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SU lecturer                                                                                                                       Historic meeting between ‘town
                                                                                                                                  and gown’ paves the way for …
chairs SA
board                                                                                                                             REINVENTING
        ohammad Karaan,
        who lectures in
        agribusiness ma-
nagement and marketing at
Stellenbosch University’s
Department of Agricultural
Economics (Faculty of                                                                                                             “We need to reinvent Stellenbosch – taking what nature
Agricultural and Forestry
                                                                                                                                  gave us, and what people wrought, to make our way into
Sciences) has been ap-
                                                                                                                                   the future.”
                                 Anton Jordaan

pointed chairperson of the
National Agricultural Mar-                                                                                                        With these words the rector of Stellenbosch University, Prof Chris
keting Board (NAMC).                                                                                                              Brink, captured the mood and spirit of an historic meeting between
   His appointment, by the                                                                                                        town and university representatives – laying the foundations for fu-
minister of Agriculture and
                                                                                                                                  ture cooperation in tackling several key development areas.
Land Affairs, runs for two
years. Karaan, one of SA’s         Putting heads together to reinvent Stellenbosch! With an aerial photo of Stellen-
                                                                                                                                  The town and the larger uni-         alumni would like to think of
foremost agricultural econo-       bosch in the background, Alderman Willie Ortell, executive mayor of Stellenbosch
                                                                                                                                  versity community will benefit       Stellenbosch as a world-class
mists, is an expert on trans-      and one of the town's long-time residents, with Prof Brink at the historic meeting.
                                                                                                                                  from these. Both parties agreed      university, former benchmarks
formation, empowerment and
                                                                                                                                  to combine their efforts in this     to reach such a conclusion
   NAMC (established in
1997) advises the minister
                                        sun-e-HR is hier!                               DIE rektor, prof Chris Brink (links)
                                                                                                                                  regard under the banner of
                                                                                                                                  Reinventing Stellenbosch.
                                                                                                                                                                       were not widely applicable,
                                                                                                                                                                       “having been so closely related
                                                                                                                                                                       to Afrikaner structures and
                                                                                        toe sun-e-HR vroeër dié maand               “A joint vision, proper plan-
on the marketing of agricul-                                                                                                                                           culture in the past.” And recent
                                                                                        amptelik bekend gestel is. By hom         ning and a combined effort can
tural produce. One of its                                                                                                                                              international surveys identifying
                                                                                        is John October, senior direkteur         make Stellenbosch a beacon of
committees, on food monito-                                                                                                                                            the world's top universities do
                                                                                                                                  success in transcending the
ring, made headlines about a                                                            van Menslike Hulpbronne, en Mark                                               not include Stellenbosch.
                                                                                                                                  past,” said the rector.
year ago.                                                                               Herd van Oracle South Africa. Prof
                                                                                                                                     One dimension of the plan           “Our first task is to strive for
   Karaan holds an MScAgric                                                             Liesbeth Botha, die bestuurder van                                             academic excellence,” says
                                                                                                                                  being foreseen would be to
from Stellenbosch University.                                                           Innovasie, was by dié geleentheid                                              Brink. Our implicit contract with
                                                                                                                                  address the town's social dyna-
Before joining the University                                                                                                                                          the students is to provide the
                                                                                        die eerste om op sun-e-HR aan te          mics “and to position ourselves
in 1997, he worked in the                                                                                                                                              best possible education – ope-
                                                                                        teken. Lees die berig hieroor op          as a single community in
nongovernmental sector                                                                                                                                                 ning their minds to intellectual
                                                                                                                                  future, rather than the divided
focussing on rural enterprise                                                           bl. 3.                                                                         pursuits and preparing them for
                                                                                                                                  communities we became over
development. He also has                                                                                                                                               the world of work. With the
                                                                                                                                  the past 50 years.”
