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VUT senior management seeks Ministers intervention following ” serious governance and management challenges”

Minister Pandor takes action at troubled Vaal University of Technology

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Image: TalentTalks

Minister of Higher Education Naledi Pandor has appointed former University of South Africa (UNISA) vice-chancellor professor Barney Pityana and National Library CEO professor Rocky Ralebipi-Simela to investigate problems at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and advise her “how to restore good governance to the executive management and the council”.

This follows after she received countless reports from senior management asking for the Minister’s intervention, she has since then asked for the Universities Council to investigate the allegations of corruption and death threats.

It has been reported that the investigations are prompted by the institutions’ failure to implement the recommendations of a forensic report into procurement irregularities. Other claims include harassment of staff. The minister was also asked to look at issues undermining the “academic integrity of the university”.

Pandor has now responded and written to the council to call for an independent team to investigate, warning that the current circumstances “undermine the effective functioning of the university”.

Pityana and Ralebipi-Simela have been given 90 days to investigate and report back to Pandor. They are expected to into the financial management and procurement practices, human resources, administration matters, and any financial irregularities.

Matters relating to security company tenders and procurement practices have also been questionable, and with that, they were also given a task to verify of all the forensic reports conducted since 2013.


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Universities

SA to witness a rare event when Mercury transits the Sun

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The African continent can gear up to witness one of the greatest events in science. For the first time since 9 May 2016, Africans will be able to watch Mercury transit the Sun on Monday, 11 November at 14:35 Central Africa Time (CAT).

Get your telescopes ready to witness a rare event when Mercury transits the Sun on this afternoon.

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) will host a viewing event which will short talk on this astronomical phenomenon.” The transit will be observable from anywhere in Africa by projecting the image of the Sun through a small telescope”

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Students hit the RUNWAY for the title of MR and MRS City Waldorf

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MR and MRS City Waldorf Pageant IMAGE: Ndumiso Ngwenya

From gracing the runway with talent to putting a cultural spin on glam. The ladies and gentlemen of City Waldorf took it to the Runway for the crown of MR and MRS City Waldorf.

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Supporting entrepreneurship ventures of SA varsities

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Entrepreneurship is growing within South Africa’s higher education spaces, from fresh ideas, innovations, to creative ventures set to contribute and stimulate the socio-economic growth in the region.

These ideas have been met by support from various industry experts, funding initiatives, and institutions transforming into innovative and entrepreneurial hubs that can spearhead socio-economic development.

This has been the culture around South African universities such as the University of the Western Cape (UWC),which in collaboration with WearSA, launched a retail clothing store – the first design and entrepreneurship incubator store of its kind in South Africa.

Recently we saw one of SA’s largest venture capital funds, the SA SME Fund, introducing students to entrepreneurial spaces, launching the first fund in Africa that commercialises ideas from tertiary institutions and gives access to funding and skills to CUT to promote entrepreneurs.

Today, we see the launch of the DUT retail leadership chair. This is a collaboration between the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA).

This initiative is also set to “serve as a critical conduit between industry and the university, in terms of constructive engagements, best practice in the industry both locally and internationally, in curriculum relevance and work integrated learning.”


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