an early salary deal are from left:
Mr Sipho Sibiya (NEHAWU), Mr Nazim Gani
(UKSU-PMB), Dr Chris Wilson (Director
- Human Resource Development), Mr Teddy
Naidoo (COMSA), Mr Nelson Munsami (COMSA)
and Mr Tony Bruton (NTESU).
UKZN looks set for a good start in the New Year as
salary negotiations for 2008 have already been concluded.
Unions and Management signed a Memorandum of Collective
Agreement on November 13, 2007.
Ms Reena Budree Chair of the Joint Bargaining Forum
(JBF), points out that right from the outset the
parties set themselves a challenge to conclude the
negotiations in a minimum number of sittings. Not
only was this achieved but the negotiations were
characterised by collegiality and co-operation.
Ms Budree congratulated all participants
in the process, pointing out that the JBF had developed
a common understanding that the salary increases
should be realistic but should also not exceed the
limits of financial sustainability. She said that
the eventual agreement was a reasonable if not generous
settlement considering that for most other Higher
Education institutions aiming to settle around the
seven percent mark, their staff were not also privy
to an automatic notch. The 'automatic' notch costs
UKZN about R20 million each year. She also mentioned
that comparative market and sectoral data had influenced
the negotiations. UKZN salaries at almost all levels
compare very favourably with those in other Higher
Education Institutions and even the wider market.
Mr Khetha Mabaso, Chairperson of the University
of KwaZulu-Natal Staff Union (UKSU) commented that
negotiations went very well, adding that he is looking
to improve on this in the future.
Combined Staff Association (COMSA) team leader
at the negotiations Mr Teddy Naidoo said COMSA would
have preferred a settlement for all staff, including
those on top of scale. "We did however, agree
on two conditions to be fast tracked, namely harmonisation
and the remuneration strategy review," said
Mr Naidoo. Generally he feels that the salary settlement
was a fair deal.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’
Union (NEHAWU) leader at the JBF Mr Sipho Sibiya
said the salary negotiations went well and it was
impressive to reach settlement in a record time.
He added that it took only two meetings and common
ground was found. He believes the content of the
agreement reached is reasonable. He said the most
important thing was that all parties in the negotiations
were willing and well prepared.
Tony Bruton, Team Leader of the National Tertiary
Education Staff Union (NTESU) at the JBF said his
union welcomes the early settlement of salary negotiations
for 2008. He pointed out that the settlement is
without the untidy custom of backpay which has been
characteristic of recent years. "The settlement
allows staff to plan their new year knowing what
is coming to them. We are satisfied that the settlement
is a reasonable one given prevailing conditions
and comparative salary data."
Back, from left: Professor O
Latiff, Mr FE Zulu, Mr Z Shezi
Front, from left: Mr MJ Mkhize, Mrs W
Radcliffe, Ms S Naidoo and Mr AG Bruton.
good working environment and innovative colleagues
and students made 25 years of service with UKZN highly
enjoyable for Mr Paul Forder of the School of Chemistry.
Mr Forder made this clear at the Long Service Awards
function held recently at the Pietermaritzburg campus.
was one of 15 employees who were congratulated for
having worked at the University for 25 years while
another 27 were commended for 15 years’ service.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Relations), Professor
Dasarath Chetty, congratulated the 42 staff members
on their loyalty and service to the University saying:
“With the corporate world offering a large variety
of career opportunities as well as space for upward
mobility, employees who have committed themselves
to the University for such long periods really need
to be commended”.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba thanked
the awardees for the sacrifice they have made to shape
this University into what it is today and encouraged
them by saying that “universities are institutions
that are ‘value-driven’ and not ‘material-driven’”.
medical school graduates Dr Carol Hlela and Dr Bonga
Chiliza, were recently honoured as the first two
recipients of the Hamilton Naki Scholarship.
