On Tuesday, 23 August 2022, the office of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s Internal Audit and Risk Directorate held the Combined Assurance Workshop. This workshop was held at The Ranch Resort in Polokwane and was attended by internal auditors, external auditors and UNIVEN Assurance Providers and Resource Persons. The combined assurance terms of reference requires that all role players that are critical in the implementation of the framework report to committees in a seamless manner.

Mrs Diana Makwarela – Director Internal Audit and Risk

In her opening and welcome message, Director Internal Audit and Risk, Mrs Diana Makwarela indicated that all staff members are at the point where everyone is settled into the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.  She said this workshop contributes to the strategic objective 10 of the University of Venda in terms of governance systems. Mrs Makwarela continued to mention that management is there to ensure that policies and procedures are applied and used properly. This is also to ensure that controls of certain areas are being adhered to.  “Council and Executive management saw a need to establish this forum because this forum is the one that is going to assist the Council in assessing the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control environment and assessing the integrity of the information used for reporting and decision-making.  This forum will be meeting four times every year and I hope the information that we have shared will assist us to build the university in to being where it should be in terms of good governance, risk management and internal controls,” she said.

Dr Bernard Nthambeleni – Vice-Chancellor and Principal

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni in his scene setting remarks gave the overview of the University of Venda. He indicated that UNIVEN is an autonomous institution. This is a public funded institution, this means UNIVEN uses taxpayers’ money for sustainability.  “We exist to serve others.”  Dr Nthambeleni mentioned that the University is strategically aligned to and seeks to contribute towards collective implementation of the national development agenda as outlined in the National Development Plan (Vision 2030).  He said that the University always makes sure that all its programmes are registered. “As we have been saying, we need to teach our students about how to create jobs instead of teaching them how to look for jobs.”  Amongst other things, Dr Nthambeleni spoke about the context of the Strategic Plan 2021-2025.  “We need to be productive, efficient, and effective in everything we do.  We wanted to be student-centered because we realised that, about 80% of our students are undergraduates. We need to assist them to pass and complete their qualifications on time. We are the University of Venda but not the university of the Venda ethnic group.  We need to work together because UNIVEN exists for all citizens.”

“As the management, our collective responsibility to council is that management processes are operating within the parameters that have been established to achieve defined objectives. Risk management should work effectively. We need to work with each other to make sure that we address our challenges.”  He concluded his talk by pointing out the enhancement implementation of the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

Mrs Koko Khumalo – CEO of Motlanalo Inc

CEO of Motlanalo Inc, the Internal Audit service provider appointed by the University, Mrs Koko Khumalo, as one of the Facilitators of the workshop indicated that the University’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan requires us to ensure that we are consistent in order for us to remain relevant. She said through governance you win the mind and the hearts of stakeholders. “The combined assurance model came through as a way to prevent the risks that might hamper achievement of objectives. She defined combined assurance as a coordinated approach that ensures that all activities provided by management, internal assurance and the external assurance providers adequately address significant risks facing the university and that suitable controls exist to mitigate these risks.

Mrs Regina Erasmus – Head of Governance: Risk and Control – Motlanalo Inc

Mrs Regina Erasmus, Head of Governance, Risk and Control at Motlanalo Inc presented about key benefits of combined assurance. Among others she said combined assurance structures assist to minimise operational disruptions of businesses; have reduced likelihood of not receiving assurance on significant risks; have coordinated relevant assurance efforts directed at the risks that matter most. She further mentioned that the UNIVEN combined assurance is rooted in the risk universe. The Combined Assurance Forum should engage with the council, through the Audit and Risk Committee, to determine the desired level of assurance required in each area.  She, amongst other things spoke about reporting formats to the Audit and Risk Committee and Council.

Presentations per Assurance Unit were rendered and Mr Tinyiko Sibiya presented about Risk Management,  Mrs Diana Makwarela presented about Internal Audit, Messrs Rhangani Mbhalati and Hebert Pambayi from Chapu Chartered Accountants presented on External Audit,  Dr Mutshinyalo Ratombo presented on strategy and monitoring,  Dr Patience Mativandlela presented about Institutional Planning, Quality Assurance and MIS; Adv Eric Nemukula presented on Legal Services; Ms Mavis Madzhie presented about Financial Management and Reporting; Mr Thabelo Makananise presented on Occupational Health and Safety while Mr Sam Khoza presented about Information and Communication Technology.

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 31 August 2022

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