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It was a proud moment for Campus Protection Services’ (CPS) Siyabonga Madala when he won the bronze medal at the Real Gijimas 50 km ultra marathon, which recently took place in the Eastern Cape.

And Madala said the win was made even more special as he did so in his CPUT colours, representing the CPUT Athletics Club.

“It really felt very special to be representing CPUT. I want to thank my management and all the staff members who have given me so much support,” said Madala, who is assigned to the CPS Response Team.

Madala, who has been working at CPUT since 2014, said he has been passionate about running since he was in school.

“After work I do my running and on days when I’m off I do long runs.”

Protection and Risk Services applauded Madala on his outstanding achievement.

“This accomplishment not only honours Mr Siyabonga Madala but also embodies the ethos of dedication and perseverance, typical of who we are as Cape Peninsula University of Technology. As a member of the CPUT Athletic Club, Siyabonga Madala has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship, bringing pride to the CPUT community,” read a statement from the Department.

Tuesday, 02 April 2024

CPUT hosts premier MTB event

CPUT’s Wellington campus was amongst the hosts of the Absa Cape Epic – the premier mountain-bike stage race in the world.

The picturesque campus served as the race village for two nights during the 20th edition of the gruelling race, which included 613 km of racing.

In addition, the University was proudly represented by an alumni team, consisting of husband-and-wife team Etnard and Sarita Louw who officially became Epic Legends this year.

Etnard, a former development engineer at the French South African Institute of Technology, obtained his MTech in Electrical Engineering in 2016 while Saritha holds a B.Ed Intermediate and Senior Phase.

Etnard said it was a was a great experience to tackle the race together.

“We have raced together in a stage race once before but the Epic is a different beast and you have to approach it with a different mindset. We worked together well and knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

However, there were also a few challenges along the way.

“We had two close calls on the last two stages of the Epic with Etnard puncturing his tyre and crashing on the last day. Thankfully, we handled it well and were able to finish. After a hard week of difficult stages, that is the last thing you want to happen so close to the finish line,” Sarita said.

The team finished 14th in the mixed category out of 50 teams that finished and 200th out of the 710 teams that started the race.

Etnard said this year’s race was extra special as the couple both became part of the Legends Club.

“After completing three Absa Cape Epics, you become part of the Legends club and you receive your ‘amabubesi’ medal and shirt. That is what made this time round even more special because both of us finished our third Cape Epic and we did it as a team and we couldn’t ask for a better way of celebrating it than together.”

They thanked CPUT and the Marketing and Communication Department’s Cathy Cloete “from the bottom of our hearts for this amazing opportunity and for the chance to participate in this prestigious event and making our dream a reality. We are truly grateful”.

The Cooperative Education Unit, Centre for Community Engagement recently hosted a Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Indaba at the Cape Town Hotel School.

Prof Lalini Reddy, Director for Community Engagement and WIL, welcomed the CPUT industry partners and articulated the urgency for continued partnership in relation to work-integrated learning. Reddy re-iterated the impact of work-integrated learning and the benefits thereof for students and their development.

The target audience for this event were industry partners who play an integral role in hosting the students for their WIL component requirement. The partners who attended this event are well represented across all six faculties. David Haarhoff, project lead, indicated that: “Initiatives of this nature are imperative for connectiveness between organisations and our University. Organisations invest a substantial amount of money and time in the development of our students and that is commendable.” The attendees showed tremendous interest and were very engaging.

The purpose of the engagement was to embark on meaningful engagement in terms of challenges, highlights and how to strengthen partnerships between key stakeholders for the greater good of work-integrated learning.

Haarhoff said the industry partners expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to engage in such a manner, saying everything was well organised. He added that the meeting with different industry partners and WIL Coordinators worked well for this event.

“The Centre envisages to embark on many more such initiatives for the greater good of students.”

Thursday, 28 March 2024

Fostering Collaboration

CPUT recently hosted a high-level delegation from two German Higher Education Institutions – DHBW Ravensburg and DHBW Karlsruhe.

The aim of the visit, which was held at the Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Computer Engineering (DEECE), was to strengthen relationships between CPUT, DHBW Ravensburg and DHBW Karlsruhe and to engage in further collaboration between the institutions. The visit centred around the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE).

The German delegation consisted of Prof Dr-Ing. Herbert Dreher, President DHBW Ravensburg, Prof Dr-Ing Stephan Schenkel, President DHBW Karlsruhe, Ingela Lundin, International Relations Officer, DHBW Ravensburg, Prof Dr Stephan Sauter, Industrial Engineering, DHBW Ravensburg and Prof Dr Thomas Dobbelstein, International Business, DHBW Ravensburg.

“For us it’s very important that we learn from each other,” said Dreher.

The CPUT delegation consisted of Dr David Phaho, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships, Prof Rishidaw Balkaran, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, Prof Judy Peter, Director Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, Prof Veruscha Fester, Assistant Dean: Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, FEBE and several other representatives from the Faculty and from Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships.

