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Monday, 09 September 2019

New convocation president elected

The newly-elected Convocation president, Saziso Matiwane, is very excited about his victory however he is mindful of the fact that, there is a weight of expectations imposed by it to deliver.

Matiwane said: “I also have a responsibility together with the leadership collective to reach out to all members of the convocation irrespective of whether they supported us or not. The elections are now over and therefore; the real work has to start immediately.”

He was elected at the CPUT Convocation AGM that was held on Saturday on the Bellville Campus. The other elected executive members of the Convocation are, Athenkosi Nyangiwe, Zoleka Mdingi, Likhaya Mqukuse, Asanda Hlamandana, Zingaphi Mbanga, Nqabayomzi Nkwankwa, Sonwabile Fisa, Andiswa Mrasi and Prof Mellet Moll.

Two days after he was elected, Matiwane said it still has not sunk in that he is leading the convocation. “I am still processing it. “[I am] trying to wrap my head around many and nuanced issues that have to be dealt with by the convocation. But my attitude in this regard is that, it is members of convocation that have to come up with a plan of action for Convex [convocation executive] so that whatever the convex does, represents the collective thinking of the convocation of CPUT. We will of course initiate this process as convex,” he said.

He added that the most important task is “to connect all the live wire”. Matiwane’s vision is for the institution is to be a trailblazer in public discourse, particularly as it relates to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, “Ipso facto that, we are a university of technology… If we get this right, it has a potential for more positive spinoffs, including but not limited to improving the employability of CPUT graduates as well as attracting funding or investments.”

During his acceptance speech, he told the audience that men should be ashamed of the ongoing wave of gender-based violence.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

Thursday, 05 September 2019

Convocation AGM this weekend

The eagerly awaited Annual General Meeting of the CPUT Convocation will take place tomorrow and its highlight will be the election of the new president.

Academics from across the institution recently gathered at the Bellville campus for the Open Access Publishing Workshop.

Monday, 02 September 2019

Taking research forward

CPUT’s newly acquired supercritical extraction and fractionation pilot plant, is the first in Africa with respect to capacity and robustness.

“Our newly acquired supercritical extraction and fractionation pilot plant would not only allow extraction and fractionation of high-value products for healthy living from solid biomass, but with the facility, we have begun to develop capacity in high-pressure technology, fostering collaboration in science, medicine, botany, food, genetics and other disciplines where high pressure techniques can be harnessed to improve extraction and fractionation processes,” said Prof Tunde Ojumu from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Ojumu made the announcement while delivering his Inaugural Professorial Lecture, titled Exploitation of earth’s resources for man’s benefit: More values, more problems.

The pilot plant initiative came to being as a result of a collaboration between Ojumu and a colleague in the department, Tafirenyika Madzimbamuto.

This was made possible through the support of the National Research Fund (NRF) and the university.

Ojumu, is a NRF C-rated researcher and has published more than 80 research articles and reviews in the form of peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and presented more than 40 papers at national and international conferences.

His research interests cover Bioprocess and Environmental Engineering, with a strong focus on fermentation processes, biohydrometallurgy and materials.

He said there is increased recognition of human influence on the environment and increased concerns about the long-term consequences of the exploitation of earth’s resources on nature and the ultimate habitability of the world.

“The civilisation of this constantly changing world is based on mineral resources – most of the machines, ornaments, appliances and furniture that make life comfortable are made of metals, and some powered by fossil fuels. However, in order to meet the needs of our growing population and demands, we must employ new techniques that are more productive and efficient to produce values out of the depleting natural resources.”

He highlighted contributions aimed at promoting the values we derive from earth exploitation through biohydrometallurgy, and the contribution to alleviating resultant problems of acid mine drainage by using coal fly ash.

He has successfully supervised more than 15 Masters students and four Doctoral candidates. He is currently supervising five Doctoral and 10 Masters students at various stages of their programmes at CPUT, as well as postgraduate students registered at other institutions, locally and internationally.

Staff members and students took a stand against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) during a silent protest, which took place simultaneously on the Bellville, District Six, Mowbray and Wellington campuses.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Language of the Law

Forensic Linguistics, a relatively new academic discipline in South Africa, plays a valuable role in interpreting evidence in a legal context.

Much like ballistic experts, Forensic Linguists may be called upon in court cases to provide linguistic analysis of legal matters, an especially relevant skill in the South African context with its 11 official languages and English being the official language of the legal system.

Fundani academic, Prof Monwabisi Ralarala, supported by the Unit for Applied Law under the leadership of Advocate Noleen Leach, has co-edited (with Prof Russell Kaschula and Prof Georgina Heydon) and published a groundbreaking new book.

New Frontiers in Forensic Linguistics: Themes and Perspective in Language and the Law in Africa and beyond, examines the challenges and offers viable solutions to issues related to language and the law, with particular emphasis on the protection of marginalised African languages.

Senior Lecturer in English Studies at UKZN, Dr Thulani Mkhize, critically reviewed the book and described it as the ‘seminal text in the field’.

“It is excellent that the Paralegal students get the benefit of the book,” she said.

“Other disciplines should take their lead like medicine in respect of the provision of quality healthcare. Linguistic diversity is a resource not a challenge,” she said.

Ralarala says the book explores international forensic linguistic examples, which emerge in Australia as well as the challenges faced by Aboriginal people when embroiled in criminal activities.

New Frontiers in Forensic Linguistics is on sale at African Sun Media and retails for R 380.

Read this Conversation Africa piece on the topic of Forensic Linguistics.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Top Designer inspires students

Designer Laduma Ngxokolo, who is making waves internationally with his uniquely South African designs, recently shared his incredible road to success story with Design students.