Newsletter Issue11 - News letter by sdsdfqw21

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Issue 11                                                                                                                April/May 2010

                                               Women For
                  takes step
                                             Women - Creating
                towards free
                                                                                                   2nd Public Lecture: “Africans can Research
                                                                        Reading changes Lives
                                                                                                  and Distribute Knowledge on African Affairs”
                   Pg 3                           Pg 5                          Pg 9                                    Pg 12

                                                                        implementation and promotes access to information and
                                                                        services relevant to preventing transmission and promoting
                                                                        care and support.

                                                                        The educational programmes include: Policy and Strategic Plan
                                                                        Development, Prevention, Care and Support Programmes,
                                                                        Integration of HIV/Aids into the university curriculum, staff and
                                                                        student peer education, Scrutinize Campaign, support groups,
                                                                        Men in Action Programme, Voluntary Counselling and Testing,
                                                                        CD4 count test which will be extended to all WSU clinics soon
                                                                        and HIV/Aids Research.

                                                                        There is also a Student Counselling Unit under the Department
                                                                        of Student Affairs which conducts individual and group
                                                                        counseling for students. They also run peer helping programmes
 Ms Nomvula Twaise, Director for the Centre of HIV/Aids (CHA)           for students to educate them about psycho-social issues
                                                                        that include gender relations, self-esteem, self-confidence,

            ALTER SISULU University has noted with interest             assertiveness training among others.
            the national survey results released recently and is
            indeed pleased that this issue is receiving attention       According to the National Prevalence study just conducted,
at the highest level. Walter Sisulu University has always taken         the prevalence rate among women and men varies among
a serious approach to the HIV and AIDS pandemic and the fact            students and staff. But on average, women’s HIV prevalence is
that its students are at risk.                                          higher than men for obvious biological, economic and cultural
Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande,
said during the announcement of the results in April: “One of           Speaking to the Director of CHA, Ms Nomvula Twaise, she said:
the clearest implications of the survey is the need to strengthen       “This study has come as a relief because we have been working
workplace HIV and AIDS programmes at institutions”. This is             tirelessly on a project that was not well informed statistically
why the University has decided to bring to the forefront the            which means we were not aware of the magnitude of the
Centre which was launched last year to stop the spread of HIV/          problem. We are now able to channel our resources towards
Aids and to promote healthy minds and lifestyles. In response           where they are crucially needed.”
to this, Walter Sisulu University has a fully-fledged Centre for
HIV/Aids (CHA), launched in 2009, which has a presence on
each of the four campuses: Mthatha, Butterworth, Buffalo City
and Queenstown. This Centre strives to reduce further HIV
infections among students and staff by developing educational
programmes that are responsive to the new trends of combating

The Centre creates a supportive environment for students
and staff living with HIV and AIDS or affected by it; advocates
and lobbies for policy development, leadership support and

                                          Think                                                                Speak
                                          WSU                                                                  WSU

                                                                    province in India. Speaking on the purpose of the visit
                                                                    to PAU, Professor Luswazi recalled that the partnership
                                                                    between the PAU and WSU dates back to the 2007 WSU’s
                                                                    CRD Annual Rural Development Conference when the then
                                                                    Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, addressed
                                                                    the Conference as a keynote speaker.

                                                                    “He enlightened conference participators on the role that
                                                                    agricultural universities have played in India, in the Green
                                                                    Revolution. He maintained that forty years ago the Punjab
                                                                    had been poorer than Transkei is today,” she said.

                                                                    She added that he emphasized how a policy change
                                                                    transformed 39 universities in agriculture and led to
                                                                    partnerships, which working together brought about the
                                                                    Green Revolution in the Punjab and other parts of India. The
                                                                    role of the agricultural universities has been to produce high
                                                                    level scientists, agricultural managers and practitioners as
                    Dr Somadoda Fikeni                              well as to conduct research that is relevant to the problems
                                                                    of the region.