experience working as a
project economist for the De-                                                                                                         Reposisioning itself on
velopment Bank of Southern                                                                                                        a consistently changing
Africa.                                                                                                                           global academic scene,           Positioning Stellenbosch
   His research focuses on
                                                                                                                                  Stellenbosch could link            as a classic university
                                                                                                                                  with classic university
the commercialisation and
                                                                                                                                  towns around the world                   town - a key facet
market integration of emer-
ging markets and commo-                                                                                                           such as Leuven, Leiden,               of the new initiative
dities. Much of his work re-                                                                                                      Heidelberg, St Andrews or
lates to economic empower-                                                                                                        Ithaca – “typically
ment initiatives, supply chain                                                                                                    smallish places where the uni-      benchmarks of academic ex-
management and business                                                                                                           versity and the town are so in-     cellence now being internatio-
development.                                                                                                                      tertwined that they form a          nal, “that means that we have
                                                                                                                                  single whole. Such universities     to ask the question of where
   He has considerable ex-
                                                                                                                                  tend to be old and well-esta-       we fit in internationally.”
perience in establishing new
                                                                                                                                  blished, with a comprehensive           Stellenbosch should position
ventures in infant industries
                                                                                                                                  academic offering and an            itself in a league of “classic uni-
like mariculture and natural
                                                                                                                                  international reputation. They      versity towns,” says Brink. Ad-
products. He also coordi-
                                                                                                                                  also have a certain ambience        vantages are: Stellenbosch is a
nates the university’s annual          PROF Walter Claassen, viserektor: navorsing, het Lewende Antieke, ’n uitstalling van       and romanticism which evokes        small, historic town, with “town
Making markets matter pro-             antieke voorwerpe hoofsaaklik uit Iziko Museums in Kaapstad wat deur die Departement       an atmosphere of established        and gown” being interwoven,
gramme – an agribusiness               Antieke Studie in die Sasol Kunsmuseum aangebied word, geopen. By hom is mev Anlen
strategic marketing seminar                                                                                                       well-being and quality of life.”    and well-established on the
                                       Boshoff van dié museums, dr Sjarlene Thom van Antieke Studie en die department se             Referring to the “new debate
aimed at training African              voorsitter, prof Sakkie Cornelius. Hulle staan by ’n Griekse Stamnos-vaas.                                                     tourist map; the university has
entrepreneurs in agribusi-                                                                                                        about excellence in higher edu-     an international profile and
                                       Die belangstelling in die antieke wêreld toon dat die Antieke inderdaad léwendig is, het   cation,” Prof Brink said “the       some long-established acade-
ness, which he presents in
                                       prof Claassen gesê. Hy het die belangrikheid van die verlede binne die Afrika-konteks      egalitarianism of a few decades mic partnerships in the nor-
collaboration with Cornell
                                       beklemtoon en verwys na ’n inskripsie op die farao Tutankhamen se graftombe: “Ek het       ago, and the fears of being         thern hemisphere; Stellenbosch
University in the USA.
                                       die verlede gesien, dus ken ek die toekoms.”                                               branded as 'elitist', are fading    has a beautiful natural environ-
   Karaan also has consi-
                                       Van die besonderse voorwerpe op die uitstalling sluit in pragtige Griekse vase, geheim-    against the demands of com-         ment and a wonderful climate,
derable local and interna-
                                       sinnige Egiptiese grafvoorwerpe, praktiese huishoudelike Romeinse glasware, Mesopota-      petitiveness and globalisation.”    with vineyards and an esta-
tional consulting experience.
                                       miese kleitablette en andere vorme van antieke skrif, rolseëls, bronswapens uit Iran en       Again the pendulum swings        blished wine route; and, being
His former clients include
                                       ander alledaagse antieke gebruiksartikels en versierings. Daar is ook ’n mummie van ’n     towards a tiered system with        in the southern hemisphere, it
Wesgro, the Department of
                                       voël en selfs ’n rekonstruksie van ’n vyfduisendjaar-oue Egiptiese grafkelder! Navrae                                          is summertime here when it's
Land Affairs, the national                                                                                                        fewer “world class universities”
                                       hieroor by of tel. 808 3203, of besoek                                                                        winter in the north.
Department of Agriculture,                                                                                                        at the top.
                                                            Foto: Hennie Rudman
DANIDA and USAID.                                                                                                                   Though students, staff and                 (turn to page 3)

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