VOLUME 3 • SEPTEMBER 2008
Manuel “On behalf of all our alumni,
we congratulate Dr Manuel
on his appointment as the first
Chancellor of our University.
CPUT We are doubly honoured in
that he is also an alumnus of
CPUT. We look forward to his
with a association with us over the
next four years and know that
he will serve CPUT with the
same integrity and distinction
that mark his exceptional lead-
ership as South Africa’s Minis-
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
ter of Finance.”
alumnus Dr Trevor Manuel was installed
as the first Chancellor of the Cape Alumni Office
Peninsula University of Technology at an Cape Peninsula University of Technology
historic ceremony on 29 August 2008.
Announcing his appointment earlier in the aware of the skills shortage in our country. pledged to help Council raise funds for the
year, Vice-Chancellor Professor Vuyisa Mazwi- We need to generate far more skills in this University.
Tanga described Dr Manuel’s appointment economy. The contribution of this University Remarking on misconceptions about the
as a great moment for the University and can make a difference,” he said. role of a Chancellor, Dr Manuel said with
expressed her appreciation for the insight characteristic humour that if people think he
Dr Manuel expressed his intent to support
and wisdom that he would bring to his role will only appear twice a year at graduation
CPUT’s current operational strategy of
as Chancellor. ceremonies, “they will have a few surprises.”
ensuring sound fiscal management that
“As Minister of Finance, Dr Manuel has been focuses on ensuring support for students with
one of the country’s most well-known CPUT few financial resources and demonstrated
alumni and it is an absolute honour to invite academic potential. He further stated that ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Dr Manuel back to become an integral part he has been in discussion with government
of the CPUT community,” said Professor ministers, including Minister of Education, We celebrate some of our
Mazwi-Tanga. Naledi Pandor, and believes that norms need exceptional educators at CPUT:
Dr Manuel said he considered it a distinct to be set for fees, but that allowances should
Professor Anthony Staak 3
honour to have been elected Chancellor, be made so that students with high academic
potential can remain in the education system. Mr Emmanuel Rusford 4
partly because he was also an alumnus. His
association with the University dates back to Dr Manuel and Professor Mazwi-Tanga both Dr Chris Hattingh 5
1975 when he studied Civil and Structural emphasised their support of using academic Ms Angela Dunne 8
Engineering at the then Peninsula Technikon. incentives to reduce student debt.
Dr Liano Greybe 9
In 2002 he was awarded an honorary Dr Manuel congratulated CPUT for encour-
Mr Lionel van den Horst 10
doctorate by his alma mater. aging co-operative education through corpo-
Commenting on his long-standing relationship rate partnerships. “An institution that places Meet our first CPUT Alumni
with the University, Dr Manuel joked that this its students for absorption is preparing them Fund bursary holders 2
association could be in his DNA. He said he for the economy,” he said.
CPUT alumnus and staff member
had a distinct passion for the kind of education As Chancellor, the Minister will become the climb Europe’s highest peak 6
offered by Universities of Technology and titular head of the University with the primary
believed it was very important to support responsibility of conferring all degrees and A brief biography of our new
these institutions in order to address South awarding all diplomas and certificates in Chancellor 11
Africa’s skills deficiency. “We are painfully the University’s name. Dr Manuel has also
AlumniNEWS September 2008
Meet our first CPUT Alumni
Fund bursary holders
Thanks to the generosity of CPUT alumni, two talented students
have received bursaries totaling R15,000 to help support them
during their studies.
Mr Masixole Velem (below left) and Mr Lomahawu Nyathi
(below right) are the recipients of the bursary fund set up by
CPUT’s Advancement Office, which identifies and supports
academically gifted students.
Mr Velem is in his second year of his studies towards a National
Higher Certificate in Accountancy in the Business Faculty. He
is an exceptional student and achieved an average of 78.6%
during his first year of studies.
FOREWORD Mr Nyathi is in his second year of the National Diploma in
Gillian Mitchell Dental Technology. He regularly obtains distinctions for many
Director: Advancement of his subjects and has been praised by his lecturers as being an
extremely hard-working student.
We are honoured to have Dr Trevor Manuel as CPUT’s first
Chancellor, and proud to profile him in this third edition of our
alumni newsletter. Congratulations were extended to him on
behalf of all CPUT alumni at his installation ceremony on 29
The involvement of past students in the development of our
present scholars remains one of the most rewarding aspects of
alumni relations at any university. For so many of our students the
experience of the classroom has been the key measure of how
they remember their university days. In recognition of this we
dedicate this edition to all of the teachers who have left lasting If you would like more information or would like to contribute
impressions on our students – we suspect that there may have toward this bursary fund which will give even more deserving
been occasions when this got close to being literal! Earlier this students an opportunity to excel, please contact Gillian Mitchell
year we asked alumni to let us know about the staff member who at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 021 460 3389.
made a difference in their learning lives. There were many, many
nominations and not all of them were teachers. Your stories were
touching and funny and heart-warming, and we thank you for Keeping in touch with CPUT
taking the time to do this. Limited space has allowed us to profile is just an sms away!
only a few of our exceptional CPUT staff members, but the success
of the exercise has shown us the importance of recognising how The Alumni Office endeavours to stay in touch with as many
sometimes just one person manages to change so much. alumni as possible. The newsletter you are reading is just one of
the ways that we keep you up to date with the latest University
One of the great pleasures of my job was being able to award the
news and events, as well as the news of some of our over
CPUT Alumni Fund bursary to two exceptional young students.