       FOUR-member Walter Sisulu University delegation
       recently left for New Delhi, India to attend an Annual       “WSU has studied this and other transformatory higher
       International Rural Development Conference as part           education models in Africa and abroad. We are going to
of a 40-member South African team led by the Minister of            visit PAU in order to see for ourselves, critically assess the
the National Department of Rural Development and Land               model and learn as much as we can.” She believes that this
Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti.                                          experience can only make an impact upon the Eastern Cape
                                                                    and beyond if they are able to share and infuse it into WSU
The WSU delegation was made up of Professor Nomfundo                programmes. “Exposure to these agricultural universities
Luswazi, Director of the Centre for Rural Development (CRD),        will assist WSU in its current big project of establishing a
Dr Somadoda Fikeni, WSU Council Chairperson, Professor              new Faculty of Agriculture and Rural Development Studies,”
Sandile Songca, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Science,          she concluded.
Engineering and Technology and Mr Mzolisi Payi, Director                                                    by Khuthala Nandipha
for the Centre of Community and International Partnerships.

The Conference brings together the emerging economies of
India, China, Brazil and South Africa. The aim is to promote
solidarity, especially exchange of information, and best
practices in Rural Development in these countries.

WSU’s Professor Luswazi was selected due to the concept
and activities of the Centre for Rural Development’s
Annual Conference which has been running for five years.
Other South African delegates were selected from NGOs,
government departments, Higher Education institutions and
community-based organisations.

After the Conference the WSU delegation will spend time
at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in the Punjab                          Professor Nomfundo Luswazi

                                             Talk                                                                         Feel
                                             WSU                                                                          WSU


   n June 2009, Walter Sisulu University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor       of study for many students. This under funding is a contributing
   Malusi Balintulo led an Education Ministerial Committee to              factor to the high attrition rate in our university system. The report
   review the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The           highlights the need for the DHET to revisit the access and success
review was prompted by challenges related to the important goals           debate and makes several proposals in this regard. In addition,
of access and affordability. The review focused on a specific set of       there are many families who cannot afford higher education but
terms of reference which included a focus on the administrative            whose income is above the threshold of R122 000. This referred to
capacity of NSFAS which had not kept pace with the growth in               by the Committee as the ‘missing middle’.
terms of the size of the state’s investment in
financial aid.                                                                                   The full list of recommendations can be found
                                                                                                 on page 124 in Chapter 10 of the report. “I
It represented a tenfold increase in the NSFAS                                                   wish to acknowledge the difficult task of the
budget between 1999 and 2010. In addition,                                                       Board of NSFAS over the years, particularly
there were several areas ranging from concerns                                                   as members do this on a voluntary basis. I
regarding the growing number of blacklisted                                                      thank them for their work. It is my fervent
borrowers, the urgent need to assess short,                                                      hope that the recommendations of the
medium and long term growth requirements of                                                      committee leads to the strengthening and
the fund to increase access, particularly of poor                                                improved functioning of the Board,” said
students and in addition there was the imperative                                                Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr
to review the distribution and allocation policies                                               Blade Nzimande.
and mechanisms of the fund.
                                                                                               He added that, “I would like to extend my
This report by the Committee is now complete                                                   heartfelt appreciation to Professor Malusi
and has now been submitted to the Department                                                   Balintulo and his team for the intensive work
of Higher Education and Training as well as                                                    they undertook during the review, including
Parliament for consideration. The scope of the                                                 an extensive consultation process with
review mandated the Committee to assess the                                                    stakeholders as well as the commissioning of
strengths and shortcomings of current scheme              Walter Sisulu University’s           several research pieces which have informed
and to advise the Minister on the short, medium                Vice-Chancellor,                the study.”
and long term needs for student financial aid to          Professor Malusi Balintulo
promote the twin goals of equity of access and                                                 We have presented the summary of findings
providing free undergraduate education to students from working        and recommendations of the committee to Cabinet last month and
class and poor communities who cannot afford further or higher         I will report on our final response, including recommendations
education.                                                             and an implementation plan, to Cabinet once we have concluded
                                                                       the period of public consultation. Our intention is take the matter
The terms of reference requested the Committee to,                     before Cabinet by the end of August.
among other things:
                                                                       There are, however, some matters which arising from
    • Make recommendations on appropriate mechanisms for               recommendations require our immediate attention. These
      raising and administering the required funds, including the      include simplifying the means test to uniformly be applied at all
      parameters of the recapitalisation of NSFAS and for the          institutions; revisiting the institutional allocation model, reviewing
      possible establishment of a student loan bank.                   the funding formula and framework for universities; commissioning
    • Investigate the feasibility of student financial aid being       research into the inter-relationship between affordability, access
      linked to priority fields of study and levels of academic        and success; and the appointment of a task team to look into
      performance. Assess the viability of extending financial         several recommendations by the Committee on loan recovery by
      aid to students innot-for-profit private higher education        the South African Revenue Service and solutions for the ‘missing
      institutions (HEIs).                                             middle’. These issues will be acted on urgently.
    • Assess the nature and extent of former and current students
                                                                           This is the first step taken by government to realise the commitment
      blacklisted by NSFAS and universities and recommend
                                                                           of the ruling party to “progressively introduce free education for
      appropriate action to be taken to deal with the problem.
                                                                           the poor until undergraduate level”. The review of the NSFAS was
    • Recommend changes to the governance, management,
                                                                           undertaken in fulfilment of the resolution of the governing party to
      operational capacity and systems of the NSFAS to meet the
                                                                           “encourage students from working class and poor communities to
      needs of the new policy framework
                                                                           go to tertiary institutions by reviewing and improving the Scheme.
Some of the committee’s key findings show that the amount of
NSFAS funding available falls far short of demand and that there           (This release originated from the Ministry of Higher Education. To
are significant gaps between the NSFAS award and the full cost             download the full report go to )

