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Sibling duo set to change the worldhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8854Sibling duo set to change the worldCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Sibling duo Neo Tsiu (24) and her brother, Modise (22), both who recently graduated during Stellenbosch University's (SU) hybrid graduation week, are now equipped to continue their dynamic journey as change agents together. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Having both been awarded a Diploma in Sustainable Development from SU's School of Public Leadership in the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences on 14 December, the siblings are excited about their achievement and all the </p><p style="text-align:justify;">possibilities and opportunities that the future holds.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Going forward, they will leverage the close bond they have as siblings and their amazing ability to work excellently together, despite individual differences and diverse strengths.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Because of the small age gap, we were always able to relate to each other and share things that mattered to us as individuals. We were also able to be a source of comfort to each other when times were rough," said Modise.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Inspiring podcast</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">An opportunity that they grabbed together was during the 2020 hard lockdown when boredom at home resulted in their creativity and innovative skills culminating in the creation of a podcast <a href="https://open.spotify.com/show/323cJDoDbWPF6N9Df70CEL">called Panel N&M on Spotify</a>. The siblings hosted the podcast together, talking to their peers about challenges and social issues affecting their lives during that difficult time.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The interest in the podcast surpassed all their expectations, with more than 200 downloads of the episodes, said Neo. “People reached out to us, thanking us for the positive impact our podcast had on them and how it helped them through the emotional and mental strain that the hard lockdown had on them."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Modise said it is very humbling how their family, friends and other people expressed their appreciation for the podcast, sharing how much they enjoyed listening to it and how much they have learned from the siblings. “We touched on various topics, from our own personal stories to addressing social issues that we felt were relevant to talk about at that time. Topics such as the pandemic, love and relationships, Women's Day and more," he added.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The popularity of the podcast proved to the siblings that they could connect and communicate well with people and these skills helped them to gain knowledge and understanding of the diversity of people's backgrounds, emotions, needs and interests. They continued hosting several episodes throughout the lockdown. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The podcast is still running, but they could not add any new episodes because their academic programme demanded all their time and attention. “Nonetheless, we are going to start the podcast again soon and only need to get a few things together. This time it will be also available in video format," said Modise.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Changing the world</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This experience with their successful podcast led to the idea of starting their own sustainability consultancy firm, where they will help small businesses to get established in the green economy. “We are in the beginning phase of research and planning. We want to differentiate ourselves from the competition," said Neo.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The changes that the siblings would like to see the touch on social issues affecting most people in South Africa. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Modise wants to help lower the youth unemployment rate by finding ways to help young people use their talents and ambition. Neo wants to find ways of addressing the inequality still present in the country. “I would like to see an equal world, where the rich and the poor, people of all races, and people of all genders, have access to the same opportunities," she said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the meantime, Neo will continue with postgraduate studies in sustainable development next year, while Modise will do his internship to gain work experience. But they will both find the time to meet at times and work on their business and podcast together.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​​ </p><p>​<br></p>
Gender-based violence and human rightshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8840Gender-based violence and human rightsDr Jill Ryan and Werner van Kerwel <p><span style="text-align:justify;">V</span><span style="text-align:justify;">iolence against women has increased significantly worldwide but has reached pandemic proportions in South Africa. Though there has been a concerted effort within our legislative climate to strengthen judicial response and access for victims, as per the recently amended laws aimed at Gender-based violence (GBV)</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn1" style="text-align:justify;"><sup>[i]</sup></a><span style="text-align:justify;">, we continue to see escalating rates of violence. Violence against women and children has constantly been highlighted as an issue of concern, which is to be understood where an intimate partner murders 1 in 4 women</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn2" style="text-align:justify;"><sup>[ii]</sup></a><span style="text-align:justify;">. Child abuse and neglect hold a significant contribution to the death of children under the age of 5</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn3" style="text-align:justify;"><sup>[iii]</sup></a><span style="text-align:justify;">.