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From 25-27 March 2019, the team led by South African Agency of Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) that represented the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) visited the Vuwani Science Resource Centre for Peer Evaluation. This peer evaluation was conducted under the Network of Science Centres in South Africa. 

SAASTA, NRF, DST and Univen staff members during a round table discussion 

This evaluation started with the self-evaluation process which Vuwani Science Centre performed late last year. 

The team was represented by Mr Jabulani Mathebula (SAASTA/NRF and DST, Committee Secretariat), Mr Thami Mpholeka (Chair of the Committee, Mr Bushy Moabelo (Committee Member) and Ms Tracy Singo (Committee Member). The peer evaluation started at Vuwani Science Resource Centre on Monday, 25 March and continued until Wednesday, 27 March 2019. On 

Tuesday, 26 March 2019, the team visited the University of Venda, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences to have a discussion with the Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof Jan Crafford. The committee proposed a discussion with two senior managers of Vuwani Science Resource Centre aiming at understanding the relationship between the centre and the University. A round table discussion went on for about an hour and half where several issues concerning the University management on Vuwani Science Resource Centre were discussed. The round table discussion further considered the strategies of sustainability of the science centre. 

During their final discussion, the peer evaluation team commended Vuwani Science Resource Centre for their impact on rural communities. According to Dr Eric Maluta, Coordinator of the Vuwani Science Resource Centre, in the past two years, the centre had reached more than 80 000 leaners in the rural areas. Dr Maluta said that the centre has appreciated the work done by the team and assured them that the University of Venda’s Vuwani Science Resource Centre takes the evaluation as a learning curve for the centre to develop and to become recognised in the network of the science centres in South Africa. 

Several recommendations regarding the science centre were made by the team. Recommendations such as assembly point during the event of fire in the centre building and visibility of the signage in the road pointing the science centre were made by peer evaluators. Dr Maluta mentioned that the team also recommended that Vuwani Science Resource Centre needs to showcase its uniqueness as the driver of the renewable energy and indigenous knowledge system in the country. 

A group photo of SAASTA, NRF, DST and Univen staff members. 

Standing L-R: Prof Jan Crafford, Dr Eric Maluta, Mr Jabulani Mathebula and Mr Bushy Moabelo. Seated, Prof Natasha Potgieter, Mr Thami Mpholeka and Mrs Tracy Singo. 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 09 April 2019 

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