L-R: Mr Gift Chauke (SRC President); Mr Dzivhuluwani Mugari (Postgraduate Chairperson); Ms Nompumelelo Zikalala (Managing Director of De Beers Group Managed Operations); Dr Bernard Nthambeleni (UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal) and Mr Innocent Mabusela (Head of Corporate Affairs) posing for a photo with some of the donated laptops.

On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, De Beers Group donated 270 laptops to the University of Venda (UNIVEN). The official handing over of these much-needed laptops was held at the University’s Council Chambers.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni

In his message as the recipient, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni thanked De Beers Group for their generous donation. He said “as UNIVEN, we are thrilled to receive this support, as De Beers Group partners with UNIVEN in the University’s quest to implement effective multimodal remote teaching and learning for its students.”

Dr Nthambeleni said that, through this donation, the University will be able to accomplish its goal and continue working towards fulfilling its objective of providing a reasonable level of academic support to all students, as they continue with their academic activities during the lockdown period.

“This partnership with De Beers Group has come at the right time as we are implementing our new Strategic Plan and we look forward to long-term mutual beneficial successful partnership with De Beers Group,” said Dr Nthambeleni.

Managing Director of De Beers Group Managed Operations, Ms Nompumelelo Zikalala

In her handing over message, Managing Director of De Beers Group Managed Operations, Ms Nompumelelo Zikalala highlighted that, even though the diamond industry experienced some difficulties last year (2020), De Beers Group saw a need to continue making impact in students’ lives. “We value education so much, hence we are here to donate, irrespective of our difficulties in the previous year.”

She said, De Beers Group is aware that quality education needs to continue online hence there is a serious need for organisations to donate devices that will assist and enable student participation.
“We will continue to play a meaningful role in community development. Our purpose as an organisation is in line with developing our communities hence we donate as much as we can, even during tough times. We are exceptionally proud to be partnering with UNIVEN and we will continuously make impact in other people’s lives,” said Ms Zikalala.

She concluded by mentioning that this is just the beginning of their partnership with UNIVEN, and De Beers Group believes that these laptops will increase student participation during this tough time of level 3 National Lockdown. “We need to empower young people who will in turn make this world a better place. We hope UNIVEN students will use these laptops to empower themselves. As De Beers Group, we see a lot of potential in this partnership.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Operations, Dr Robert Martin

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Operations, Dr Robert Martin said he is grateful that when UNIVEN started this engagement, De Beers came to the party. “Our post-graduate students are major beneficiaries of this donation and we are hoping that this partnership will be ever-lasting partnership because this will solve some of the University and students’ challenges.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof Jan Crafford

When delivering a vote of thanks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof Jan Crafford told delegates from De Beers Group that they chose well by choosing UNIVEN because the University needs devices and data that will ensure that teaching and learning continue online. “Our masters students will be beneficiaries of this donation and I am sure that they will appreciate your donation.” He thanked De Beers Group for their support and concluded his message by mentioning that the University appreciates this donation and “we believe that this is just the beginning. May this partnership continue to empower student communities.”

De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company, with expertise in diamond exploration, mining, grading, marketing and retail.
(Above)- Group photo of attendees of the handing over event.

Above the group photo – Dr Bernard Nthambeleni and Ms Nompumelelo Zikalala displaying one of the donated laptops

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8710
Date: 29 January 2021

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