50,000 alumni. We also host get-togethers around South Africa
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our call for support.
and Namibia to reunite old friends and introduce you to new
We raised R28,250 of which R13,250 funded the purchase of
ones – in our extensive network of past graduates.
much-needed books in the library and R15,000 went to the bursary
We would like to produce more newsletters on a regular basis,
fund. We will continue to bring you reports on the progress of
but printing and mailing costs have become prohibitive, and
your two bursary holders as they move towards completion of
we are also mindful of the amount of natural resources that
their studies as well as the books that were purchased in the name
are consumed by producing just one edition of this newsletter.
of our alumni.
Therefore we will increasingly be relying on those of you with
The call for support of the CPUT Annual Fund 2008/2009 will internet access to read our newsletters online.
reach you in October. In these rocky economic times our students *By smsing “CPUT” plus your surname and student number
need your support as much as ever. Every gift gives opportunity. to the number 31022, we will alert you via an sms to view the
Every opportunity can change the course of a life. Every single latest online edition of the newsletter on the CPUT website. We
drop helps us turn the tide on educational deficit. Please consider will also be able to inform you of upcoming alumni reunions
supporting CPUT. happening in your city.
And as we start the inevitable countdown to the end of the year, all We look forward to hearing from you!
of us in the alumni office wish you success in all your endeavours *If you can’t remember your student number, you can sms
and look forward to keeping in touch with you in the future. “CPUT” plus your first name and then your surname.
AlumniNEWS September 2008
those ‘light bulb’
Amiable, engaging and passionate about education,
Professor Anthony Staak is someone whose name crops
up often when alumni from the Department of Electrical
Engineering are talking about lecturers that made a
difference in their lives.
Although he has not lectured for 8 years, he is still totally immersed in
the field of teaching and learning as CPUT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor
responsible for the institution’s academic enterprise. Once Professor
Staak begins discussing education it is immediately apparent that his
work is a vocation rather than merely a career.
It also becomes obvious that the experience gained during his two
decades in the classroom has infused his philosophy about education
and contributed a sound, practical aspect to his approach to “A good teacher must have passion for the
administering the academic portfolio.
subject, a high level of professionalism and must
His personal belief is that teaching excellence is dependent on three
be empathetic. She or he must work closely with
overriding qualities: “A good teacher must have passion for the
subject, a high level of professionalism and must be empathetic. students and have their interests at heart.”
She or he must work closely with students and have their interests
at heart.” “Our experience at CPUT shows that our students are highly
“Tertiary institutions in South Africa are facing many challenges. employable. The University enjoys a good relationship with industry
Many students come to university under-prepared from secondary and has a strong system of advisory committees comprising experts
education, especially with regard to basic numeracy and literacy skills in their fields, so there is crucial input from the outside world with
and can struggle with the demands made on them from the current regard to the knowledge and skills needed in a rapidly changing
university curricula. We are continually trying to find inventive ways world of work.”
to transfer knowledge and so many students manage to excel despite Professor Staak recalls that his time in the classroom was as much
disadvantages.” about his own learning as that of his students. “Electrical Engineering
Reflective practice is also vitally important to advancing one’s skill as is an area which is highly conceptual. If I think back on my own
a teacher maintains Professor Staak. “Teachers need to constantly experience in teaching that subject, it was important to put myself
receive feedback and evaluation of their own performance, reflect on in the shoes of my students and to get a good sense of their own
what they are doing and respond in appropriate ways. As a teacher understanding of the concepts. I was reliant on regular feedback in
order to continually probe their understanding.”
one must always be aware that all students have potential and one’s
challenge is to get the best out of a student.” He explains that he used a system of formative assessment, setting
weekly or bi-weekly short tests involving one carefully chosen problem
As the executive responsible for quality assurance he is upbeat
to gauge whether students had fully grasped certain concepts and
about the institution’s progress in this regard, but explains that the
the application of theory.
merger of the original technikons has meant that some policies with
regard to teaching and learning have had to be redrafted. However “Learning tends to be sequential – especially in Science and
he is confident that all policy relating to academic matters will be Technology. You need to build on students’ understanding by
completed by year’s end. introducing conceptually more difficult material in an easily
accessible manner and to address the their shortcomings and gaps
“CPUT’s Teaching and Learning Strategy, which outlines best practice
in teaching and learning, is already being rolled out throughout the
University.” He believes his own approach worked well and, as the electrical
“Academic programme reviews and accreditation by professional engineering programme is career-oriented, it helped to relate the
bodies are planned, as we need to be assured that all our conceptual subject matter to everyday practical problems. “Learning
programmes meet the standards of the Higher Education Quality by doing!” is his mantra.
Committee. At the moment only the Education Faculty’s offerings Professor Staak echoes the sentiment shared by teachers interviewed
have been externally audited and next in line are the programmes of in these pages and elsewhere in the world, using an analogy
the Engineering Faculty.” He explains that these national imperatives particularly relevant to an electrical engineer: “When you see that a
are also supported by CPUT’s own internal review cycle which is student understands a difficult concept – that light bulb moment – it
expected to be completed by early next year. gives you enormous satisfaction!”
AlumniNEWS September 2008
Creating an ideal environment for
students to flourish
Emmanuel Rusford’s long and distinguished association with the institution has seen him teach and train
generations of students since he joined the then Peninsula Technikon in 1985. Two and a half decades later he
speaks as passionately about his role as teacher and mentor in the Faculty of Applied Science’s Department of
Environmental and Occupational Health as if he had just started his career.