Padayachee of The Mercury writes:
doctors, both raised in Durban townships, have become
the first recipients of the Hamilton Naki scholarship
which was launched yesterday to mark the 40th anniversary
of the world’s first heart transplant.
award sponsored by the Netcare group, aims to honour
people who have the capacity to make a difference
to academic healthcare. It is named after Hamilton
Naki a former gardener who assisted Dr Chris Barnard
in his surgical research and who was a key member
of the team that carried out the world’s first
successful heart transplant at Groot Schuur Hospital.
of Kwa-Mashu, Dr Carol Hlela, 34, a Dermatologist,
said she was delighted to receive the award. “It
is a real honour, and I feel this award is not only
for me, but for the people of Kwa-Mashu as well.
I want to send a message of hope to people in the
townships that anyone can achieve as I have done.
All you need is to be focused, and hang on to your
dreams.” Hlela is based at Oxford University
in London and plans to use the money from the award
to complete a PhD in immunology at the university.
other recipient, Dr Bonga Chiliza said it felt good
to be recognised for his work. “This is a
prestigious award and many people would have been
nominated for it, so I am quite honoured. It is
nice to know that I am being recognised for the
work that I am doing because I am one of the few
black Psychiatrists in the country involved in research.”
is based at the University of Stellenbosch where
he is doing research on first episode schizophrenia
for his doctorate. The money he received from the
scholarship will fund his research.
Bongani Mayosi, chief physician at Groot Schuur
Hospital, said the scholarship was important because
ordinary people, like Naki, needed to be recognised
for their association with great achievements…
The Mercury, Tuesday December 4, 2007
international collaboration led by researchers in
the US and South Africa – and including a highly
respected UKZN Professor announced the first genome
sequence of an extensively drug resistant (XDR) strain
of the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, one linked
to more than 50 deaths in one hospital in KwaZuluNatal
"The sequenced strain is responsible
for the vast majority of the more than 300 XDR cases
identified thus far in KZN," said Professor
Willem Sturm, one of the project's principal investigators
and a leading researcher of the XDR epidemic in
Professor Sturm is Dean of the Nelson
R Mandela School of Medicine, and Director of the
MRC Genital Ulcer Disease Research Unit at the University.
"Genetic characterisation of this strain is
essential for developing tools to get this epidemic
under control," said Professor Sturm.
As part of this work, genomes of
multi-drug resistant (MDR) and drug sensitive isolates
were also decoded. Initial comparisons of the genome
sequences reveal that the drug-resistant and drug-sensitive
microbes differ at only a few dozen locations along
the four-million-letter DNA code, revealing some
known drug resistance genes as well as some additional
genes that may also be important to the spread of
TB. The researchers have taken an unusual step of
immediately sharing both the genome sequence and
their initial analysis far in advance of submitting
a scientific paper, in order to accelerate work
on drug-resistant TB by researchers around the world.
research reflects a collaboration among researchers
in the Microbial Sequencing Centre at the Broad
Institute of Harvard and MIT, Megan Murray of the
Harvard School of Public Health, and Professor Willem
Sturm and his colleagues at the Medical School.
"Tuberculosis is a major threat
to global public health that demands new approaches
to disease diagnosis and treatment," said Megan
Murray, one of the project's principal investigators.
"By looking at the genomes of different strains,
we can learn how the tuberculosis microbe outwits
current drugs and how new drugs might be designed."
"Genome information is a powerful
tool for understanding the biology of infectious
disease, such as tuberculosis," said Eric Lander,
founding director of the Broad Institute of Harvard
and MIT. "It is important that genomic data
be made immediately available, particularly to researchers
in areas most heavily burdened by disease."
Globally, tuberculosis (TB) is a
major cause of infectious disease deaths. Nearly
2 billion people, comprising roughly one third of
the world's population, are thought to carry M.
tuberculosis, the culprit bacterium. Major obstacles
to controlling the disease stem from the microbe's
ability to evade current treatments, which typically
require prolonged use by patients and are often
not curative. MDR strains, for example, are resistant
to two of the most effective first-line TB drugs,
and XDR strains can circumvent first-line as well
as some second-line drugs. Adding to the problem,
inefficient diagnostic methods for TB make it difficult
for doctors to determine whether an individual harbours
a drug-resistant strain, often delaying proper therapy.
