“75% of students are coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, it’s up to you (Univen suppliers) to help these students realise their dreams. Some of the investors who are already in partnership with this institution, have not even given back to this University community till to date,” said Univen SRC President, Mandla Shikwambana during the First Annual Univen Suppliers Day that was held on Friday, 17 March 2017 at Univen Research Centre.
The purpose of the event was to encourage stakeholders to contribute funds to the Institution. Shikwambana applauded the team which started this initiative and told audience that “it is good to see some of the caring parents from this Institution doing something about our situation in order to help students of this University.” Shikwambana urged business people who are doing business with Univen to plough back to the students.
“Many students are graduating without their degree certificates, because they owe the University a lot of money.” He also stressed that most of them (students) are unable to get accommodation due lack of infrastructure. “Our University is in its second stage of transition as we can all see the development of our infrastructure, it will be good to see other investors who are benefitting from this institution assist where possible.” He said there are many students who live far from the campus and they have become victims of criminals out there on daily basis. “We need business people like you to change our lives.” He also said that suppliers should help them to initiate a feeding scheme in order to help other needy students. “Some of the students go to classes with empty stomachs and we can’t allow our fellow brothers and sisters suffer in hunger while there is something we can do. We are also going to start programmes that will help our students with clothes and sanitary towels. Let’s join hands together and assist our students because they are the future of this country”.
Dr Nancy Mutshaeni, Acting Director Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning (CHETL) said that Univen suppliers have given the institution a great service. She encouraged them to plough back to the University community.
The Univen Foundation Development Officer, Balanganani Makhado, alluded that for a product to be well-known, the suppliers must have essential skills. “Investors should invest in education because education is the key to the success of every country. There are many students who are financially needy especially who are performing well in classes.” he added. “As a country we need skills to sustain our country. This University needs more investors. Another thing that can help us to be successful in what we do is to work together,” he said. He further urged the suppliers to invest in education.
Kenneth Kgomo, Univen Head of Supply Chain said that they engage with private suppliers to get the best service and that they strive to get partners. He further said that they engage with their suppliers ethically. “We don’t take bribes from our suppliers. We follow every procedure ethically. We need a commercial partner of choice. When we partner with you, you must deliver to your promises and we will also deliver to our promise,” expressed Kgomo.
He also said that the institution spent more than R406 million to their suppliers last year. “This University is growing very quickly. We must build accommodation for our students”. “We promote fairness with our suppliers. We communicate and cater with our suppliers in time,” he added.
The Operational Manager of Univen Foundation, Dr Lufuno Kone, said that no student can achieve his/her objective without funding. “We need to stretch our arms to help our students, so that they can progress. Our students are in dire need,” he added. “Our vision is to see students having a greater future, so that we can avoid this catastrophe,” he added.
The Director of Muteo Consulting, Hangwani Makwarela, delivered the message of support. He said that it is a great opportunity to serve the University. “We are working together with the University Foundation. The little that we contribute have a great effect on the student’s lives,” he added. He further added that sustainability is the key. “We assist the University to be cost-effective,” he said. “We are going to interact with other suppliers to give them an overview about the dire challenges that the students are facing. We will work together for the benefit of the students.”
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University of Venda
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