As an Environmental Health practitioner
with the City of Cape Town prior to joining
CPUT, Emmanuel Rusford has extensive
experience in the field – making sure
there were appropriate health and safety
elements such as food hygiene and control,
waste management, water supply services,
sanitation, pest control, and general environ-
mental pollution control.
He believes this first-hand experience
has stood him in good stead to pass on
vitally important practical knowledge
of environmental and occupational risk
assessment as a component of constructive
In the late 1970s and early 1980s he worked
hard to address the housing conditions of Emmanuel Rusford (left) with student Chris Kaangundue, currently studying for a BTech in
those living in impoverished areas, despite Environmental Health, at one of his regular get-togethers for his students.
the constraints of apartheid legislation such
Rusford has counseled many students about further afield,” says Rusford. “The Namibian
as the now-abolished Slums Act. Along with
the wealth of career opportunities in OHS – Minister of Health and Social Services is an
City Health officials, he and some of his
an area that has expanded in recent years in environmental health practitioner, and most
colleagues were able to make a difference
South Africa. It is testimony to his passion of the environmental health practitioners
in uplifting communities such as Lansdowne, and leadership that many graduates have
Maitland and Kensington, by improving working in his office are CPUT alumni.”
gone on to serve their communities in this
the provision of water and sanitation, as field in both municipal and governmental Allied to jobs in the obvious fields of
well as upgrading environmental health structures, and also as consultants. Environmental Health and OHS, Rusford
management systems. points out that globally the market has
“Many CPUT alumni currently occupy some
With his specific expertise lying in the field of the top management positions and fulfill recognised that graduates in these fields
of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), leading roles in South Africa and even are also ideal candidates for careers in risk
Date 4/21/2008 04:50
I completed my BTech degree at Pentech in 2001 and my MTech degree in Environmental Health in 2004. With both
degrees I graduated cum laude. I owe my success largely to the drive and persistence of my lecturer and mentor, Mr
Emmanuel Rusford. My MTech degree was especially difficult, since I did it part-time while working in Namibia. Without
his dedication, scolding and hard words at times, I would have given up. He even came to Namibia for a week to assist
me and motivate me not to give up.
All the hard work and tears paid off when I stepped up to the podium to receive my MTech degree. The feeling I got
standing on the stage with everyone cheering and clapping, and seeing the proud faces of my parents and lecturer in
the crowd – that was really indescribable!
Mr Rusford really inspired me through my student years and he taught me that everything is possible with a little hard
work, blood and sweat! Today I am in a successful career at a large mining company in Namibia.
‘Going out of one’s way’ to help former student Fulencia Burns, Emmanuel Rusford really went ‘the extra mile’, actually over 1 000 kms,
as her email attests!
AlumniNEWS September 2008
management. “Many of the basic theoretical
concepts are directly concerned with risk Growing a new generation
management principles and the managerial
aspects are completely transferable to careers in
this rapidly growing area,” he says.
Having been responsible for lecturing Research Dr Chris Hattingh, newly appointed
Methodology and Biostatistics for many years in senior lecturer in Geography and
the faculty, he is in a position where many of his Professional Studies in the Wellington
fellow CPUT lecturers were also his students at Campus’ Faculty of Education, believes
some point. all students have a crucial role to play
His interest in research has seen his work published in nation-building.
in the Journal of the Society for Endocrinology,
“I believe that students must first understand
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Epidemiology,
the world they are living in, and that they
and he is often asked for his help and advice in
have a very important role to play, a role
statistical analysis, not only from students and
which must be played out with integrity,”
colleagues, but by faculty members from other
In addition to his lectureship duties he is also a liaison lecturer for the Students
Rusford himself is a CPUT alumnus, having
Representative Council (SRC). In both roles Hattingh tries to make students see that
started his tertiary education at what was then
as future leaders they have a vitally important role to play. “They must be able to
the Peninsula College for Advanced Technical
influence people and institutions, they must be change agents and they must never
Education in 1977. He believes that one of the
reasons why he has been able to “get through” shy away from doing their best to make our lovely country a better place.”
to many of his students has been that he also
started his tertiary education at somewhat of a
“The most important thing I learned from [Dr Hattingh] is
disadvantage. “I came from a poor background, that ‘knowledge is power’. I was amazed by the amount of
but I believed it was important to be able to knowledge he had about structures and procedures, and
sustain oneself through education and to get the that he always knew what could and couldn’t be done.”
best qualification possible.
“I’ve come a very long way from where I started. Hattingh is cited by alumnus Stephan Kellerman as one of the teachers who helped
I have studied here (CPUT), at the University of shape his fundamental view of education. Kellerman was in Hattingh’s class for the
the Western Cape and I’ve also completed a duration of his studies, but says he got to know his lecturer better during his four
Masters Degree in Public Health (Epidemiology years on the Wellington Campus’ SRC.
and Biostatistics) at the University of Cape Town.