                                             Enjoy                                                                         Love
                                             WSU                                                                           WSU


                   Dr Nkem Abonte (ELIDZ)                                                    Professor Sandile Songca
                                                                           Executive Dean: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, WSU

      he Border Kei Chamber of Business hosted a Strategic                 and Technology reminded the stakeholders that a country like
      Engagement between higher and further education                      Finland used to be a rural economy and today it is at the centre of
      institutions, government and local business recently in East         cutting edge technology.
London. The engagement was attended by Buffalo City Executive
Mayor, Ms Zolisa Faku, Businessman of the Year, Mr Simphiwe                He commended Walter Sisulu University on their cutting edge
Kondlo, the CEO of the East London Industrial Development Zone             research on biochemicals but also a raised a concern on the little
(ELIDZ), Vice-Chancellors from Walter Sisulu University, University        collaboration between academia and the private sector. The EC
of Fort Hare, and CEOs of Buffalo City College and Boston                  Socio Economic Consultative Council (Ecsecc) has done research
College, representatives from the Eastern Cape Socio Economic              on how universities contribute to the province. This research is
Consultative Council (Ecsecc) and other local organisations.               available to the public at their resource centre.
Summing up the purpose of the engagement Mr Kondlo said:                   Speaking on behalf of the WSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sandile
“The knowledge industry needs to be nurtured and developed. To             Songca said that we need to create an environment where
do something meaningful, start where you are, use what you have            learners want to come and study in Buffalo City. “We also need
and make the most of your situation.” Buffalo City Mayor Ms Faku           to retain graduates in order for us to utilize their knowledge and
acknowledged the opportunities presented by such collaborations,           competence.”
stating that it is such partnerships that speed up the plans to make
Buffalo City a Metro.                                                      He added that the responsibility of higher education is to create
                                                                           graduates that will not be job seekers, but rather job creators
Presentations were also made by different stakeholders with issues         and for that to happen activities of incubations, innovation and
ranging from the provincial innovation strategy process, economic          relationships need to be strengthened.
benefits of the knowledge industry to Buffalo City, authority on
links between research and business and importantly, universities’         A concern was raised around the evident brain drain in the province
key strength of the Eastern Province’s innovation: research.               despite the fact that there are 70 000 university students. “Are we
                                                                           training for this economy? Is a question that Prof Songca posed to
David Lefutso of the Cooperation Framework on Innovation                   serve as a guideline to the partnerships going forward.
Systems (Cofisa) programme under the Department of Science
                                                                                                                       by Khuthala Nandipha
                                     Think                                                        Speak
                                     WSU                                                          WSU


          ALTER Sisulu University’s Chancellor
          Brigalia Bam has taken her Plough Back
          Initiative to the young women of WSU
through the Women Development Forum (WDF)
which she founded. A partnership was formed in a
four day workshop hosted by WSU in collaboration
with WDF at the Regent Hotel, East London in March.

