On Thursday, 09 July 2020, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) held its Inauguration Ceremony of 2019/2020 Student Representative Council (SRC) Cabinet members. This historic occasion was held virtually through Microsoft Teams from 14:30 and was also live on various University social media platforms.

Magistrate Shirley Nemutandani

The Inauguration ceremony was presided by Magistrate Shirley Nemutandani of the Thohoyandou Magistrate Court and the programme was directed by the Director of Student Affairs, Mr Lufuno Tshikhudo.

In his Keynote address, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni said that COVID-19 pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organisation on the 11 March 2020 has accelerated unprecedented change world-wide and our continent, country and University has not been spared. Dr Nthambeleni further expressed that, before the outbreak of this pandemic, the conventional wisdom had been that lecture rooms and face to face interactions were critical to teaching and learning. He explained that, today as we are witnessing, having prime office and state of the art lecture theatres, is not a solution.

“The pandemic has forced and imposed on us in a very short space of time to adopt new ways of teaching, learning and working. Universities such as ours are forced to reimagine new modes of offering tuition.” Dr Nthambeleni also said that in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the University of Venda embraced blended learning as an effective training technique that combines face-to-face training with online instruction through learner management system (LMS).

He concluded his address by advising SRC Members to resist conflating a formal structure of student governance with student politics; to serve genuinely; to always remember that in leadership, criticism is inevitable, but how you respond to it is a choice; to encourage student body to observe the COVID-19 safety protocols to protect themselves and those close to them; to take COVID-19 seriously because anyone can contract COVID-19. “So, please keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Always follow the 5 golden rules, including wearing a cloth face mask, cleaning surfaces regularly and washing or sanitizing your hands often.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Operations, Dr Robert Martin said that this is indeed a very challenging year for everyone. He told SRC members that the University Management will continue to give student leadership support during this tough times.

SRC President, Mr Gift Chauke encouraged SRC members to always strive to serve students. He further discouraged laziness in SRC members because they were elected to serve students.

The 2019/2020 Cabinet members are: Gift Chauke (SRC President), Dumisani Mabasa (Deputy SRC President); Yanda Mxaku (Secretary General); Billy Mthombeni (Deputy Secretary General); Somthi Afrika (Minister of Finance); Mulalo Ravhura (Minister of Education); Rebecca Ramphabana (Minister of Information, External); Jabulani Manganyi (Minister of Health, Safety and Security;
Musa Mokgobi (Minister of On Campus and Off Campus Residences); Mboneni Neluonde (Minister of Culture, Arts and Religion); Bafana Mageni (Minister of Sports, Recreation and Culture Committee); Tshimangadzo Mudau (Gender and People Living with Disability); Dzivhuluwani Mugari (Postgraduate Chairperson); Mosa Machethe (Minister of Legal, Policies and Constitutional Affairs); Andani Masindi (Speaker) and Fulufhelo Matshaya (Deputy Speaker).

Above: Some members of SRC posing for photos (taken prior to lockdown)

 

Director of Student Affairs, Mr Lufuno Tshikhudo

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 13 July 2020