In liaising with the SRC at that time Hattingh grew to appreciate Kellerman’s
“I do everything in my power to inculcate the potential as a leader. “He was SRC chairperson in 2004 and had the personality and
need for students to do everything in their power leadership skills that make one optimistic for the future of our country,” he recalls.
to be better than before. Everyone has the ability “His integrity, self discipline and honesty made him an example for everyone. His
to succeed. I have seen so many students who judgment was always well-balanced and he had the ability to read a situation well
started out poorly, eventually becoming extremely and act accordingly. In short, he was a stalwart in every sense of the word!”
successful – just by adhering to protocol.“
In turn Kellerman is appreciative of the depth of understanding that Hattingh was
He has the following advice to give to students able to pass on to him and other students. “The most important thing I learned
who may be struggling academically: “Put
from him is that ‘knowledge is power’. I was amazed by the amount of knowledge
everything into your studies. Give of yourself
he had about structures and procedures, and that he always knew what could and
– stop sleeping so much, reconsider your
couldn’t be done. It was then that I realised the more knowledge you have, the
social life. But remember you also need some
better off you are and you won’t be easily undermined by others.”
quality time with friends too. Just try and lead
a balanced life.“ Knowledge is something Hattingh has in abundance. A University of Stellenbosch
graduate, Hattingh has a string of academic accomplishments including Masters
Rusford has fine-tuned his teaching approach over
(Cum Laude) and PhD degrees in Education. After starting his teaching career
time. “I have learnt a tremendous amount about
at Durbanville High School, he joined the former Boland College of Education in
human nature over the years. At times one must
approach students softly to get the desired results, Wellington in 1994 – which was subsequently incorporated into the Cape Technikon
but at other times one has to be to-the-point. It and eventually into CPUT.
is up to us teachers to start off at their level and Hattingh describes his teaching style as being primarily based on respect for
engage with them there first, before getting them students, laughingly adding that he applies this philosophy to students who do not
to go on this journey of knowledge together.” really always deserve it! He cites his job perks as witnessing student’s enthusiasm
He sums up his philosophy about education and love for life, as well as enjoying their humorous take on life. However, he says,
with these words: “If my student is not better the flip side of this is that students are not afraid to share their frank and honest
than I am by the time she or he graduates, then opinions. “They don’t spare anyone – it really keeps one young… and anxious!”
I’ve failed!” he chortles.
AlumniNEWS September 2008
Ain’t no mountain high enough
An adventure of a lifetime! That is how Anette Grobler of
the Student Affairs department and alumnus Ntlaleseng
Samuel Ramohlola describe their ascent of the highest
mountain in Europe, Mt Elbrus – a gargantuan peak that
looms 5642m over Georgia’s border with Russia.
The CPUT duo formed part of a climbing party that summited Mt the official club driver, which developed his leadership potential.
Elbrus in 2007 after an arduous ascent which tested their mental Thanks to the Outdoor Club and his excellent driving skills, sAm
resolve and physical capabilities to the extreme as they battled has traveled extensively in the Western Cape and beyond on the
extreme cold, altitude sickness and blinding blizzards while traversing student trips. “I think it also fueled my passion for travelling, hiking,
the unforgiving mountain face. sand boarding, bungee jumping and sea kayaking,” muses sAm.
Despite some of the hardships, the expedition is one experience that “Anette also played a major role on my first trip to Europe when I
they would not exchange for anything. Both are ardent climbers and was nominated by her and the Bureau of Student Affairs (BSA) to
share a passion for the outdoors, saying that many of life’s most
represent the Cape Technikon at the Tuebingen-SA Cultural Exchange
important lessons can be gleaned from activities that test one’s
in Tuebingen Germany.”
capabilities both physically and mentally.
During his time at CPUT, sAm came to see Anette as a valued mentor
As the student development officer responsible for the CPUT
and life coach and, two years after he had graduated, he invited
Outdoor Club, Anette coordinates a number of other student
Anette to join the Elbrus expedition with all expenses paid.
structures. She first met Ramohlola (‘sAm’ to his friends) when
he joined the Outdoor Club as a first-year Chemical Engineering “I honestly cannot say what makes a student come back to his
student. She immediately recognised some outstanding qualities alma mater after two years and offer a staff member this amazing
in sAm and she afforded him opportunities, such as becoming opportunity!
AlumniNEWS September 2008
“I am completely humbled, not only by the experience of climbing Mt
Elbrus with sAm, but by my friendship with him. He tells people that
he has learned a lot from me, but I know that more often than not,
sAm is my teacher of life and living. sAm touches people wherever he
goes. Alumni can make a mental note of this name. We will all read
about this man in the future!”
As a successful chemical engineer currently working in Angola,
sAm is also studying towards his MTech through CPUT. He is
equally complimentary about Anette and is full of gratitude for her
unshakable belief in his abilities, a factor he says motivated him to
succeed not only in his studies, but in life in general.
Anette recalls that even as a student there were several qualities
that put sAm in a completely different league to his contemporaries.
“He never had an attitude of entitlement like so many young people
today. He saw nothing as his ‘right’ but everything as a ‘privilege’ and
never lays blame on anything or anybody. I think he realised from a
very early age that if you want to become something in life, you have sAm and Anette just days before their successful attempt to summit
to work hard to achieve it and, in the process, take responsibility for Europe’s highest mountain
Back to Mt Elbrus, where the intrepid CPUT climbers’ lowest point
sAm remarks that it was Anette’s mentorship that widened his ironically occurred close to the top, during their first summit attempt.
horizons both literally and figuratively. “She taught me to believe in
Anette takes up the story: “We were forced to turn back about three
myself. I believe she is one person who truly has no racial boundaries
hours into our attempt, because of an extreme snowstorm and
and one of the very few South Africans with a rainbow heart. She
blizzard that came rolling down the top of the mountain. That entire
personifies the spirit of Ubuntu, and that is just to summarise!”
day the weather kept worsening and we knew we would only have
Over the years Anette has been amazed at how sAm constantly one more attempt the next day if we were lucky. To come all the way
challenges his fears – for instance going river rafting without being to Russia and then face the possibility that you will not summit was
able to swim. “He does not mind stepping out of his comfort zone a personal low point for me,” says Anette.
and easily interacts with different cultures and nationalities.”
sAm relives the experience saying that he was having a constant
“Ever since I met sAm he has reached out to so many people. He is battle in his mind to retreat. He was also unlucky in experiencing
a regular donor to the Red Cross Childrens Hospital Burn Unit and debilitating altitude sickness during the second day of acclimatisation
has started his own trust where he assists financially disadvantaged hikes. “That is what happens with such a venture; it’s the battle in
CPUT students. We need more ‘sAms’ and less politicians!” laughs the mind. But then you press on and enjoy the cold fresh oxygen-
Anette. deprived air and marvel at God’s creation.”