Up to 175 female students from different WSU
campuses and faculties were selected from motivation
papers on what they believe makes a great leader.
The WDF is in the process of establishing partnerships
with institutions of higher learning,specifically rural
based institutions, with WSU being a new addition.

“The workshop is aimed at creating and developing
a mentorship network of women who will empower
themselves and others holistically, young women
who will take a lead in addressing challenges facing
women in society. We want to create capacitated
and empowered young WSU female leaders,” said
Zukiswa Poswa, CEO of WDF.

Guest speakers during the workshop were female
WSU alumni, appropriately planned to motivate and
assure the students that WSU produces females that
are movers and shakers. The distinguished guests
included Dr Nonceba Mashalaba (Chairperson                               Dr Brigalia Ntombemhlophe Bam
Plough Back/ Chief Director Product Development,
                                                              students in a disadvantaged institution so we
Department of Trade and Industry), Olu Khonjwayo
                                                              definitely need programs that liberate us. After this
(Entrepreneur), Pinky Rigala (Entrepreneur),
                                                              we might just see an ISRC female president,” shared
Zukiswa Poswa (CEO WDF) and Tumi Makwela (CEO
Final Word Publishing).
                                                              Dr Mokgadi Mkhonza, Executive Director for Student
Speaker after speaker stressed that hard work,
                                                              Affairs promised the young women that more things
perseverance, determination, sacrifice, strength,
                                                              are planned for their benefit and development. “The
motivation and self love are key drivers to success for
                                                              development agenda started here this week will
any individual. The speakers shared their knowledge
                                                              continue, and Student Development Officers will
and experiences with the hope to inspire the young
                                                              continue mentoring young women about leadership
women who are ‘destined for greater things’.
                                                              and other challenges throughout the year,” she said.
Cinga Vatyana, a second year Social Work student                                                 by Oyanga Ngalika
thanked the Student Affairs Department for a long
overdue program of this nature. “We are female
                                  Talk                                                           Feel
                                  WSU                                                            WSU

                INTERNAL AUDIT: 3 - 8 April 2011

   n September 2008 and September 2009 the
   Vice-Chancellor, Professor Marcus Balintulo,                       Background to the Audit
   sent out a letter to all members of the
WSU community to inform them about the Audit                The Higher Education Act of 1997 assigns the
of Walter Sisulu University by the Higher Education         responsibility for quality assurance in higher
Quality Committee (HEQC) in April 2011. This                education in South Africa to the Council of Higher
Audit is about assessing the quality of what we do          Education (CHE).
as an institution.
                                                            The CHE exercises this authority through its
This has two aspects: the adequacy of our vision            permanent sub-committee, the Higher Education
and the suitability of our practical arrangements           Quality Committee (HEQC). The HEQC has three
for achieving the vision. The Audit gives us an             important responsibilities to perform, these are
important opportunity to take a fresh look at               to:
our mission and to consider the different ways
in which we are looking towards fulfilling it,                 1. Promote quality assurance in higher
through our teaching and learning, through the                    education;
research that is being undertaken, through the                 2. accredit programmes of higher education,
projects and initiatives where we engage with                     and
our communities in the broadest sense as well as               3. audit the quality assurance mechanisms
through the policies, procedures and structures                   of higher education institutions.
we have in place to support and quality assure
our core functions.                                         Some faculties at WSU have already been involved
                                                            in the HEQC processes around the accreditation
Such a process is by its very nature rigorous and           of their programmes. However in the April 2011
extensive, but at the same time it is exciting. In          Audit, the HEQC will be auditing the university’s
reflecting on what we say we want to do and                 overall quality assurance system.
how well we think we are doing, we are able to
focus on what we consider to be our areas of                It will be what they call an Institutional Audit.
excellence and how these link to and take forward
our strategic goals. At the same time we are able           The main objectives of an institutional audit is for
to give consideration to areas we feel need to be           the HEQC to consider how well institutions are
improved so as to better meet our goals and to              doing in relation to their mission and strategic
draw on external expertise to sharpen this insight.         goals, what they refer to as an institution’s “fitness
                                                            for purpose”, or how well an institution is doing
Since the Audit brings into focus how the institution       in relation to its purpose. It involves considering
as a whole takes forward its mission and pursues            the institution’s policies, mechanisms, practices
its purpose it is a process that involves all members       and resources that are in place to promote
of the campus community, from those who are                 monitor and assure quality in the core areas of
directly involved in academic activities to those           teaching and learning, research and community
who support these activities in different ways.             engagement. Most importantly, it is a process that
                                                            involves helping institutions to identify what they
The University has been preparing for the Audit             are doing well and to isolate important challenges
since 2007 and we are well underway.                        for the future.

