More than two million people in Limpopo live below the breadline. It is no wonder that there was great joy in the province as students, academics, members of the chartered accountancy profession, government officials and VIP guests gathered in the University of Venda’s (UNIVEN) Auditorium to celebrate the accreditation of the University’s BCom (Accounting Sciences) undergraduate degree by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). This Accreditation celebration ceremony took place on Friday, 18 October 2019.
When welcoming the audience, Dean of the School of Management Sciences, Prof Armstrong Kadyamatimba said the third (3rd) of July 2019 is the day UNIVEN fully received its accreditation. He explained that the most important SAICA objective is to provide the same quality education for all institutions of higher learning in the whole country. “Now it is for students and lecturers to re-commit to the standard of SAICA to put the University on the map.” Prof Kadyamatimba said UNIVEN is closely working with SAICA to offer a full postgraduate qualification by 2021. He thanked all organisations that contributed in making sure that UNIVEN is amongst Institutions of Higher Learning that are SAICA accredited.
He emphasized that from the beginning of this accreditation it wouldn’t have been easy without these bodies that have contributed into this accreditation. “Therefore, I would like to thank the University of Johannesburg (UJ); SAICA; BANKSETA and Thuthuka, including UNIVEN staff members who worked tirelessly in making sure that the University gets accredited.”
In his purpose of the gathering message, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof Jan Crafford said to celebrate the accreditation, UNIVEN will now take its rightful ownership of accredited BCom Accounting Sciences. “This is also to celebrate with the partners that walked this path of accreditation with us. It is good when a plan with partners come together like this even though it was not an easy road.”
Cultural group entertaining the audience
Ms Chantyl Mulder from SAICA said SAICA has a national footprint across the country. “We are in all universities and we provide quality education.” She told students to never be in a hurry for education. “Being a CA is not an easy road, but you become a quality accountant who is in demand.” Ms Mulder told students that they need to be proud of where they are coming from even if they are coming from a poor background. “When you go out there, be proud of yourself for what you have accomplished. We need to have skills for the 21st century and we strive for quality education for all South Africans. Our children need to know how to read and write properly.” She said the objective of SAICA is to transform South African universities to provide quality education. “We are today celebrating a big dream, Africa for Africa”, said Ms Mulder.
“If you want to make a big impact in people’s lives, you need to start thinking about collaboration because you can’t achieve a lot without collaborations, partnerships and funding. It’s been a magnificent journey and we will continue to assist other Historically Disadvantaged Institutions.” Ms Mulder further said SAICA is not doing this for themselves but for the generations to come. We will continue searching and looking for funding for our students.
With UNIVEN’s accreditation, SAICA has now accredited six of the country’s HDIs. This means that all six of South Africa’s HDIs have now achieved accreditation for
their undergraduate BCom CA-stream degrees. This, in turn, contributes towards the National Development Plan transformation initiatives by increasing the number of black CAs (SA) not only in the province but also in South Africa.
Mr Sizwe Nxasana, the South African Business Executive and Accountant spoke about moving from quality to relevancy. “This accreditation means we have now achieved quality at UNIVEN but quality on its own is not enough.”
“How do we make sure that Institutions such as UNIVEN remain relevant? We need to go back to the basics that we used to live for. Values such as do not take anything that does not belong to you. We can no longer train just accountants, but we need to train them to be relevant in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Those accountants should know how to use technology.” He said the first thing is to improve the Faculty of Education (School of Education) because we are all here because of our teachers.
Mr Nxasana said UNIVEN should teach entrepreneurship as one of the modules. He said UNIVEN students need to understand the business of Agriculture. “They need to understand how to solve local problems because Thohoyandou, is a gold site of this country. We need to ensure that fruits from here are not being exported to other countries. Researchers should make sure these fruits create employment for local people.” He encouraged academics and researchers to start thinking about collaborations with local farmers and to teach the youth on how to take advantage of what is available around them.
“Universities need to teach quality and relevant education at the same time, otherwise we will be left behind,” He concluded.
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni said this is indeed a big deal for our institution. “We also need to ensure that our curriculum remains relevant. We can’t continue teaching old syllabus. We want to prepare our students to be competitive and remain relevant during this time of the 4th Industrial Revolution. He said Institutions of higher learning should contribute and add value in our country by producing disciplined, quality leaders. Dr Nthambeleni thanked SAICA, Thuthuka and BANKSETA for their support.
“We are pleased by SAICA’s accreditation and as we celebrate, we are also proud to be the last historically disadvantaged institution to receive this accreditation.” Dr Nthambeleni thanked the University Management, staff members and Prof Kadyamatimba and his team for their hard work and dedication for ensuring that this accreditation becomes a success.
MS Elelwani Netshituni read a speech on behalf of the CEO of BANKSETA, Nosipho Makhanya who couldn’t attend the celebration due to other commitments. In the speech, Nosipho Makhanya said the value of education can never be underestimated. She said BANKSETA has partnered with SAICA and UNIVEN to make sure that UNIVEN acquires this accreditation. “The aim was to ensure that UNIVEN receives SAICA accreditation at undergraduate level. The BANKSETA Capacity Building Project offers projects that makes sure that our future generations are taken care of in terms of education,” she said.
University of Johannesburg (UJ)Head of the Department of Accountancy, Prof Ben Marx said this is the greatest achievement and UNIVEN need to pride itself with this achievement. “When we moderated UNIVEN, we realised that we needed to think about the academic leadership. That’s when we formed a steering committee. The journey couldn’t have been possible without UNIVEN’s Executive Management, especially Prof Jan Crafford.” He also thanked Accountancy Department staff for their cooperation and patience throughout the process.
Ms Rofhiwa Masakona, a 4th year student rendered a speech on behalf of UNIVEN accounting students. She said there is power in having a vision, in having a positive mind and in teamwork. “We would like to extend our gratitude to SAICA for believing in UNIVEN and for this accreditation.” She further thanked the sponsors and funders for their contribution. She thanked UNIVEN staff members for being patient until UNIVEN is fully accredited. “A seed has been planted in us, it is up to us to nurture this seed within us”, she told fellow students.
Former Thuthuka beneficiaries Representative, Ms Arinaho Madzunye who is also an Academic Trainee said she is a living testimony. “I come from a deep rural area where I am the second person who has graduated from our village.” She said it was not an easy road because even UNIVEN was not SAICA accredited at that time. “This programme helped me in life in such a way that I forgot my poor background. It has helped me because I have studied until where I am without paying any cent. This accreditation means a lot to us. UNIVEN needs to take advantage of this and start producing more quality Chartered Accountants.
Newly Elected Chairperson of the School of Management Sciences, Mr Ndivhuwo Tshirembe said this accreditation has brought so much joy in the whole University community. He wished best of luck to UNIVEN students who are going to write the upcoming examinations.
The CEO of SAICA, Mr Freeman Nomvalo gave his congratulatory message through a video as he couldn’t make it physically to the event. He said today we are not only celebrating the accreditation; we are celebrating the achievements of all rural universities. “Accrediting UNIVEN ensures that we improve access for all students in this area. It has been a long journey up to this point. We will ensure that students coming from these universities don’t need bridging course when they go to accredited universities. We are grateful for all partners for all the work they have done.”
The Head of the Department of Accountancy, Prof Emmanuel Oseifuah acknowledged all the support from the University Management, the School of Management Sciences and all partnering organisations including SAICA; UJ; BANKSETA; NSFAS and Thuthuka.
Officials from all partnering organisations posing for a group photo outside the Main Administration Building
A view of the audience during the celebration
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 25 October 2018