Phaho welcomed the delegation and said the university wanted to ensure that it built on already great relationships.

Dobbelstein said his institution already has long-standing ties with the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, which includes, among other things, staff and student exchanges.

The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre

Earlier in the month a delegation from The Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and KU Leuven in Belgium visited CPUT and was also welcomed to DEECE.

The objective of the meeting was to renew the partnership agreement with CPUT in the areas of research, staff, and student exchange, amongst others.

The Dutch and Belgium delegation, which consisted of Sabine Amft (THUAS) Pepijn van Willigenburg, (THUAS) Prof.ir Annick Dexters (KU Leuven) and Albert van Oudheusden (UNSA) were welcomed by Prof Bingwen Yan (Acting) Assistant Dean: Teaching and Learning.

In his pursuit of constantly strategising new ways to reach and cultivate potential students, and to build a pipeline of diverse students, Dr Garth Van Gensen, Director: Marketing and Communication, leads a team of student recruiters in their outreach, and ensures timely delivery of essential information to prospects.

Van Gensen recently took a sho’t left to the revered Soqhayisa Senior Secondary School, which has become a spirited mainstay of the learning landscape in the pulsating society of the coastal city of Gqeberha. The school is a propelling nucleus of intellectual evolution and advancement for a number of learners.

In 2023, the school from Motherwell in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape, achieved a 100% matric pass for the fourth consecutive year. In the past, the school was known for all the wrong things, but is now an outstanding example.

It has been reported by Media24 that when Mlungisi Nopote, the school's principal took over the reigns in 2008, he vowed the school would produce pleasant results and to transform its bad name. “When I got here in 2008, we only had about 275 pupils but now we have 1 600 pupils. In grade 12, there were about 22 pupils but now we have more than 300 pupils. It’s because of hard work and discipline. I believe that teaching is God’s work. It is what God wants and we must make sure as teachers that we are teaching the learners,” Nopote was quoted.

Reflecting on his trip, Van Gensen said: “The trip there was a breeze, and the members of the community were very helpful and accommodating.” He held an introductory meeting with the principal, and “[Nopote] was very excited about the prospects of having some kind of partnership with CPUT. “Both his children graduated here [CPUT]. A follow-up meeting is on the cards sooner rather than later.”

For now, there is an eager willingness from the school to have some agreement/partnership with CPUT.

The Centre for Tourism Research in Africa recently hosted the 7th International Conference (ICTR) on Tourism Research which served as a vital platform for scholars, researchers, practitioners, and industry experts from around the world to converge and engage in meaningful dialogue on the multifaceted field of tourism at the iconic Cape Town Hotel School

The participants came from 22 countries. In person attendance included delegates from Canada, Portugal, Nigeria, Poland, Tanzania, Australia, India, USA, Germany, Qatar, Turkey and South Africa. Virtual attendees included participants from Brazil, Bulgaria, Oman, Italy, Finland, Peru, Vietnam, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Austria. On the first day, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Prof Rishidaw Balkaran, provided the welcoming address and said: “Welcome to you…Thank you very much, I am looking forward to the presentations, all the best, please have fun at the same time, enjoy Cape Town. Colleagues online I wish you well as well.”

Dean: Faculty of Business and Management Sciences (FBMS), Prof Paul Green, opened the second day of the conference, and said: “We are thrilled to embark on this journey of exploration, collaboration, and innovation in the realm of tourism. Today's event promises to be a captivating odyssey, as we delve into the multifaceted landscapes of tourism across various streams. Our agenda is thoughtfully curated to offer insights, provoke discussions, and inspire actionable ideas for the advancement of tourism research and practice…

“Thank you for joining us on this exhilarating journey. Let's ignite the flames of discovery and innovation together!” Amongst the keynote speakers were:

  • Dr Kamilla Swart, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar: The Future of the Olympic Games - When will it be Africa’s turn?
  • Prof Kaitano Dube, Vaal University of Technology: Opportunities and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Tourism and Hospitality Research.
  • Prof Ike Ezeuduji, University of Zululand: Bleisure Travel Reimagined: Implications for Research.
  • Prof Catheryn Khoo, Torrens University, Australia: Contested HIStory: Representation in HERitage Tourism.

Swart said presenting at the ICTR was a rewarding experience, with valuable exchanges that enriched “my perspective on global tourism trends and research while at the same time highlighting perspectives from the global South”.

The Programme Chair, Dr Chris Hattingh-Niekerk, who is also a Senior Lecturer: Event Management, said the conference sought to foster a collaborative environment that encourages the exchange of cutting-edge research, innovative ideas, and best practices in the realm of tourism. Hattingh-Niekerk said through its diverse range of sessions and presentations, this conference aimed “to advance our understanding of the complex dynamics within the tourism industry, explore emerging trends and challenges, and develop sustainable solutions.”

