Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education recently held a Webinar under the theme ‘Towards a Stakeholder-owned Centre for Legislative Research and Advocacy’. This webinar was designed to be a unique platform to engage Senior Managers of Parliament so that they surface some potential research areas for possible inclusion in the research agenda of the budding research centre being established at UNIVEN and was held on Microsoft Teams.
This Webinar was organised because the University of Venda (UNIVEN) is establishing a centre that focuses on research to enhance informed decision making and functioning of the legislative sector (At grassroots structures such as Traditional Leadership decision making Fora, Municipal Councils, Parliament, Provincial Legislatures, SADC-Parliamentary Forum and Pan African Parliament). Considerable progress has been made to date, especially with respect to establishing linkages, collaboration and partnerships with potential partners and funders. The principal intention is to distil the core business of the new Centre and co-define its core areas of focus. It is also envisaged that the interface will help identify potential scope and specific areas of synergy.
In his welcoming message Prof Takalani Mashau said UNIVEN is part of the society and is not isolated hence it also participate in the programmes designed by parliament. He further outlined some of the content found in the University ‘s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.
In his welcoming address, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni said the UNIVEN has identified 4 Strategic Thrusts in which Strategic Thrust 1 – Student Centeredness and Engaged Scholarship and Strategic Thrust 4 – Linkages, partnerships and internationalisation talk to this initiative. He highlighted that the Legislative Centre remains under researched and because of that, UNIVEN has seen the reason to establish this Centre which will support the work of Legislative Centre.
When rendering the purpose of the Webinar, Prof Vhonani Netshandama said this webinar is intended to unite UNIVEN, communities and the National South African Parliament and to also assist attendees to understand operations of both the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.
Mr Masibulele Xaso, Secretary to the National Assembly from South African Parliament presented the overview of the National Assembly (NA) while Advocate Phindela presented on the role of National Council of Provinces.
Manager Knowledge Management and information Services at the Parliament‘s Research Unit Focus, Dr Leon Gabriel presented about the 6th Parliament strategy map, knowledge management strategy, research plan, and strategic collaborations focus on Research Unit.
In his vote of thanks message, the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education Executive Dean, Prof Bongani Bantwini indicated that this initiative is pivotal in strengthening our democracy. “To us this knowledge you shared is fundamental because the parliament serves the society, and the society should know how parliament functions. Today you have empowered us, you have educated us,” said Prof Bantwini, telling a delegation from South African Parliament.
In closing remarks, Prof Joseph Francis indicated that this has been a very enriching platform for University staff members. He said this is the first of a series of seminars, workshops and webinars to serve as platforms for engaging key stakeholders.
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Date: 28 June 2021