Back, from left: Ms Debbie
Heustice (Director, HIV-911 Programme);
Mr Eugene Young (Consul General, US
Consulate General, Durban); Ms Janine
(Manager, Compass Project, Foundation
Front, from left: Ms Gill Bates (Key
Accounts Manager, First Rand Foundation);
Ms Mikie Kyony (CSI Manager, WesBank
Fund); Dr Fikile Ndlovu (General Manager,
Chief Directorate: HIV/AIDS, Office
of the Premier, KwaZulu-Natal); Dr Shaidah
Asmall (Programme Director, Higher Education
HIV/AIDS Programme, Higher Education
South Africa) Dr Sue Goldstein
(Executive, SA Programmes, Soul City).
Series 1, 2007/2008 of the HIV-911 hard copy Directory
of HIV-related Support Services was launched on November
29 at the Comsa Lounge on the Westville campus.
HIV-911 Programme is run by a dedicated group of staff
and students associated with the Centre for HIV/AIDS
Networking (HIVAN) at UKZN. It provides members of
the public with information about HIV/AIDS organisations,
service providers and their support services throughout
South Africa. HIV-911 was recently awarded first prize
in the Community Development Category at the Unitech
provincial directories contain comprehensive information
on HIV-related services for each province. The directories
for KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape were launched
at the event and the others will be released within
the next year.
her welcome, Ms Debbie Heustice, Director of the HIV-911
Programme and Director of Ceremonies, said that this
was more than just a launch of a directory: “The
HIV-911 Programme is going to be a tool that will
fill the current gap in information about what HIV-related
services are available and where they are located
in the country. … this will make HIV-related
services more accessible to the South African population.”
The directory can be searched and orders placed on
line at www.hiv911.org.za
or by calling the HIV-911 Data Collection Centre 0860
Shaidah Asmall, Programme Director, Higher Education
HIV/AIDS Programme (HEAIDS), announced at the launch
that the HEAIDS Programme has given UKZN R3 million
as a contribution towards its AIDS Programmes on all
campuses. This will ensure, among other things that
students and staff can access treatment on campus
and not have to travel long distances and wait in
long queues to access support.
Fikile Ndlovu, General Manager Chief Directorate:
HIV/AIDS in the Office of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier
and a former student at UKZN, addressed the audience
on behalf of the Premier. She expressed her excitement
and pride at the work that has been achieved at her
alma mater through the HIV-911 Programme.
Faculty of Law in partnership with the Department
of Trade and Industry recently hosted a Southern African
regional conference on Intellectual Property (IP)
conference took place at the Southern Sun Elangeni
Hotel in Durban from November 20-22. Senior government
officials from South Africa and other Southern African
countries, academics, lawyers, law enforcement agencies
involved in IP enforcement, IP experts from different
intellectual property rights organisations as well
as some FIFA delegates (who were in Durban for the
preliminary 2010 world cup draw) attended.
theme for the second day of the conference was “Towards
integrated regional IP enforcement: 2010 and beyond”.
On the third day the participants examined a number
of substantive legal issues around the upcoming 2010
FIFA World Cup South Africa™, and a number of
eminent IP and sports law practitioners contributed
to the debates.
of the Faculty of Law mooted the initiative in recognition
of the fact that intellectual property rights in the
international entertainment industries have in recent
years faced huge challenges in respect of enforcement
(due to e.g. technological advances, internet piracy
and large scale counterfeiting of goods).
Andre Louw, an academic at the Faculty of Law, was
one of the organisers who made the event possible
(with fellow IP specialist, Professor Tanya Woker;
Professor Michael Cowling Dean of the Faculty of Law
Faculty and Professor Managay Reddi Deputy Dean, Howard
(UKZN and the DTI) realised the importance of providing
a forum for leading practitioners, lawyers and academics
as well as government representatives to debate issues
regarding such challenges,” he said. He added
that the conference was seen to be especially imperative
in light of SA hosting the world’s biggest and
richest sporting event in 2010.
role players dealing with enforcement of IP rights
spoke at the conference, focusing specifically on
implementing stringent enforcement measures and policies
when dealing with counterfeit goods, e.g. CD’s,
clothing and DVD’s.