                                   Enjoy                                                         Love
                                   WSU                                                           WSU

The HEQC expects institutions to prepare for the            In July 2008 the WGs commenced their work
audit in a number of different ways. The most               around the different audit criteria. Each working
important task is for the institutions to undertake         group will submit a report in February 2010. These
a process of self - reflection and prepare a Self           reports will be synthesised into a single report for
Evaluation Report in terms of the 19 specified              further consideration by the WGs. A workshop will
criteria. These require the institutions to describe        be held to discuss the progress that needs to be
their internal quality assurance systems and                made and identify any gaps or improvements that
to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses                need attention.
in pursuing their purpose through their core
academic activities. In doing this they are required        At this time the (IA) Project Office is preparing
to provide evidence that validates the claims that          the database of staff (Academic and Support),
are made. So the Self Evaluation Report is key to           students, Council Members, Staff Unions and
informing the external panel about the institution          all other relevant stakeholders that will be
and its own reflections on its “fitness for purpose”.       interviewed to gain further information and insight
                                                            that is needed for the Report.

                                                            After extensive and further work by members
          Preparing for the Audit                           of the Working Groups, IAPMTT, VCSC and the
                                                            Project office a full draft report will be completed
                                                            and presented to the university community for
Last year a number of structures were put in place
                                                            consideration and comment. It will be very exciting
to manage and complete various tasks associated
                                                            to reach this point as this is the time when the
with the audit preparations.
                                                            whole campus community has an opportunity to
                                                            contribute more actively to the process.
These structures and their responsibilities are:
                                                            The best way that members of the campus
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Steering Committee
                                                            community can contribute is by reading the report
    (VCSC): oversees the entire preparation
                                                            (when presented) and sending your comments /
                                                            responses to the IA Project Office.
  • Institutional Audit Project Management Task
    Team (IAPMTT): Under the leadership of
    Deputy ViceChancellor: Planning, Quality                    Institutional Audit Project Office
    Assurance and Development organizes and
    manages all the research and communication
                                                                           Sindiswa Manqina
    activitiesin the preparation process,
                                                                             IA Admin Officer
    including preparation and finalization of our
    Self – Evaluation Report.                                    
                                                                              043 708 8547
  • Working Groups (WGs): Development of
    resource documents on all of the audit
    criteria for synthesis into the Self –                                   Kessie Naicker
    Evaluation Report.                                                      IA Project Manager
  • Institutional Audit Project Office: Day to day                             043 708 8574
    management of the process and all audit
    related activities.
                                                       Think                                                                               Speak
                                                       WSU                                                                                 WSU

                       WSU’S NEW WEBSITE HITS THE MARK

                                                  Browsers appreciate the WSU website new look.