With the support of her departmental head, Dr Louw, Anette has Anette and sAm eventually reached the summit the next day and
been instrumental in incorporating Adventure-related Experiential revelled in the heady feeling of accomplishment and excitement.
Learning (AEL) into the department’s annual programme. She “My highlight was reaching the summit 20 minutes after the first
believes that some of the most valuable lessons are those learnt group summited, with a shivering sAm sitting there with his self-
outside of the classroom environment and strongly advocates AEL as made banner for me! I was quite emotional when we hugged and I
a proven method of helping people develop and grow – something thanked him for this experience of a lifetime. There were these two
that educators are now realising all over the world. very diverse souls from Africa, standing on the highest mountain in
“In 2001 I took CPUT students up Kilimanjaro for the first time. Europe, connecting in a way that no socio-economic background,
Since then no less than 12 students have had the opportunity to no political dogma, no religious belief or cultural difference could
climb that mountain,” she says. She believes much can be learnt prevent from happening,” says Anette.
around a campfire at night, interacting with people from diverse “Nothing beats being at the summit of Europe’s highest peak with
backgrounds. your ‘Super Heroine,’ says sAm simply.
Go tell it on the mountain ...
sAm has made it his mission to thank Anette Grobler on
top of every mountain he climbs for teaching him ‘what is
important in life’. Here, sAm (right) pays tribute to Anette
at the summit of Denali – “The Great One” – in Alaska.
Also known as Mount McKinley, Denali is the highest peak
in North America and, aside from Everest, considered one
of the most difficult to climb. With temperatures often
well below -25°C and buffeted by extreme winds, Denali
tests human endurance and will to the limit. sAm and his
co-climber pictured here were the only two from a party
of six that made it to the summit during this particular
expedition in June this year.
AlumniNEWS September 2008
Carpool study sessions pay dividends
“If your mind can perceive it, and your the clinics and hospitals of rural KwaZulu- thinking critically, solving problems, working
heart can believe it, then you can achieve Natal – from the North Coast to Umhlanga in teams, and analysing and synthesising
it’.” Wise words from Department of Rocks to Mtubatuba and Richards Bay. information. I believe that I also have a lot
Nursing lecturer Angela Dunne, who to learn from students. I learn from students’
Her extensive experience in the field has
provided inspiration, encouragement feedback and respond to their needs,” says
served her well in her current capacity –
and support for mature student Mercia Angela.
transferring knowledge to BTech students in
Bosman studying Office Management Primary Health Care through subjects such as “I believe that everyone has the potential
and Technology. And not in the classroom, Clinical Nursing Science, Health Assessment, to do anything if they believe in themselves
but in the busy morning traffic! and Treatment and Care. and are willing to learn from their mistakes
Mercia Bosman is one of the many mature “The Provincial Plan is to make the Community or mishaps. My colleague Joan Fortuin and
students who register for part-time studies at Health Centres more nurse-driven by 2010, I always encourage our students with this
CPUT. A working mother, Mercia had more due to the shortage of doctors. The course motto: ‘If your mind can perceive it, and
than just a day job to contend with when prepares professional nurses for this task,” your heart can believe it, then you can
she made the decision to further her studies. explains Angela, who completed her Masters achieve it’.”
She first completed her matric part-time and in Public Health last year.
“I am so thrilled that Mercia graduated
then enrolled for her National Diploma in Although she never taught Mercia on a and wish to congratulate her sincerely on
Office Management and Technology. professional basis and because of their obtaining her Diploma in Office Management
Currently a Faculty Clerk in CPUT’s Faculty unconventional ‘teaching’ sessions, Angela & Technology. Mercia has subsequently been
of Applied Science, Mercia says: “Being regards herself as having been merely a promoted from a general worker to a Faculty
married to a loving husband, managing two facilitator and motivator. “I used to ask her Clerk. I would also like to acknowledge
teenagers’ school careers and also managing questions which she had to answer in order Mercia’s family, my family and all other
a household in the evenings, the decision to to assess her understanding of the work, or
husbands, wives, parents, children and
study part-time was not easy. I must admit she would ask me to explain certain things.
colleagues who support our students. Your
that my family was very supportive during At times she was reluctant to write the exams
support is definitely part of CPUT’s success.
and I used to encourage her not to rote-learn
the four years of part-time studies, but given May you be blessed,” Angela adds.
but to read her work with understanding.”
that it was a huge adjustment, it was not
Mercia says she is eternally grateful for the
easy and we all had to sacrifice in order for “My philosophy as a lecturer is that I am the
role Angela has played in her life, not only
me to achieve my goals.” facilitator of learning. I believe my role as a
teacher in higher education is not to provide as a colleague, but as a sincere and caring
And achieve them she did, graduating at a friend. “I continually thank her for playing
facts but to empower students to take
University graduation ceremony earlier this such a fundamental role in my life. She
ownership of their own learning. I feel I can
year. She is adamant she would not have always says, and I quote: ‘You must always
best serve them if I can help them not only to
succeeded without the support of Angela
learn concepts related to my discipline, but do something to the best of your ability, no
Dunne, a full-time lecturer in the Faculty of
also to help them to develop skills that will matter if you fail, you will always gain from
Health and Wellness Sciences’ Department
enable them to become lifelong learners. the experience, positive or negative’. This
There is so much to learn, and I can help will continue to have an impact on anything
Mercia welcomes the opportunity to publicly students to develop their abilities, such as I strive to do.”
thank Angela for her support during that time
on both a personal and professional basis.