Ian Blackshaw, international sports lawyer and member
of the international Court of Arbitration for Sport
(CAS), presented the keynote address on the relevance
of intellectual property rights in sports.
all found the event to be of value and we hope that
this conference will lead the way to similar events
in the next couple of years, to ensure that the necessary
foundation is in place in 2010 for our law to deal
with issues that may arise around such a huge event
as the FIFA World Cup” said Mr Louw.
student Mr Thomas Hammond has been named the 2007
South African Men’s Hockey Player of the year.
This is a remarkable achievement considering Mr Hammond
was selected to the senior National team only at the
beginning of last year.
Tommy Hammond receives the 2007 SA Men’s
Hockey Player of Year Award from the
President of SA Hockey and Edgewood
Sports Officer, Mr Dave Carr.
The award caps a special year for
Mr Hammond who excelled throughout the season at
provincial and national levels.
He was instrumental in the UKZN
Men’s Team winning the SASSU tournament, Midlands
finishing 2nd at the IPT, PMB Varsity finishing
2nd in National Club Champs of Champs, and South
Africa’s qualification for 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Hammond was the deserving winner of the 2007 UKZN
Pietermaritzburg Sportsman of the Year Award.
UKZN student, Ms Marsha Marescia, who is captain of
the South African Women's Hockey team, has been included
in the Women’s 2007 World Hockey All Star team.
Marsha Marescia in action during the
recent SPAR Challenge test between South
Africa and Australia
The All Star team comprises 18 players
and two coaches with the players being selected
by visitors to the International Hockey Federation’s
(FIH) website: www.worldhockey.org
The Netherlands, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Japan,
USA, England, Germany, South Africa, China and Korea
are represented in the All Stars’ team.
Midfielder, Ms Marescia, first represented
South Africa at the Champions Challenge in Johannesburg
in 2002. Since then, she has played in a number
of major tournaments such as the World Cup, the
Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and the All Africa
and Afro-Asian Games, as well as a number of smaller
tournaments. She led South Africa to the World Cup
in Spain last year, taking over the captain’s
armband from Lindsay Wright (nee Carlisle).
Ms Marescia learned about her selection
after arriving back from the Netherlands where the
South African team have been taking part in a training
camp. “It’s all a bit overwhelming at
this stage. I am just honoured and amazed at being
selected and hope that it will inspire my team and
other potential national hockey players to keep
striving to be the best,” said Ms Marescia.
is a former student and full tuition Sports Scholarship
holder at UKZN. Her selection to the All Star team
is one of the greatest honours in world hockey.
Murray who has received a grant to
complete his MA in the United Kingdom.
A UKZN Masters student in Classics has been granted
the Ursula Vogel Trust award by the Classical Association
of South Africa. The grant is valued at R30 000.
Jeffrey Murray will use the grant to visit the
Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies at
the University of Nottingham. He will also attend
a 'Reception Theory' workshop for postgraduate
students at the Institute for Classical Studies
in London. He plans to read for his doctorate
in a similar field in 2009.
Murray’s research, entitled: "The Reception
of Thermopylae in Contemporary Popular Culture",
is intended to show the relevance of Classics,
and especially Reception Studies, in a modern
university. Lecturer in Classics, Ms Elke Steinmeyer,
is Mr Murray’s supervisor on the Howard
grant is a great opportunity which enables me
to undertake some research overseas. I will be
able to use resources at Nottingham University
and be in contact with leading specialists in
this field," said Mr Murray.
research focuses on the Greek struggle and how
it has been portrayed in graphic novels and film.