By bringing together a global community of experts, he said the conference not only promoted knowledge dissemination but also facilitated networking opportunities and interdisciplinary collaborations. “Ultimately, the International Conference on Tourism Research played a pivotal role in shaping the future of tourism by promoting research-driven insights that can enhance the industry's resilience, sustainability, and positive impact on local communities and economies.”

Throughout the conference, there were vibrant discussions on various topics, including the importance of sustainable tourism practices in mitigating environmental impact, the role of technology in enhancing visitor experiences, and strategies for preserving cultural heritage while promoting tourism. Prof Catheryn Khoo from Torrens University in Australia, whose research on “Contested HIStory: representation in HERitage tourism” sparked an interesting debate around how tourism places have traditionally privileged certain men’s (white, heterosexual, masculine) travel experience.

“As the host of the conference, I was particularly struck by the diverse range of perspectives and innovative approaches shared by participants. Witnessing the exchange of ideas and the collective commitment to advancing responsible and sustainable tourism practices reinforced the importance of such gatherings in driving positive change within the industry,” Hattingh-Niekerk remarked.

He added that hosting an international conference showcased the FBMS’ commitment to academic excellence. “It demonstrates our institution's ability to convene leading experts, researchers, and scholars from around the world, creating a platform for the exchange of groundbreaking ideas and research findings.”

Hattingh-Niekerk continued: “The decision to host the 7th ICTR in Cape Town, South Africa, was not only an opportunity to advance The Centre for Tourism Research in Africa and CPUT's academic standing but also a chance to bolster our country's reputation as a leading destination for research, innovation, and sustainable tourism practices.”

Parents and teachers of learners from five schools in Atlantis and numerous guests joined CPUT and ASEZCo in their Atlantis Special Economic Zone STEAM Project certificate award ceremony and competition event held in Saxonsea Secondary School recently.

The CPUT and ASEZCo have joined forces to ignite a passion for Maths and Science among the youth in Atlantis. This collaborative initiative aimed to foster innovation and offer tailored support for about 40 Atlantis youth with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) extra curriculum education. The learning interventions included but is not limited to Entry Level Electronics; Introduction to Programming; Physical Computing; Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Grade 8 learners. The STEAM project provided hands-on learning opportunities that promote creativity, motivate discovery, and increase knowledge retention alike.

  • The objectives of the STEAM interventions were to:
  • Challenge learners to think critically.
  • Motivate learners to be attracted to STEAM careers.
  • Enable learners to integrate cross-disciplinary knowledge to solve problems.
  • Promote a learn-by-doing approach.
  • Enable learners to participate in real-world projects.
  • Give an opportunity to basic education learners to learn from each other, across different schools, while taking an active role in the development of emerging technology and groundbreaking research; and
  • Make STEAM attractive to basic education learners, so that the learners can continue doing STEAM until Matric.

In the closing ceremony the learners showcased their Robotics skills with a friendly competition. Four teams competed against each other in a quest to be the STEAM champions of Atlantis. ASEZco Business Development Executive, Jarrod Lyons, provided an overview of ASEZ and the STEAM programme, and said his company was committed to real and impactful change in the community. “This change will be brought by ASEZco’s ability to contribute to an enabling ecosystem, which requires skills and enterprise development at its heart.”

Prof Driekie Hay-Swemmer, Executive Director: Office of the Vice-Chancellor,gave an overview of CPUT and the CPUT STEM programme. Hay-Swemmer, also paid special tribute to the Advancement Department for their sterling job in making the project a success. “I am so proud of you, and I am so proud to be your line manager, and to see the work that you’re doing and the legacies that you’re leaving behind. Staff from the Centre for Civil Engagement and Community Service, whenever there is something that we want them to do within the communities, they’re just there. And they are absolutely fantastic people to work with.”

She continued: “This is indeed a very very special afternoon.”

Addressing the learners, Hay-Swemmer said: “My message is simple here this afternoon, you can do it, you’ve already done it. Don’t’ settle for less in your life. The sky is really the limit if there is a limit or ceiling on you. Whatever you dream and think of and desire through hard work, be surrounded by positive people, people that will build you, it’s possible… Don’t give up on your dreams…You are good, you are bright enough and you’re smart enough. Well-done to everyone here and also to the parents. CPUT is proud to be associated with all of you and we are going to take a keen interest to see where life is going take you.”

Prof Bennett Alaxander, Deputy Dean: Faculty of Informatics and Design, also gave an overview of the IT industry (from learning to work/business) for young people. Meanwhile Prof

Andile Mji Dean, Faculty of Education, CPUT gave an overview of the Education sector, urging parents to encourage their children to choose Maths and Science as subjects of choice and discouraged them in taking Maths Literacy as their choice.

Chanelle September, project beneficiary, said: “I would like to thank you for this opportunity and thank you to everyone for making this project a success. This has really been a great experience. During these past few months we as the STEAM, we have learned a lot from extraordinary people.”