“Angela’s motherly nature, her inspiring
words and just being ‘an ear to listen’ during
my matric year and ND studies, motivated
and encouraged me more than she knew.
Living in the same suburb, we used to drive
in to work together and I distinctly remember
her questioning me, probing for answers
during peak hour traffic in the morning in
preparation for my exams. Back then, it did
not seem like a joke, because being asked
questions – especially Biology – was not
always funny, but in the end it all paid off,”
Angela had a very good idea of the kind
of juggling Mercia was performing, as she
too had embarked on a part-time Masters
programme in nursing. Angela has been
lecturing at CPUT for the last decade. She
joined the Department of Nursing after 20
years spent training professional nurses in Angela Dunne – proving the power of positive thinking
AlumniNEWS September 2008
Dr Greybe gives
his students a
As the first person to graduate cum laude in Sport
Administration and Marketing from the then Cape
Technikon, Meryl Rabe credits Dr Liano Greybe as being
one of the main motivators behind her academic success
and for helping instil a desire for excellence.
Meryl Rabe first encountered Dr Greybe when he became her Sport Along with the growth of interest in sport management, there was
Administration lecturer. Now working in the events section –– of a corresponding growth in the University’s resources, including the
Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official tourism marketing renowned Human Performance Laboratory run by Professor Simeon
organisation, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, Meryl still lives and Davies. “This injected a new stimulus into the course and led to the
works by Dr Greybe’s credo of perseverance and excellence, and to appointment of a biokineticist, as well as the establishment of the
continually improve “on your best”. MTech in Sport Management. “These were wonderful developments
from an academic side and the Laboratory is doing excellent
“Every student of his holds him in very high regard and respects
his integrity, experience, wealth of knowledge and dedication,”
maintains Meryl. “I thoroughly enjoyed lecturing about management and used
my practical experience to make it more interesting and to help
Dr Greybe first started working at CPUT on a part-time basis in 1997
students understand how to apply the principles in an everyday work
and served as a full-time staff member from 2000 – 2005. During
those years he served as acting head of the Sport Management
Department and is now lecturing on a part-time basis again. “I tried to emphasise excellence and stressed to students that
they should constantly strive for excellence whether they are in a
As one of the academics instrumental in establishing the programme,
service industry, marketing or manufacturing – which ever field they
Dr Greybe recalls that time as being one of the most exciting of his
eventually find themselves. I try to make students see it is often the
life. He relates that the field of study was first only offered on a part-
more subtle things that can add value at every level of an organisation
time basis, but later became a full-time programme.
and ultimately improve performance and quality.
Starting his career as a teacher, he gained his Masters in Education
“It’s been wonderful and a privilege to get to know students. It’s very
and his natural leadership qualities ensured that his trajectory was
rewarding to see them come in as new students and to hopefully be
set for greater things in the field of education. From teacher he able to contribute to their development as managers and people and
became headmaster and went on to serve as a school inspector. He then to see them out in the workplace making a difference to the
was eventually promoted to Director of Educational Planning in the world,” he enthuses.
provincial education department and went on to gain his doctorate
One of the main things Dr Greybe tries to instil in students is the
in Educational Management.
ability to sell themselves. “I explain that aside from gaining their
He has also served as Boland Rugby’s Vice-Chairperson and qualifications, their time spent at CPUT gives them a golden
Chairperson of the Selection Committee. His deep understanding of opportunity to get involved in the practical side of sport. For example
education and his practical experience of the sports world made Dr some of our students go out to schools from their communities and
Greybe’s lectures insightful and invaluable to students keen to break help them organise sporting fixtures for no remuneration. However,
into the industry. when it comes to getting jobs, most of them are offered employment
“Prior to the establishment of the Sport Administration and once they’ve graduated, as employers value practical experience,
Marketing course, there was very little training available in that initiative and self-motivation.”
field. With the development of professional sport, a much more “Meryl’s a great example of a student who grabbed opportunity
professional approach to training appropriately skilled managers with both hands. As a student she worked for the Western Province
became necessary,” explains Dr Greybe. Cricket Association and went on to work for them full-time. Among
In those early days graduates from this programme were snapped up other things, she specifically helped with the organisation of the
by provincial sports departments, who found that CPUT students had 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup and gained amazing experience and
both the theoretical management knowledge as well as practical, developed a great professional network.”
hands-on work experience through CPUT’s industry placement Meryl expresses her gratitude to Dr Greybe and others who gave of
programmes. themselves in the education process, citing the genuine input and
Dr Greybe says it was often the case that an intern would eventually quality of his lectures and his preparation and passion for delivering
end up being employed by the company or department where they excellence. “He was knowledgeable and challenged us frequently,
had worked as students. “For example, Meryl Rabe worked at the to really think, and to excel. So, for his dedication and for being
Western Province Cricket Association as a student and went on to part of laying a solid foundation in the early days of my studies, I
become a permanent employee there after graduation.” thank him.”