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, violence is found to be pervasively interwoven into the spaces where all vulnerable and marginalised groups find themselves. These groups, which include people with disabilities, the elderly, refugees and asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, and many LGBTQIA+ individuals, are often overlooked and underserved due to ambiguous understanding of the law (such as sheltering undocumented persons) failed implementation<sup>.</sup> Furthermore, it is unquestionable that violence and marginalisation have seen a substantial increase amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, these increased acts of violence and poor implementation of prevention strategies and adequate response display a continuous violation of our fundamental human rights. Human rights are upheld in our national constitution and ratified international and regional commitments.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the 16 days of activism, the last day of the campaign commemorates International Human Rights Day, which allows for serious reflection when one considers what human rights are meant to afford us, contrary to the level of violence we currently face.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Gender-based violence is recognised as a transgression on an international level in violating rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ("UDHR"). Violence against women is a violation of Article 3 of the UDHR that provides the right to life, liberty and personal safety. Furthermore, Article 5 of the UDHR stipulates one's freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It is clear from the UDHR that the most fundamental human rights seek to protect the dignity of individuals in society and safeguard human lives from degradation and unfair treatment, contrary to what we see in GBV.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">South Africa has ratified numerous international and regional commitments, calling for the protection of vulnerable persons through capacitating development, addressing inequality, providing social protection, targeted healthcare, and ultimately the elimination of violence. Some of these commitments include the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Charter), the Social Policy Framework for Africa, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) amongst many others. Much of what is described in the above-mentioned treaties and obligations, are incorporated in the Constitution of South Africa under the Bill of rights. Nationally, laws directed at GBV include the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment (2012), The Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, and the Protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011. These may display a clear political will towards addressing violence; however, government's underinvestment in resources and support<a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn4"><sup>[iv]</sup></a>, poor implementation through limited health services, inadequately trained police<a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn5"><sup>[v]</sup></a><sup>,</sup><sup>vi</sup>, and under resourced judicial services <a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn6"><sup>[vi]</sup></a> definitively undermine the progress we wish to see in addressing GBV.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For 2021, the 16 days of Activism campaign celebrates its 30<sup>th</sup> anniversary and, aptly so, the theme for this year is 'from awareness to accountability'<a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn7"><sup>[vii]</sup></a>. Much groundwork has been laid in education and awareness. However, now is the time to begin a profound reflection on the roles we must play in combatting GBV. Recognising that we must engage in responsibility-sharing and not responsibility shifting, as violence is intersectional and permeates our society's fabric, making that not isolated to just one group or sector, but a matter that affects all.<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Authors:</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Dr Jill Ryan</em></strong><em> </em><em>is the coordinator for gender non-violence at the Equality Unit, under Learning and Teaching. In this portfolio, Dr. Ryan coordinates, supports, and conducts activities such as training, interventions, and liaising for a comprehensive institutional response to gender violence at Stellenbosch University.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Werner van Kerwel</em></strong><em> </em><em>is a legal practitioner working as a case investigation support officer within the Equality Unit at Stellenbosch University (SU). At SU, Werner is responsible for the investigation of cases related to unfair discrimination, sexual harassment, harassment, and victimisation. Werner also sits on panel of enquiries focusing on further investigations into complaints.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <br></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref1"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[i]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/11/24/south-africa-broken-promises-aid-gender-based-violence-survivors"><span style="font-size:5pt;">South Africa: Broken Promises to Aid Gender-Based Violence Survivors | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref2"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[ii]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href="https://mg.co.za/health/2021-04-14-sayhername-the-faces-of-south-africas-femicide-epidemic/"><span style="font-size:5pt;">#SayHerName: The faces of South Africa's femicide epidemic - The Mail & Guardian (mg.co.za)</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref3"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[iii]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> Mathews, S., Martin, L. J., Coetzee, D., Scott, C., Naidoo, T., Brijmohun, Y., & Quarrie, K. (2016). The South African child death review pilot: A multiagency approach to strengthen healthcare and protection for children. </span><em style="font-size:5pt;">South African Medical Journal</em><span style="font-size:5pt;">, </span><em style="font-size:5pt;">106</em><span style="font-size:5pt;">(9), 895-899.