The University of Venda and the Limpopo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) signing of the MoU took place on Wednesday, 01 December 2021 at the University Council Chambers. UNIVEN and the LCCI cooperated with the purpose of skills and expertise transfer between students, staff, and industry experts, in terms of exchange programmes, training, career development and knowledge generation, with SMMEs, and including big industries. The key objectives of the partnership are to create a conducive environment for an inclusive economy, advanced transformation by supporting/incubating specific enterprises and grow them to global competitiveness; and enhance the image of UNIVEN as an entrepreneurial and community-centred University. 

The University Registrar, Adv Edward Lambani welcoming participants during the event. He appreciated Limpopo Chamber of Commerce and Industry for choosing to work together with UNIVEN. 

Limpopo Council of Chambers and Industries Provincial-Consular who is also the President of the National Union of the Municipal Chambers of Commerce and Industry (NUMCCI), Mr Albert Jeleni when addressing the audience said, “We must build a global competitive region through this partnership and ensure that we provide skills which will also enhance the image of the University. We are ready to work with the University. The University of Venda (UNIVEN) and the Limpopo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) recognise that Industry and Academia are two partners of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that can connect to merge the discovery-driven culture of academia with the innovation-driven environment, and that fostering such collaboratives is critical for the creation of the knowledge-based economy to enhance commercialisation efforts for South Africa to sustain global competition”. 

“Hence UNIVEN and the LCCI have agreed to enter a partnership, through a formal MoU, which will see the parties working together to continuously and jointly identify and explore possible areas of collaboration and business relationship between the two. The partnership comes at a critical time when the world is grappling with COVID-19, and in search of ways to preserve and rebuild the economy. Mr Jeleni indicated that the partnership is therefore, ascending to the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa to forge a new economy in a new global reality, by harnessing the job-creation potential of the digital knowledge economy, in order to recover the ground that was lost due to the coronavirus pandemic, and to place our economy on a fundamentally different growth trajectory. 

The University of Venda Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Services, Dr Robert Martin expressed his excitement that UNIVEN and LCC tide a knot. “I am very much happy that through this partnership, we are following a developmental approach. Universities need these types of partnerships to grow. Urban based universities are also what they are today because they partnered with various industries and businesses. We (UNIVEN) also have a vital role to play by developing business that will create opportunities which will be beneficial to our communities. The partnership will collaborate with other already established Communities of Practice (CoPs) at UNIVEN and shall be administered by the Director of the Institute for Rural Development (IRD), Professor Joseph Francis. 

The Director Legal Services, Adv Eric Nemukula facilitated the process of signing the MoU. “I would like to commend the standard of the draft documents submitted by the Limpopo Chamber of Commerce regarding this partnership. We will ensure that the interest of these two institutions are well protected. We are signing this MoU to achieve our intended goals. ”, said Adv Nemukula. 

The MoU was signed by the UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni and LCCI Provincial-Consular, Mr Albert Jeleni. Dr Nthambeleni said this partnership will help the University to achieve its strategic goals. “The University alone cannot be able to achieve its strategic objectives, so it is very much important to have strategic partners like LCCI. We want to be one of the institutions which is entrepreneurial and that our governance structure is relevant in the production of good scholarship”. 

The expected outcomes of the partnership include the establishment of a well-resourced One Stop Business Services Centres, Business Incubation hubs, Trade Centres, Community Business Centres, Applied Research Institutes, and Skills Centres, amongst other things. The partnership is therefore, also a step in the implementation of the UNIVEN Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (UCFERI) recently approved and funded by the Small Business Development Enterprise Agency (SEDA) aimed at linking and collaborating with other stakeholders to provide start-up and business development support to staff, students and members of UINVEN’s broader local and provincial community. 

The Director Marketing, Branding and Communication, Dr Takalani Dzaga was the facilitator of the programme. 

Above photo: Delegates from the Limpopo Chamber of Commerce and UNIVEN staff members led by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal pose for a group photo during the signing of the MoU. 

Issued by: 

Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710 
Date: 02 December 2021 

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