He believes it will highlight the importance of
Classics as a leading discipline in contemporary
research, and show how its relevance can be judged
because of the way it continues to have impact
on today’s culture.
on the award, Ms Steinmeyer said: “Jeffrey
is an exceptional student, whose MA thesis will
make an important contribution to the field of
Reception Studies, a fairly recent sub-discipline
Ms Safeera Sabjee, a student at the School of Pharmacy
and Pharmacology, scooped a pool of prizes at the
annual Oath Taking and Awards Ceremony of the Faculty
of Health Sciences held at the Westville Campus.
Sabjee won the following awards:
4th Year Student sponsored by the Academy of Pharmaceutical
Sciences of South Africa,
Best Pharmacy Student sponsored by Cipla Medpro,
Best Pharmaceutics Student sponsored by Resmed
Best Pharmacy Practice Student sponsored by Sparkport
Pharmacology Student sponsored by Hexal Pharma.
than 250 students attended the event which celebrates
the end of years of study and the beginning of a
journey into either the health care sector or into
further health research.
swear to uphold the dignity and autonomy of my profession”,
was the oath taken by the students.
Sabiha Essack, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences
responded by saying: “I challenge you, our
new graduates, to put into action the oath you are
taking by implementing:
the National Health Act which redresses the inequities
of the past in the distribution of healthcare;
the Strategic Framework for the Human Resources
for Health Plan which promotes access to health
services by the equitable distribution and use
of skilled healthcare professionals;
the Health Charter which seeks to engender the
transformation of the health sector addressing
the National Human Resources Plan for Health which
implements a national guideline for human resources
policy and planning to ensure that the entire
health system obtains the quality and quantity
of staff required.
“Above all else, I congratulate you and welcome
you as colleagues and peers into the health care sector,”
said Professor Essack.
of Social Work final year student, Ms Sibongile Hlatshwayo,
attended a conference in Jamaica on “The Role
of Universities in Low-and-Middle–Income Countries
in Response to HIV/AIDS”.
conference formed part of the partnership programme
between the University of the West Indies and the
University of California funded by the Ford Foundation.
was a great opportunity to interact with highly professional
people and students from other parts of the world,
sharing ideas and experiences on issues around HIV/AIDS,”
said Ms Hlatshwayo.
said that attending the conference gave her insights
into HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, which has the second
highest prevalence in the world after the sub-Saharan
conference deliberations revolved around strategies
to combat HIV/AIDS and dealing with gender imbalances
especially in the developing world. Delegates heard
that universities have a vital role to play in influencing
countries and regions in terms of attitudes and responses
Hlatswayo’s paper looked at how to strengthen
students’ involvement in HIV/AIDS programmes
as students can make a difference in the fight against
the condition. According to her paper, students needed
to be empowered and better equipped to deal with HIV/AIDS
because there was still a lot of ignorance around
School of Physics has signed an agreement with the
Hermanus Magnetic Observatory (HMO). The Observatory
will fund the full cost of a joint academic appointment
in the School of Physics at the Westville campus.
primary reason for this form of support is to develop
and support Space Physics Research at UKZN. Professor
Peter Sutcliffe represented the HMO, a National
Research Foundation (NFR) facility located in Hermanus,
which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Professor Sutcliffe is also Honorary Associate Professor
of UKZN Physics, further strengthening the Space
Physics research link between the HMO and Physics
at UKZN. He signed the formal collaboration agreement
with Professors Jane Meyerotwitz, Deputy Dean of
the Faculty of Science and Agriculture, and Professor
Pete Zacharias, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head
of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.
the activities of the formal collaboration agreement,
Professor Sutcliffe said the HMO is not a teaching
institute but has resources and facilities to support
research, in particular.
hope this relationship benefits UKZN Physics and
the HMO and I wish to see more postgraduate students
doing research with us. We look forward to a mutually
beneficial relationship,” said Professor Sutcliffe.
He added that there would be exciting space physics
research projects and students would be offered
bursaries to attract them to this field.
with the Head of School, Professor Fambirai
Takawira (seated second from right).
