially that of King Dinizulu; and Isaiah Shembe. Umuntu Isitha Sakhe Uqobo (“A man is his own worst enemy”) earned him an honorary doctorate from the University of South Africa in 1936, making him the first Black person to receive an honorary doctorate from this institution.

Asked whether Gandhi and Dube were friends, Professor Hughes said, ‘I don’t think that Gandhi and Dube were friends - they were pushing the boundaries of apartheid.’ Professor Cherif Keita, from Carleton College, said both Dube and Gandhi were working earnestly for their respective communities, were good neighbors and co-operated when it was nec
author email : khanyile1@ukzn.ac.za



Amalunga eStudent Funding Centre (SFC), okuyinxenye exhasa abafundi abadinga usizo kwezomnotho ekuqhubeni izifundo zabo eNyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natali (UKZN), athokozele umhlangano obubanjwe mhlaka-4 kuNtulikazi obuhlelelwe ukugqugquzela ubudlelwano kanye nokubakhuthaza emuva kwemiklomela esanda kuzuzwa yiSFC.


I-UKZN SFC etholakala kuzikhungo zonhlanu zeNyuvesi ephinda ithwale inkinga yokubhekana nezicelo nezikhalo zabafundi abangamaphesenti asondele ku-40 nyakawonke, ibungaze abasebenzi asebeqhube iminyaka engaphezulu kweyishumi emikhakheni wezomnotho osizana nezidingo zabafundi. UMnu Richard Morrison onguSekela Mqondisi weZemifundaze uklonyeliswe ngesikhathi eside asesiqhubile kulomkhakha emcimbini obanjwa mnyaka yonke iFinancial Aid Practitioners of South Africa (FAPSA), ngomhlaka-22 kuNhlangulana.


UMorrison oselungiselela ukuthatha umhlalaphansi uthe, ‘Ngithanda ukunibonga nonke bozakwethu enisebenze kanzima ukuze sizuze lemiklomelo… ngiqinisekile ukuthi nisazoqhuba kahle unyaka wonke, njalonjalo,’ esho ngokuzithoba.


UMorrison ube ngomunye kwabayisithupha zwelonke abaklonyeliselwe ukusebenza iminyaka engaphezulu kwamashumi amabili nantathu kulomkhakha. I-UKZN SFC iphinde yathola isitifiketi ebingasilindele sokuba yi-UKZN SFC ephume phambili kulomsebenzi kuwo wonke amanyuvesi amakhulukazi enyakeni ka2010, iklonyeliswa yiNational Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). I-UKZN inamalunga angu-27 kwiSFC akhone ukusiza abafundi abangu-15713 ngonyaka ka-2010 abaphumelele ukuzoqhuba izifundo ngesamba semali engu-R428 865 285.


Usekela Mqondisi wemali ebolekisayo, uMnu  Michael Davids uthe kuyintokozo unkulu ukuthola lomklomelo, ikakhulukazi njengoba beqophisana namanye amanyuvesi amakhulu eNingizimu Afrika.


On a recent trip to the UK, Professor Kriben Pillay, associate professor in the Leadership Centre, had the opportunity to present a copy of his research performance DVD, Brain Scam – on consciousness, the brain and illusion – to the Magic Circle, the premier organisation in the world for magicians.

Honourable Vice-President of the Magic Circle, Mr Henry Lewis, accepted the DVD on behalf of the 106-year-old organisation and also mentioned Professor Pillay and his work to a group that had come to watch Lewis perform. Lewis also sent a follow-up email: ‘You will be pleased, I hope, to know that the DVD you so kindly gave me has been passed to our Executive Librarian and is now a part of The Magic Circle DVD collection.’

Brain Scam intersects with the now serious scientific investigation into illusion and the brain, and 2011 saw the publication of a scientific work on a similar theme, Sleights of Mind, by neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik.  More specific to the discipline of leadership, there is now a growing body of work on neuroleadership with its own dedicated journal.


Brain Scam originally premiered at the Third International Conference on Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts at the University of Lincoln in the UK in May 2009.

author email : pillaykri@ukzn.ac.za



UKZN’s Information and Communication Technology Division (ICT) held its first Divisional meeting for 2011 on the Westville Campus on 29 June. The main purpose of the meeting, according to Programme Director Mr Trevor Maistry, was to reflect on the Division’s performance to date. The gathering also offered new staff members an opportunity to meet, greet and get to know their colleagues from other teams and campuses.

Mr Terence Yeni, Acting ICT Director, addressed the meeting on the “State of the Division, and outlined challenges, achievements and action plans for the immediate future. Yeni also highlighted the University’s restructuring process and its likely impact on ICT. ‘Our goal is to assist the College Reorganisation process by aligning the Division with its goals,’ he said. He encouraged ICT staff to adopt a new service ethic underpinned by documented action plans. Yeni added that a University ICT Steering Committee (UICTSC) has been established. This is a senior governance and policy-making body chaired by the Registrar. Its primary objective is to streamline and co-ordinate University-wide ICT functions towards supporting UKZN’s strategic goals. He encouraged the ICT teams to enhance internal communications through monthly team meetings that monitor progress and measure performance against ICT and UKZN Strategic Goals.

ICT Administration and Projects Manager, Mrs Zama Kubheka, and Senior Systems Consultant, Mrs Heena Jivan, spoke about the quality of ICT services based on client feedback received from the 2010 Faculty Roadshows and user surveys. Common concerns included GroupWise mailbox size and a need for laptop computers for academic staff. ‘Faculties also complained about server downtime and slow internet speeds. University website problems were reported to ICT instead of the Website Team, which is part of Corporate Relations.’ Some of the concerns raised had already been addressed while others were being addressed through various ICT projects.

Mr Bonga Mkhize gave a presentation on the role of accountants as trusted advisors to ICT Management; Mr Greg Diana elaborated on the strategic work of the Energy Management Project and its dependence on modern ICTs; and Mr Handsome Nyathikazi explained how the ICT Indoor Soccer Team planned to lift the championship trophy.

Motivational speaker, Mr Ndabenhle Myeza’s inspiring talk entitled “Beyond Potential” focused on change as a catalyst for growth and personal development.

Yeni congratulated staff on their team and individual achievements and encouraged everyone to embrace change and rededicate themselves
author email : mavaneni@ukzn.ac.za