        n 15 March WSU launched its new website and the WSU community                   you will find ICT’s web pages.
        has welcomed this new communication platform with enthusiasm.
        It was important that this joint project between ICT and MCD was                The new website has been entirely developed by our own staff. Many
able to be measured so the Web Analytics method was employed over the                   organizations outsource this complex function to specialists, but what is
first month to assess web usage.                                                        significant for us is that we have the capability in-house to produce and
                                                                                        manage this powerful marketing, information and networking resource.
Web analytics is used as part of customer relationship management. It may               The website was loaded as a pilot site a few weeks ago and a Helpdesk
include tracking the click through and drill down behaviour of visitors within          message sent out to the WSU community inviting constructive comment
the site, determining the pages which visitors most arrive at. There are two            and suggestions. A few responses were received and attended to. What is
categories of web analytics: Hit Counter and On-Site web analytics. When                important to note is that a website is an evolving medium and should be
we launched on 15 March a target of 100,000 hits was set for the first                  owned by all WSU stakeholders.
month. Four weeks later the target was exceeded and 150,000 hits were
measured. This projects 4,839 visitors per day. We see a dip at weekends,               This is YOUR platform to reach a global audience.
particularly Saturdays and then an increase on Sundays.                                 The team has studied many other websites and worked on the basis of best
                                                                                        practice and new techniques. You will find many new links and functions
During the first two weeks of our launch, the website was visited by 53                 which will require your input. Some areas still require significantly more
countries of which 42 were African countries. We then registered the                    information and we look forward to your joining the team in building the
website on Google search engine optimization and added new key words                    site further. New functionalities will be added in due course such as live
and tags to define our site fully to external users. We also registered it on           streaming, video clips and RSS feeds.
Yahoo engines and other free search engines to address the low number of
foreign countries visiting the site.                                                    Any information you would like uploaded on the WSU website must be sent
                                                                                        to the Manager: Communication, Ms Angela Church, email: achurch@
Four weeks after implementing the above, our website had 53,090 visits         Should you have any technical queries or require a specific
(not counting repeat visitors) and a bounce rate of 86.34%. The number                  web page for a conference or project, contact Mr Mxolisi Magewu, ICT on
of foreign visitors increased to 85 countries or territories. For a full analysis The software developer is Masande Ndyaluvane,
of the first month, go to our website and click on Support Services where               a WSU alumnus.

                                      Enjoy                                                           Love
                                      WSU                                                             WSU

                              READING CHANGES LIVES

“ eading changes lives” was this year‘s theme for National Library Week, which ran from March 22 – 27, 2010.
The theme encouraged a culture of reading and raised awareness about the benefits of reading. The theme also
expressed how reading opens up new worlds and new opportunities. Reading can be inspirational, educational,
escapist, developmental and fun.

The national launch of the South African Library Week (SALW) took place on March 20, at the National Library of
South Africa in Cape Town, coinciding with the date of the promulgation of this library as the first public library in
South Africa in 1818. SALW affords the library and information service sector the opportunity to actively promote and
enhance libraries nationally.

SALW started in Kimberley during the South African Library Association Annual Conference, held September 20-23,
1965. Forty-five years later this initiative is still growing strong and making a difference.

The Department of Arts and Culture partnered with the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)
to create campaigns for libraries, books and reading with national impact. “WSU has also taken up the challenge and
urged all her librarians and information workers to embrace this opportunity in order to actively contribute towards
the development of an informed and reading nation”, said Wethu Danster, Director Library and Information Services

SALW 2010 forms the precursor to a month long promotion of libraries, books and reading, which will culminate on
April 23, 2010, World Book Day. During this month it is LIASA’s intention to launch and actively promote the idea of
“Every Child a Book”. This campaign will ensure that every child in South Africa is given a book to commence their
journey towards a lifetime of reading. This may be in the form of an individual gift, presentations to schools, or book
collections for children’s homes.
                                                                                                    by Oyanga Ngalika

                                                Picture by: Steyn Swanepoel

                                 WSU libraries have an extensive collection of literature.