</span></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref4"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[iv]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href="https://static.pmg.org.za/1/CGE_Report_on_Shelters_2019.20.pdf"><span style="font-size:5pt;">CGE_Report_on_Shelters_2019.20.pdf (pmg.org.za)</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref5"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[v]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href="https://za.boell.org/sites/default/files/hbf_saps_research_paper_web_1.pdf"><span style="font-size:5pt;">hbf_saps_research_paper_web_1.pdf (boell.org)</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref6"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[vi]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href="https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=INT/CEDAW/IFS/ZAF/41747&Lang=en"><span style="font-size:5pt;">Treaty bodies Download (ohchr.org)</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref7"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[vii]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href="https://www.gov.za/16DaysOfActivism2021"><span style="font-size:5pt;">16 Days of Activism 2021 | South African Government (www.gov.za)</span></a>​<br></p><p><br></p>
Deaf student's accomplishment a first for SUhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8824Deaf student's accomplishment a first for SUSue Segars<p>​​When Ilzé Aäron, a Deaf student from Paarl, graduated with her BEd Foundation Phase degree at the December 2021 graduation, she was the first ever Stellenbosch University (SU) student to have learned with the help of South African Sign Language (SASL). <br></p><p>Aäron, 24, who is passionate about teaching and plans to teach at a Deaf school, described her achievement as “a dream come true" and hopes it will inspire fellow Deaf people to follow their dreams. “I hope this makes people realise that Deaf people can achieve anything," she said in an interview. </p><p>Aäron, who was given the opportunity to complete the four-year degree in five years, voiced her heartfelt gratitude to the University's Disability Unit as well as to the SU Language Centre, whose interpreting services include SASL interpreting, for the support they provided towards her achievement. </p><p>“They provided me with two SASL interpreters and many other forms of support. The interpreters went to every class with me and helped me with everything I needed." </p><p>Elaborating on the experience of learning in the unique way she did – through interpreters – Aäron said: “In class, I would sit right in front (sometimes as many as 200 fellow students attended the lectures) and the interpreter would sit in front of me and observe what the lecturer presented in the class. It's not easy to observe two people (the lecturer and the interpreter) at the same time. Even though I can hear a little bit and am able to partially follow what the lecturer says, I also had to observe the interpreter's signs. But after class we would sit down to make sure I understood the work and that I hadn't missed anything. </p><p>“At other times the Language Centre provided a recording camera to record the interpreter for me to watch the recording after class. I would then prepare questions to ask the lecturer, through the interpreter, the next day. </p><p>“It was a lengthy and difficult process<span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">,</span> so we decided to use a note taker. When none were available, one interpreter would make notes while the other interpreted, because as a Deaf student I cannot make notes while watching the interpreter continue signing. But other times I would make an appointment with the lecturer and discuss the work through the interpreter." </p><p>Aäron continued: “In the beginning, I thought the other students must wonder why I always sat in front. But the interpreters were there from the start making sure I felt included and that I had access to lectures and learning materials. Moving from a Deaf environment to a world where everyone else could hear certainly was a big adjustment for me. It has been such a blessing to work with the Language Centre interpreters, Marsanne Neethling and Gert Erasmus. If it wasn't for them then I wouldn't have made it this far." </p><p>Aäron attended Labori High School for a year before moving to De La Bat School for the Deaf in 2012. Initially she had no knowledge of SASL. “For the first three months at my new school<span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">,</span> I had to take extra classes after school to learn SASL so that I could communicate with my fellow learners. “Fortunately, I got the hang of it fairly quickly." </p><p>Towards the end of her school career, she started helping <span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:line-through;">out </span>as an interpreter between the teacher and the other learners in the class because the teacher could not use SASL fluently enough for them to understand her. </p><p>As a young child playing with her friends, Aäron would always pretend to be a teacher. “My family tells me I've always wanted to be a teacher." </p><p>After matric, she worked as a teacher's assistant at Dominican School for the Deaf in Wittebome, Wynberg where she learned a great deal about being a teacher for Deaf learners. </p><p>“One day, out of the blue, I was contacted by De la Bat School to ask whether I would be interested in applying to study at SU. Initially I was unsure but after giving it some thought I realised that I had to embrace this opportunity. I submitted my application. I didn't tell anyone that I had applied, however, and for a few months I didn't even check my emails thoroughly. Then I found an old unread email from SU, congratulating me on being accepted to the BEd 2017 programme. That was the best moment in my life and here I am completing my studies." </p><p>Vicki Fourie, a senior interpreter at the Language Centre who played a key role in the ground-breaking intervention, said the whole experience of working with Aäron was very uplifting. “We would love to do the same for other students in the future." </p><p>“We collaborated very well with the Disability Unit and the Faculty of Education. It really was a joint effort. The experience made us realise just how big the gap is for Deaf students. We realised that, apart from educational interpreting, Deaf students need support in other areas too. We need to create an environment at university where Deaf students are not isolated; where they can participate in not only in academics, but also in the whole experience of university life."