The School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer
Engineering’s Open Day represented the culmination
of a period of intense pressure and creativity for
its final year students with 117 young achievers displaying
their design projects to internal and external examiners,
parents, donors and the public.
were presented to deserving students in each of
the three Engineering disciplines by industry representatives.
the School considerable emphasis is placed on students’
design projects. According to Head of School, Professor
Fambirai Takawira, the design project “is
actually the magnum opus of each student and encapsulates
the engineering design experience gained during
the course of four years of study”.
the projects test the students’ abilities
to survive as design engineers and effectively simulate
the situation they will encounter in the workplace.
Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Agriculture,
Engineering and Science, Professor Pete Zacharias,
was impressed with the interesting and innovative
design projects saying: “they describe the
students’ experiences and define their capabilities”.
Zacharias expressed his gratitude to industry for
its continued support, which includes not only prizes,
but also cash donations and equipment.
of the industry-sponsored Awards were: Mr Shekhar
Ramphal, Mr Jared Wilmans, Miss Virginia Ndlovu,
Mr Chenal Palhad, Mr Richard Pratt, Mr Simon Pauck
and Mr Bhekisizwe Mthethwa.
School also acknowledged several outstanding projects
and awarded Highly Commended Prizes to: Mr Vikesh
Punwassi, Miss Tyne Manto, Mr Guy Coulson, Mr Prenishlin
Chetty, Mr Tomas Ridl, Mr Bruce Speirs, Mr Andrew
Dales, Mr Bhekisizwe Mthethwa, Mr Matthew Smythe
and Mr Rinel Bhownath.
with a ‘Licence to Cure’
Africa has 148 extra medical practitioners who will
soon provide qualified health care for the people
thanks to the UKZN's Nelson R Mandela School of
177 students who wrote their final examinations
gathered at the school with their colleagues, families
and members of the Durban business community at
16h00 on November 30 to await the announcement of
their results. After five years of sacrifice and
hard work, 148 students heard that they had successfully
completed their degree and earned their "Licence
Of the 29 students who were not successful, many
have only one or two modules to repeat in 2008.
Willem Sturm, Dean of the School, attributes the
excellent pass rate to the improvement made in the
teaching, training and development of students.
rich medical syllabus is taught at various provincial
hospitals and students are exposed to both the urban
and deep rural health care sector during the five
years of their study. This holistic approach combined
with excellent mentoring from the academic staff
has given rise to a new generation of medical professionals.
spotlight is on this new generation of doctors who
have the potential to develop new advances in medical
care for the treatment and prevention of life-threatening
and debilitating illnesses," said Professor
Sturm. "It is now up to them to bring forth
health care solutions to meet the challenges facing
our communities today and to research and develop
innovative medicines to treat and prevent diseases
and thus improve the quality of life for a sustainable
and productive society."
Recognition of Excellence was the order of the day
at the Faculty of Engineering’s Awards Banquet
held at the Royal Hotel in Durban. Leading engineering
companies, researchers, University staff and top achieving
students attended the event which is a highlight on
the Faculty’s annual calendar of events.
speaker at the banquet was Professor Timothy Simalenga,
Director of the Institute of Agricultural Engineering.
Professor Simalenga, who has a wealth of experience
in research, technology development, training, academia,
economic and rural development and community outreach,
delivered a light-hearted speech that appealed to
the diverse audience.
Banquet provided the perfect opportunity for the
Faculty to honour and recognise its industry partners.
Three classes of awards - based on the value of
the various sponsor companies’ contributions
to the faculty - were presented at the event: Platinum
Awards were presented for contributions of over
R1 million; Gold–R500 000 to R1 million; and
Silver – R250 000 to R500 000.
The Water Research Commission, the Technology and
Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP),
Eskom, Sasol and Telkom all received Platinum Awards.
Most of this sponsorship is for student and/or research
funding with contributions from several companies
exceeding R5 million annually.
Faculty also paid tribute to those at the University
who achieved in 2006. The most prolific researchers
were recognised as well as the top students in each
of the Engineering disciplines.
One of the highlights of the evening was the award
of the Engineering Council of South Africa Medal
to Mr Luke Harrison, for being the best overall
final year student for 2006.