                                       Think                                                            Speak
                                       WSU                                                              WSU

                                                                never be underestimated. If the workforce believes
                                                                that a half-hearted attempt has been made to
                                                                address diversity, the implications can be far-reaching.

                                                                The first step in this direction would be to appoint
                                                                a custodian or project manager to drive the process.
                                                                The individual must be skilled and have the relevant
                                                                experience and competencies to drive the change
                                                                process. Relevant research into the organization’s
                                                                history and policies must be undertaken. An appropriate
                                                                plan of action must be put in place. It is also imperative
                                                                to conduct a contextual analysis to determine impact
                                                                of such an exercise on the target training population.

                                                                In tough economic times, such as the present scenario,
                                                                companies need to hold onto key staff, as it is these
                                                                employees that understand core and respective
                                                                business functions and drive profitability. However,
                                                                other companies are concurrently trying to attract and
                                                                hold onto such skilled personnel. The power in these
                                                                times, lies with people with advanced experience,
                                                                skills and competencies. Job-person-organisation fit
                                                                is as important now, as it is at any other time. One
                                                                way to hold onto key staff is to show commitment
                                                                valuing and enhancing diversity. Employees will
Ms Loshni Govender, Director: Organisational Development
                                                                not jump ship if they feel valued and respected.
  and Talent Management at Walter Sisulu University.

                                                                Benefits of Enhanced Diversity Awareness

       lot has been written about the need for                  When employees feel comfortable and experience
       diversity training and a significant number of           satisfaction in an organization, they are more productive
       South African companies have, over the last 15           and motivated. The feeling of belonging to a wider
years, embarked on some sort of training to enhance             entity (organization) and still being able to express
inter-cultural communication and understanding.                 aspects of the self (whether it is cultural, gender,
                                                                language or age based), leads to cohesion within teams.
The quality of the training material and the trainers
themselves, however, is important and very often,               It is imperative to address differences in a head-on
these vital factors receive little attention. Old fears,        yet sensitive manner, especially where legacy issues
emotional wounds, feelings of inadequacy and                    exist and impact on relationships in the workplace.
indeed inferiority will not and cannot be addressed             If not addressed, mistrust and enmity, can fester
in just one training session. Years of exposure to              and negatively impact on the companies’ objectives.
inequality and a society maligned by mistrust needs             Trends show that employer organizations that invest
targeted strategy and relevant effort. There must be            heavily in diversity awareness and training have loyal
a commitment from the organization to illustrate that           employees, who are proud of their organization’s
management is serious and dedicated to aligning to              culture and values.
change. The perceptive power of employees should                                                   by Loshni Govender
                                               Enjoy                                                                         Love
                                               WSU                                                                           WSU

   WSU hosts 1st International Mother Earth Day celebrations

                                                                                  alter Sisulu University and King Sabata Dalindyebo
                                                                                  Municipality (KSD) hosted the first International Mother
                                                                                  Earth Day celebrations at the Nelson Mandela Drive
                                                                         Campus, Mthatha, on 20 April 2010.

                                                                         Learners from junior and senior secondary schools from Mthatha
                                                                         came for the celebrations that were held to respond to the United
                                                                         Nations call for a ‘Global Campaign’ to raise consciousness about the
                                                                         right of all humans to live a healthy life in harmony with nature.

                                                                         WSU’s recently appointed Professor Nomalungelo Goduka, head
                                                                         of the WSU Research Chair on Indigenous Knowledge Systems
                                                                         (IKS) is also a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum for
                                                                         Indigenous People.

                                                                         “The main thrust of this initiative is to honour Mother Earth for
                                                                         the water, air, food and life that she provides for us. Also we want
                                                                         to sustain her by working with primary and high school children,
                                                                         teaching them the importance of protecting the environment around
                                                                         them,” said Professor Goduka.

                                                                        “Principles for sustaining Mother Earth include her right to live without
                                                                        contamination and her right to harmony and balance. Failure to
sustain Mother Earth is leading to many social, economic, and cultural problems that communities are experiencing therefore communities
need to start thinking globally and acting locally,” concluded Goduka She added that as this was the first Mother Earth celebration, together
with KSD officials, they started with the basics of raising awareness through encouraging learners to keep their bodies clean inside and out,
their homes clean, their schools clean and their cities clean.