<span style="text-decoration-line:line-through;"> </span></p><p>Vicki said the Language Centre's Interpreting Service would like to continue working with the Disability Unit and with faculties and support staff to empower students not only to graduate, but also to have a multidimensional university life. </p><p>Aäron is interested in doing research on Deaf education and on how to improve teaching styles for Deaf learners. “I want to learn more about what it takes from a Deaf person to adjust to different environments." </p><p>Asked about her future plans, Aäron said, besides her plan to teach at a Deaf school, she hopes to start a tutorial service for Deaf learners who struggle with their schoolwork. </p><p>“I believe that all Deaf learners have the right to learn anything they want, to pursue their dreams, to learn how to overcome their challenges and to learn different things about life 'out there'. It's important to expose them to life outside of the school environment and for them to understand what it means to stand on their own feet. When they go out there, they will remember everything they've learnt," she said. </p><p>“My passion is teaching Deaf learners so they can receive an education in their own language from another Deaf person. I would like to be a role model for them – I want to inspire them and make sure that they know they can reach their dreams no matter who or what they are. I decided that I would rise above my circumstances and no matter what, I would bring about change in my Deaf community."<br></p><p><br></p>
Finance division’s structure aligned for SUNFin implementation https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8811Finance division’s structure aligned for SUNFin implementation Finance<p>The implementation of a new financial system for Stellenbosch University, SUNFin, is one of the largest projects that the institution has undertaken.  The new system is replacing the University's 32-year-old financial legacy system, a system that has been customized over the years to meet the unique needs of the University. SUNFin is an all-new cloud-based system based on global best practices and processes using leading-edge technology.</p><p>"This kind of radical transformation in an institution like ours cannot happen in isolation," says Manie Lombard, Chief Director Finance. "Structures, policies, procedures and working practices, established over time to serve the legacy system, need to be aligned to optimise the benefits that this new system will provide. We believe Oracle® Cloud Financials (OCF) will streamline SU's financial processes, increase productivity and provide access to real-time financial data and multidimensional analytics and reporting to improve our business decisions in future."<br></p><p>The SUNFin project was launched on 9 April 2019, and despite the impact of the pandemic, work continued on the project.<br></p><p>“We have reached a pivotal point on the SUNFin project. During the past few months, the project team completed an extensive detailed replanning exercise. On 28 September, the Rectorate approved the SUNFin steering committee's revised approach, timeline, and associated budget for SU's new financial system to go live in June 2023."</p><p>"The project team had discussions with two universities – Baylor and Vanderbilt – where OCF has been implemented successfully. The team also learned from KPMG, who shared their high-level finance function design models for service delivery used in cloud financial solutions," says Lombard.</p><p>Information Technology developed a SUNxxx Support Framework to effectively support the cloud implementations for SUNFin and SUNStudent. These are both Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. The reorganisation of the Finance Division is aligned to this new SUNxxx Support Framework and to global best practice processes, workflows, and optimal service delivery.</p><p>Lombard says the recommended changes to the Finance Division only include changes to the reporting lines of specific sub-divisions and will not impact on post levels and the current responsibilities of the Finance staff members. A Peromnes job evaluation exercise for all the positions in the Finance division will be conducted during 2023.</p><p><strong>A few changes in the Finance Division's structure have already been implemented, namely:</strong></p><ul><li>Brendon Grindlay-Whieldon is now appointed as the Business Owner of the SUNFin project to establish a SUNFin support centre (SFC) as a sub-division of the Finance Division. He will be responsible for the development and management of the SUNFin support division with key responsibilities during and after OCF's implementation. The Financial and Management Systems (FMS) sub-division will form part of the SFC going forward.</li><li>The Accounts Receivable (AR) sub-division (6 positions) moved to the Financial Planning and Budgeting sub-division to focus on the data clean-up required for SUNFin. This placement aligns with the principles of OCF where all income needs to flow through AR, which is closely aligned to the Projects and Grants module of OCF.</li></ul><p><strong>The following structural changes in the Finance Division will be implemented in a phased approach before SUNFin will go live.</strong></p><ul><li>Undergraduate Bursaries and Loans sub-division will merge with Student Fees to provide a comprehensive and effective student financial services experience. This will also ensure a specific focus on effective management of student finance enquiries on student fees and financial support.</li><li>The Accounts Payable (AP) sub-division will move from Financial and Management Systems sub-division to the Procurement sub-division. The foreign payment's function will move from Financial Services to Procurement.  The payment of all SU creditors (flowing from Accounts Payable, Expenses, HR and Student Fees) will still be managed within Treasury  (part of Fund and Asset Management sub-division).</li><li>The Fund and Asset Management sub-division (7 positions) will move to the Financial Services sub-division. The Financial Services sub-division will include all financial reporting, investments and asset management (including insurance) as well as Tax expertise.