On Monday, 07 March 2022, a delegation from the Department of Higher Education and Training met with the University of Venda (UNIVEN) Executive management and some Senior managers to provide oversight on Sibusiso Bengu Development programme projects at UNIVEN.

The purpose of the visit by DHET was to oversee the progress regarding implementation of the projects funded by Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme (SB-DP).

 

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UNIVEN, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UNIVEN, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni extended a special word of warm welcome to delegates from DHET and internal members for honouring the invitation. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal briefed the delegates about the new executive and director positions that were approved by Council and recently filled. Dr Nthambeleni said “We created and employed capable personnel in these positions who will position UNIVEN for impact and relevance. He said UNIVEN made sure to put a robust team to make sure the business is running well. 

The Acting Deputy Director General, Mr Fazel Toffee from DHET-Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme

The Acting Deputy Director General, Mr Fazel Toffee from DHET-Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme said, “the purpose of their visit is to ensure that the system works better and identify areas that need improvement”. Mr Toffee indicated that they value UNIVEN as an important institution. “As Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme, we want to engage on how to best maximize the funds allocated. We are going to work together to see how we best make an impact” said Mr Fazel Toffee. 

Dr Robert Martin, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Services

Dr Robert Martin, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Services, presented an overview of the infrastructure and existing projects at UNIVEN funded by DHET-Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme. “Our goal is to make sure that we give employees and students the best experience through infrastructure”, said Dr Martin. 

Mrs Mushoni Mulaudzi

Mr Aluwani Magadani

Mrs Mushoni Mulaudzi, the Director Library Services and Mr Aluwani Magadani, Director Facilities Management gave an overview presentation about infrastructure development. It was reported that most of the projects are almost complete. In terms of the challenges, Mrs Mulaudzi indicated that COVID-19 contributed to the delay in the commencement of the infrastructure development. 

Mr Alfred Makgatho from DHET

Mr Alfred Makgatho from DHET when leading the discussion, said the proposal by UNIVEN was compact and well presented. It was aligned with the strategic objectives 2021-2025. DHET delegates were happy and impressed by the progress made by UNIVEN. Mr Makgato said, “there is nothing that is stopping UNIVEN from being a university of choice globally”. Mr Makgato mentioned that UNIVEN has strategically positioned itself as a leader and not follower”. 

The purpose of the Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme (SBDP) is to decisively redress the inequalities that have impacted the development and sustainability of the HDIs and to contribute to their further development as strong universities, in a diversified system. The programme is further intended to develop HDI’s to be highly regarded and valued, including by the communities from which their students are drawn. As a result, the HDI’s will produce both graduates and new knowledge that can contribute to socio-economic development in local, national, regional and international contexts. 

DHET team together with some of UNIVEN staff members also visited the on-campus residences that are still under construction, those that have been renovated and those where students have already occupied.


Issued by:
 
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 15 March 2022