Amongst distinguished guests were Gina and Liehahn Liebenberg from the indigenous Khoi San people who shared their traditional
knowledge and practices for sustaining Mother Earth through a demonstration of their ritual of purifying water and burning of natural herbs.
Liehahn Liebenberg said that when celebrating Mother Earth the African identity must be taken into consideration. “Our languages and
indigenous ways must not be forgotten as they play a crucial
role in sustaining Mother Earth and as South Africans we
must learn to explore other cultures and try to understand
and appreciate them.” Mother Earth Day is meant to promote
an understanding that all living things found in nature must
be protected and preserved. The day also seeks to rebuild
the troubled relationship between humanity and nature.

KSD is planning to implement 28 projects that look to fixing
Mthatha’s environmental challenges by 2030. “Health and
Environment are pillars for Mother Earth therefore we have
a responsibility to develop and sustain our communities,”
said Luvuyo Makha, Director of Community Services, KSD
Municipality. The projects include Rehabilitation of the Old
Waste Sites in Mthatha and Mqanduli, grilling and cleaning
of Mthatha, cleaning of the Mthatha River and Waterfall and
Savoy parks.

WSU, KSD and the Department of Education representatives
fully committed themselves to further raise awareness on
protecting Mother Earth. Learners pledged to keep their
bodies, homes, schools and cities clean.
                                                                         Liehahn Liebenberg of the Khoi people (right) teaches WSU Deputy
By Oyanga Ngalika                                                           Vice-Chancellor, Professor Larry Obi his cultural hand shake

                                                 Think                                                                       Speak
                                                 WSU                                                                         WSU

          2nd Public Lecture: “AFRICANS CAN RESEARCH AND

          ALTER Sisulu University’s Directorate of Research Development collaborated, yet again, with the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA)
          to host the second Public Lecture in a planned Series of Lectures on March 25 at the Nelson Mandela Drive Site.

         Some of AISA’s great minds which included Dr Sehlare Makgetlaneng, Chief Research Specialist and Head of Governance and
Democracy Research Programmes and Mr Nicasius Achu Check, Research Specialist, Peace and Security Unit shared insight on African issues to
WSU students, academics and researchers.

Dr Makgetlaneng presented a paper on The Role of the United States of America and Britain in the Reconstruction and Development
of Zimbabwe. He outlined how Zimbabwe’s challenges are attributed to its current state president, Mr Robert Mugabe and not the countries
who “tried to protect their Western interest within Africa”.

“African leaders need to stop looking at world super powers for assistance at all times as they will be left vulnerable and used. The situation
in Zimbabwe can provide strategic lessons for African countries including South Africa”, shared Makgetlaneng. He went on to describe how
important research is, especially research done locally. “Africans can provide and distribute knowledge on African Affairs. I was researching about
Zimbabwe so I had to go and spend time in Zimbabwe to truly understand the situation on the ground”, he added.

WSU’s Senior Research Associate, Mr Nkosinathi Sotshangane, emphasised the university’s intentions with research advancement. “WSU is
trying to facilitate research capacity development and research excellence among post-graduate students and academics. This will therefore
strengthen partnerships with other research institutes and contribute towards capacity building and deepening awareness of South Africa, African
and International issues”, he said.

He added that when WSU and AISA established the AISA Young Graduate and Scholars (AYGS) colloquium in 2008 the main objective of having
a lecture series was to promote knowledge and understanding of African Affairs among institutions of higher learning. “We are trying to draw the
attention of students and researchers into African matters so that they conduct more research on how to solve problems faced by the continent
from politics, economy and social challenges.”
                                                                                                                           By Oyanga Ngalika

   From left: Dr Sehlare Makgetlaneng, Chief Research Specialist (AISA), Nkosinathi Sotshangane, WSU’s Senior Research
                               Associate and Nicasius Achu Check, Research Specialist AISA.

                                                                EDITORIAL NOTE
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