<br><br></li></ul><p><strong>Current status of the SUNFin project</strong></p><p>The SUNFin project team continues to focus on the business delivery work by unpacking and mapping the details of the business processes, determining how the system will be tested and the end-users trained. The team is also determining the appropriate system and security access levels required for end-users to use OCF in the most effective way.</p><p>Work on the Accounts Receivable and Expenses processes has been signed off. Work continues on Accounts Payable, Budgetary Control, Cash Management and Inventory</p><p>The ICT Integration and Architecture teams continue to build the required integrations from the SU legacy systems to OCF and plan the most effective way of cutting over from SU's financial legacy system to OCF when the system goes live.</p><p>A big focus is being placed on cleaning up all the legacy data to ensure that the data extraction and migration processes run seamlessly at the cutover from the legacy system to OCF at go live in June 2023.</p><p>As with all large projects, there is always a movement of project resources. Several new business analysts have recently joined the Business Delivery team and project team roles have been realigned. Visions Consulting has also added new resources to support the Visions' Subject Matter Experts (SME's).</p><p>Linda Keating from Visions Consulting has been appointed as the SUNFin Overall Project Manager and will be working very closely with Brendon Grindlay-Whieldon to manage the SUNFin project deliverables.</p><p>“With the approval of the revised approach, timeline and budget and identified roles filled, we look forward to furthering good progress towards achieving the project goals. I would like to thank each project team member for their continued support and commitment to the SUNFin project. The team has made great progress under very difficult conditions," says Lombard.​</p><p>​<br></p>
Access to Justice: People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilitieshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8801Access to Justice: People with Intellectual and Developmental DisabilitiesJenna-Lee de Beer-Procter<p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">​​It is well known by those in the intellectual disability services and disability rights movement that South Africa requires a 'vulnerable adults care act,' which considers the unique needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). While the absence of such laws makes it difficult to promote and protect the rights and responsibilities of adults with IDD, there are other statutes which can be drawn on in developing protocols to bridge the disjuncture between law and practice.<br></span></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">The country's Integrated National Disability Strategy of 1997 paved the way for much-needed social and legislative change. In 2007 South Africa ratified the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and developed the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (WPRPD, 2016) to complete the domestication of the UNCRPD. The White Paper presents nine 'Strategic Pillars</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftn1"><sup class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">[1]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">' which “task duty-bearers with the responsibility of eradicating the persistent systemic discrimination and exclusion experienced by persons with disabilities."</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftn2"><sup class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">[2]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1"> The WPRPD makes it abundantly clear that people with disabilities must have access to justice and, in-step with the Bill of Rights, have the right to the full protection and benefit of the law.</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">But, as we know, there are critical flaws in the South African criminal justice system (CJS) which impedes persons with IDD's access justice</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftn3"><sup class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">[3]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">. This is not due to their limited ability to provide reliable witness testimony or the know-how to navigate the judicial system, but rather the </span><em class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">system's</em><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1"> shortcomings. Access to justice prerequisites sound policy to inform protocols and effective service delivery that includes individualised accommodations for people with IDD to enable equal participation. Additionally, there is a dire need for knowledgeable and informed servants of the law who are sensitive to the needs of people with IDD.​</span><br class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1"></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">South Africa's National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF-NSP)</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftn4"><sup class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">[4]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1"> emphasises principles of inclusivity, intersectionality as well as active and meaningful participation in addressing the particularities of vulnerable populations, such as those with IDD. While the GBVF-NSP pays a lot of attention to the CJS, the same cannot be said for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Services (SAPS)' Strategic Plans for 2020-2025.</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">Both have omitted strategies to address the gross injustices suffered by people with IDD and vulnerable adults</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftn5"><sup class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">[5]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">. Neither the NPA nor the SAPS have national policies on disabilities and in my research and psycho-legal practice, I am yet to find protocols and guidelines on how to serve complainants (and defendants) with IDD. The only exception is that the court can appoint an intermediary to a person with a 'mental disability' who has a 'mental age' below that of 18 years. And this is when testifying may cause 'undue mental stress' and when the prosecutor or magistrate requests it.