AlumniNEWS September 2008
Generations of (now grateful) students
made to ‘walk the extra mile’
“If there was one person who made a difference in my life,
it is Lionel van der Horst,” says electrical engineer and CPUT
alumnus Darrell Fortuin.
Since his student days in the early 1990s, Fortuin has carved a
successful career in the ICT industry and is currently working as a
Solutions Architect – responsible for Business Solutions for a number
of multinational clients. He remains grateful for the impact Mr van
der Horst had on his education, but remembers the days when the
mere mention of his name struck awe and terror into the hearts of
Mr van der Horst is now retired, but left an indelible impression on
his students during his tenure at the Peninsula Technikon as a lecturer
in Electronics. At a time when rote learning was the order of the day,
he grappled with and gained inspiration from the Competency Based
Education (CBE) system and helped produce generations of electrical
and electronic technicians with both sound theoretical knowledge
and the ability to apply that knowledge in any situation.
An avid hiker, Lionel van der Horst is pictured here with (l-r) Julian
Fortuin was in Electronics II and III in 1994 and relates that Mr van Wenn, Liezl Wenn and Earl Andrews during a hike with fellow staff
der Horst’s nickname at the time was ‘The Terrible’. “Young and and their children in the early 1990s.
immature as I was, I hated him before I even met him,” he laughs.
Love him or hate him, van der Horst’s dedication to quality teaching industry experience behind him, making him the ideal mentor for
and to producing excellent technicians became to be admired by young technically-inclined minds.
many of his students.
He began his teaching career at Harold Cressy High School. There
“I had heard all the stories of how he would confront students was an ethos of excellence at the school which matched his desire to
about performance and how embarrassing it could be. I would be the best teacher and role model that he could be. The year was
hear how students failed Electronics and how he would not care 1955 and the apartheid machinery was only just getting into full
about the failure rate. When I joined his class I heard all his straight gear. For the next 14 years he taught maths and science to some of
talk and criticism. This was the man who took to the blackboard the people who would later go on to influence the course of South
without ever looking at a textbook. He would combine elements of African history.
Mathematics, Digital Systems, Control Systems and other subjects
into his Electronics class. Slowly you would understand why you do Talking about those days, he is quick to point out that although
all these different subjects and how it all adds together,” he recalls. he was completely opposed to the status quo, his was not of an
overtly political stance, but more of a moral and religious opposition.
“He must have had an incredible memory. Most would dare not miss
“I came from a religious background and that was what motivated
his lectures. Your success in a course would depend on theoretical
me to fight the old system. I am wary of ideology and warn others
knowledge and a demonstration of theory by way of a practical.
to beware of ideology. I believe that one can gain inspiration as a
Somehow students came to believe that if your theoretical report
teacher from the greatest teacher of all time.”
demonstrated your knowledge, then he would pass you based only
on that.” In 1969 he returned to university and completed his BSc Engineering
degree, graduating in 1971. In 1972 he started working at Siemens
Fortuin believes at one stage Mr van der Horst did favour this
where he remained for three years. A short stint of teaching was
approach, because students started submitting reports only, without
followed by another foray into the corporate world before returning
demonstrating a practical. “The old fox quickly caught on to this.
I still remember one day when I passed the notice board, a few in earnest to what was his true passion – teaching. He joined
reports were stapled to the board with a message saying ‘All these Witteboome High School a year after the 1976 student protests and
reports were not supported by practicals, please demonstrate for at the height of student activism in the Western Cape. “I saw the
consideration’. By then some of the guilty parties had already left for need for education to liberate people and that we had to roll up our
home in various parts of the country. They learnt the hard way that sleeves to do the hard work necessary.”
you never submit last minute.” Mr van der Horst joined Pentech in 1980, and set about giving his
Although retired, Mr van der Horst still has strong opinions about students the best education possible. As a champion of the library as
teaching, students and the education environment. “The situation a crucial learning tool, he recalls his horror on discovering that there
in the country at the time necessitated that we approach the way were very few reference books related to his subjects. He also made
we taught from the student’s perspective.” This was not a method it his mission to stock the laboratories with up-to-date equipment,
widely accepted by many staff in those days, where the dominant which would become the envy of neighbouring tertiary institutions.
school of thought emphasised rote learning and the regurgitation of With the advent of CBE, Mr van der Horst saw how this system could
theoretical knowledge. be operated to its fullest advantage, giving students an excellent
Prior to joining the teaching staff of the then Peninsula Technikon, theoretical grounding and also making sure that their practical skills
Mr van der Horst had many years of secondary school teaching and were up to date and relevant for the workplace.
AlumniNEWS September 2008
“You had to build your own model with CBE. When one class’s
result was poor, I offered them supplementary exams in early A brief biography of
January. Nobody knew I had set up this supplementary exam –
not even the Dean. The trouble only started when students began
our new Chancellor
pitching up early at the residences. One student, the son of the
Trevor Andrew Manuel was born in January 1956 in
King of Lesotho, even paid for hotel accommodation in order to
Kensington, Cape Town, and grew up and was educated in the
complete the supplementary. The exam was held in the Library on an
city. He matriculated in 1973 and studied Civil and Structural
exceptionally hot day – probably the hottest of that summer. Time
was not important, and the exam finished when the last student had Engineering at the then Peninsula Technikon, and later, during
demonstrated the least required level of competency. In assessing the his detention, he also undertook law studies.
marks that day, I discovered that one woman student had managed Dr Manuel entered public life in 1981 as the General Secretary
to pass just by the work she had completed in the last 15 minutes.”
