The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Venda, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni confirmed the University’s preparedness to welcome some students amid COVID – 19 from Monday, 22 June 2020. 

Above: Vice Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni

Dr Nthambeleni cited this to the Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Mr Buti Manamela and Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba who visited the University on Thursday, 18 June 2020 to assess the state of readiness for the return of some students during alert level 3 lockdown. The Deputy Minister and MEC were joined by the Executive Mayor of Vhembe District Municipality, Cllr Dowelani Nenguda. Also present was the SRC President Gift Chauke and Higher Health Regional Manager. In his speech, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Nthambeleni, expressed the University’s commitment to the government’s directives to control the spread of coronavirus and protecting the lives of staff and students. He made mention of the University’s approach to multimodal teaching and learning, and that the University has put in place a programme to ensure that no student is left behind. The next cohort of students expected to return to campus from Monday, 22 June 2020, includes students living with disabilities. This is to ensure that these students receive the necessary support to continue with their studies. 

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal further appreciated the commitment of both staff and students which he considers to be a powerful expression of their obligation to contribute to the government’s initiative of saving the academic year whilst saving lives during these extraordinary circumstances. 

Above photo far right: Deputy Minister, Mr Buti Manamela and Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba (second from left), Mr Aluwani Magadani (far left) and Dr Bernard Nthambeleni (middle)

Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba commended the University for the exceptional work it continues to do and for always incorporating the inputs from Government. The University was advised to improve the Campus Clinic Management for enhanced delivery of health services to the Campus community. The Deputy Minister urged the University to ensure that all students receive proper training on COVID 19 precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. He re-affirmed the Department’s commitment to provide data and gadgets to needy students. He reiterated that it should be made explicit to students that they’re coming back to Campus because they need the facilities to continue learning. The Deputy Minister said the Government has taken a decision to re-open the campuses to continue with teaching and learning but of primary importance is to save lives. He further encouraged the University to continue with remote teaching and engagement with the rest of students who are yet to come back to Campus. He encouraged the University to collaborate with Vhembe TVET College which is situated few kilometres away from the University. 

The formal engagement was preceded by a tour to facilities like student residences, campus Clinic and School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences where sanitisers are produced. 

Prior to entering the Campus, the Team was subjected to a screening process at the main gate. The MEC for Health Limpopo was highly impressed by the quality of sanitisers produced by UNIVEN. 

Both the Deputy Minister and MEC encouraged the University to improve on the areas identified to ensure safe return of students to Campus. 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 
Date: 22 June 2020 

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