of the Cape Areas Housing Action Committee, after which he
“Students who couldn’t adapt and just echoed back what their became a National Executive member of the United Democratic
lecturers had taught them didn’t like the new system. Those that Front (UDF). In September 1985 he was detained and then
liked it responded well. I think that those who responded well banned until August 1990. However, the ban was lifted
to this challenge also fared well in the workplace and helped to in March 1986 after it was ruled that it was not in line with
smash down barriers to career progress in those times.” Lionel
the provisions of the Internal Security Act. In August 1986 Dr
acknowledges that his unorthodox teaching methods drew raised
Manuel was again detained under the emergency regulations
eyebrows from some of his colleagues, but is quick to point out
for almost two years until July 1988. He was released from
that this was no maverick move on his part and that the Technikon,
detention under severe restrictions but promptly detained again
UCT and De Beers all endorsed these teaching methods, and the
proof was ultimately in the calibre of his graduates. in September 1988, this time until February 1989. His release
came with stringent restriction orders.
“In empowering my students I had to impress upon them that they
had to show employers how capable they are, if not better than After the unbanning of the African National Congress (ANC)
the rest!” Dr Manuel was appointed deputy co-ordinator in the Western
Mr van der Horst is aware that his strict reputation was a talking Cape Province. At the ANC’s first regional conference in 1990
point amongst students and is unfazed by it. “Well, what I he was elected publicity secretary. At the ANC’s 1991 national
demanded from others, I demanded from myself. I walked the conference he was elected to the National Executive Committee,
extra mile and the students had to walk it with me. This created and in 1992 he became head of the ANC’s Department of
the understanding of what I wanted from them and enabled them Economic Planning.
to walk the next mile on their own.”
He was elected as an ANC Member of Parliament in 1994, and
Well, what I demanded from others, I appointed by President Nelson Mandela as Minister of Trade
demanded from myself. I walked the extra and Industry, and in 1996 as Minister of Finance, a position
he still holds, making him one of the country’s longest-serving
mile and the students had to walk it with
me. This created the understanding of
The World Economic Forum selected Dr Manuel as a “Global
what I wanted from them and enabled
Leader for Tomorrow” in 1994, and he has received numerous
them to walk the next mile on their own.
international awards and recognition for his accomplishments.
Fortuin recalls that aside from Mr van der Horst’s incredible
knowledge of the engineering field, he also subtly imparted life skills
to all those who attended his classes. “He made you understand
the importance of ‘you’. Who you are, what you know, what value
you have to offer and, of course, ultimately how you blend into the
bigger world and interact with your society as a whole.”
“With all the history of our country in mind – he had been through
it all – he would teach you how to stand up for who you are,
how to ensure you were not undermined, and how to perform
in an environment for which you were trained. Even through all
of this teaching, we would sometimes talk amongst ourselves and
complain about this man who ‘did not know what he was talking
about’. Of course we thought we were the clever ones then. When
I left university to embark on a career in the corporate world, I
realised within days that VDH had been talking sense all along.”
“I would like to extend my thanks to Mr van der Horst, for the
positive influence he had on my life. I know that besides me, there
are many others who feel the same way. Many of us still exchange
stories of the great ‘VDH’!” concludes Fortuin.
AlumniNEWS September 2008
AlumniNEWS September 2008
You are never too old to learn something new
and always too young to stop.
Have you reached a ‘ceiling’ in your career and want to advance to better future prospects?
Perhaps you’ve discovered a specialised area in your field that really excites you but you don’t have
the right qualifications to pursue your interest?
Or maybe you feel it’s time for a complete change of direction – embark on a new career, or use
your knowledge and skills to start your own business.
Postgraduate studies can make a positive change in your life…
and in the lives of others!
It was never more true than right now that the world as we know it is changing fast. Advances in technology, the
speed and breadth of communication, and increasing competitiveness in a globalised market have made our lives
and work more and more complex. With these advances, both new and old problems and challenges arise – social,
economic, environmental – that need to be addressed in innovative and creative ways. And those individuals who
have the capacity to constantly adapt and learn are those who will prosper and make a positive impact on their
communities and in the wider world.
Knowledge and skills are our greatest asset. As a graduate of our institution, you have already acquired the critical
tools for lifelong learning, and can continue to build on this firm foundation. Internationally in the Higher Education
sector there is enormous growth in postgraduate student enrolments, as graduates realise the competitive advantage
that these qualifications give them in their chosen professions.
As one of the premier universities of technology in Southern Africa, CPUT endeavours to use its intellectual and
research capacity to solve problems that not only are affecting our continent, but communities all over the world.
Across our six faculties, academics and postgraduate students are involved in a wide range of relevant research areas
that have the potential to improve our quality of life, as just a few examples listed below show:
• the impact of sport tourism events on cities and communities
• sport performance analysis to help understand how athletes can improve
• the role of antioxidants in disease prevention
• the impact of design artifacts on individuals and communities
• the risk factors associated with obesity in school children
• community water supply and sanitation
• development of novel models and design methods for real-time monitoring and control
• unemployment in Southern Africa
• genetic engineering in crop production.
If you think it’s time to make that change, then you should consider further studies at CPUT. Visit our website to learn
about the full range of postgrauduate programmes on offer, both full- and part-time, and our policies on Recognition
of Prior Learning.
There is also a wide variety of short courses to choose from – to improve your skills in your current field, or to
introduce you to something entirely new. The possibilities are endless!
Produced by the Alumni Office of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Tel: 021 959-6614 • Email: email@example.com