</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftn6"><sup class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">[6]</sup></a><br class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1"></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">Yet, people with IDD experience disproportionately higher rates of abuse than neurotypical people and have been subjected to attitudinal bias, prejudice and discrimination.<br></span></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">They also are more likely to experience abuse for longer periods of time, more frequently and with a higher severity than non-disabled people. Their reliance on others for support and care makes them especially vulnerable to coercion, control and abuse from others. Additionally, women with IDD are at incredibly high risk of being sexually assaulted - even more so for those of colour.<br></span></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">“This stems from the combined cultural devaluation of women and persons with disabilities, overprotection, social isolation and the denial of sexuality in women with disabilities. People with disabilities are also perceived as lacking credibility and exhibiting sexual deviance, and are frequently not provided sexuality education. Perpetrators perceive that there is a lower risk of discovery. These myths, perceptions and stigma increase the likelihood that a victim with a disability is targeted for violence, and make it less likely that she will be able to identify, react to and report it"</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftn7"><sup class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">[7]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">.</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1"> We take it for granted that persons with IDD do not have easy access to their rights. It can be difficult enough for a neurotypical person to access their rights, imagine the experience of a person with IDD. Our rights are considered to be inherent, but considerable work must go towards keeping them upheld.<br></span></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">Difficulties with cognitive and adaptive functioning may limit people with IDD's knowledge and appreciation of the law, which could lead to them not understanding their rights or how to exercise them. They are not simply dependent on others for support in activities of daily living, education and occupation, but also their participation in society and the administrative and practical aspects to 'life.' The people they are dependent on are also the ones to help them access justice. And as we know, it is the people closest to us who are most-likely to abuse us.</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5 ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">Ensuring access to justice for people with IDD goes beyond the shortcomings of the legal statutes and practice, beyond the state's collapse in infrastructure and policy across health, social services and the judicial systems, beyond academic and training institutions' inattention to accessible education and meaningful research but to the moral fabric of our society. The belief that people with IDD are somehow 'less than' and therefore not deserving of the basic human rights afforded by the Constitution. It is a reflection of society's 'carelessness,' our disregard for the lives of people with IDD.​<br></span></p><h2 style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1 ms-rteThemeForeColor-3-0" style="font-size:13px;"><em style="">Jenna-Lee de Beer-Procter (they/them) is a clinical psychologist and researcher based in Cape Town. They offer identity-focused, trauma-informed and gender-affirming mental health care using </em><em style="">an </em><em style="">eclectic approach that integrates psychodynamic therapies with intersectional feminism. Prior to completing their masters in clinical psychology, Jenna-Lee worked in the field of sexual health and trauma as a registered counsellor, and founded a non-profit organisation, </em><em style="">Rape Outcry</em><em style="">. They worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities in the public sector since 2014, both for the state as well as the NGO sector. Their work focuses on adapting therapies for survivors of trauma with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as psycho-legal work with the accused and complainants in sexual assault cases. They are a regular reviewer for the </em><em style="">African Journal of Disabilities</em><em style=""> and a member of the </em><em style="">Professional Association for Transgender Health South Africa</em><em style="">.</em></span></h2><p><br><br class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;"></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftnref1"><sup class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">[1]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;"> Strategic Pillar 1: Removing Barriers to Access and Participation</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">Strategic Pillar 2: Protecting the Rights of Persons at risk of Compounded Marginalisation</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">Strategic Pillar 3: Supporting Sustainable Integrated Community Life</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">Strategic Pillar 4: Promoting and Supporting the Empowerment of Children, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">Strategic Pillar 5: Reducing Economic Vulnerability and Releasing Human Capital</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">Strategic Pillar 6: Strengthening the Representative Voice of Persons with Disabilities</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">Strategic Pillar 7: Building a Disability Equitable State Machinery</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">Strategic Pillar 8: Promoting International Co-operation</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">Strategic Pillar 9: Monitoring and Evaluation</span></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftnref2"><sup class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">[2]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;"> WPRPD (2016) pp. 9</span></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftnref3"><sup class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">[3]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;"> Viljoen, Erna & Bornman, Juan & Tönsing, Kerstin. (2021). Interacting with Persons with Disabilities: South African Police Officers' Knowledge, Experience and Perceived Competence. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. 15. 10.1093/police/paaa084.</span></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftnref4"><sup class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">[4]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;"> National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide: Human Dignity and Healing, Safety, Freedom & Equality in our Lifetime. See,   https://www.justice.gov.za/vg/gbv/NSP-GBVF-FINAL-DOC-04-05.pdf</span></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftnref5"><sup class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">[5]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;"> National Prosecuting Authority South Africa. Strategic Plan 2020-2025. See </span><a href="https://www.npa.gov.za/sites/default/files/New%20NPA%20Strategic%20Plan%202020_2025.pdf"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">https://www.npa.gov.za/sites/default/files/New%20NPA%20Strategic%20Plan%202020_2025.pdf</span></a></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">South African Police Service. (2020). Strategic Plan 2020-2025. See </span><a href="https://www.saps.gov.za/about/stratframework/strategic_plan/2020_2021/saps_strategic_plan_2020to2025.pdf"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">https://www.saps.gov.za/about/stratframework/strategic_plan/2020_2021/saps_strategic_plan_2020to2025.pdf</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftnref6"><sup class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">[6]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;"> South African Government. FAQs >> Justice and crime prevention. How can a child or person with mental disability testify in court? Accessed, 22 September 2021. https://www.gov.za/faq/justice-and-crime-prevention/how-can-child-or-person-mental-disability-testify-court</span></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ftnref7"><sup class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">[7]</sup></a><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;"> Holness, Willene. (2021). Hate crime based on disability in South Africa. Lessons for law reform. </span><em class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">SA Crime Quarterly</em><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">, (70), 2-11. </span><a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3108/2021/vn70a5597"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5" style="font-size:10px;">https://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3108/2021/vn70a5597</span></a><br></p><p><br></p>
Innovus wins DSI-SARIMA award for organisational excellence in innovation managementhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8743Innovus wins DSI-SARIMA award for organisational excellence in innovation managementPetro Mostert<p>​Stellenbosch University's Technology Transfer Office Innovus (TTO) has won the DSI-SARIMA Award for Organisational Excellence in Innovation Management. These awards were initiated in 2014 to celebrate excellence in research and innovation management in Southern Africa, and to encourage growth and achievement in the field. The 2021 award considers excellence and achievements in the previous year, 2020.<br></p><p>Anita Nel, Chief Director Innovation and Business Development, says she is incredibly proud of the team for this exceptional achievement. "Working in this creative space with the best team in the world is a dream come true. I cannot ask for a better team."<br></p><p>The Innovus TTO is managed by Dr Madelein ​Kleyn, Director Technology Transfer.  The team manages the intellectual property (IP) portfolio of SU and is responsible for commercialising innovation emanating from the university through research efforts by licensing and/or creating spin-out companies. Innovus also supports the University's Research Development Office with research agreements containing commercialisation clauses.</p><p>Nel said that despite not having a single person in the office for more than nine months in 2020, Innovus TTO established no less than five new technology spin-out companies and raised funding from various funders for seven companies in their group. The TTO was the initiator and driver behind the University Technology Fund (bigger than R200 million), established on 31 January 2020 and is the first local fund focusing only on investing in any South African university's technology.  Innovus TTO concluded fourteen licenses during 2020, and, as usual, five team members (Anita Nel, Madelein Kleyn, Nolene Singh, Camile de Villiers and Thandi Maretlane) presented papers or posters at SARIMA, sharing their expertise on technology transfer and innovation commercialisation with the broader community.</p><p>"Over the past decade, SU has produced more Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent applications than any other public or private local entity. Innovus TTO has also set up the SU LaunchLab business incubator to provide further support to the SU Group of Companies (29 companies)" says Nel.</p><p>The Innovus TTO team is the only TTO in the African Continent that prides itself with five Internationally recognised registered Technology Transfer Professionals (RTTP): Anita Nel, Madelein Kleyn, Nolene Singh, Joubert de Wet and Doris Peters.</p><p>Nel serves on the RTTP review panel, a sub-committee of the global Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals (ATTP) - an alliance of the major international knowledge and technology transfer associations, including SARIMA.  Nel often presents papers on university start-ups at conferences and webinars.<br></p><p>In 2020 and 2021, Dr Kleyn received a Service Recognition and Leadership Award from the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) for her valuable contribution to the licensing profession.  She is also the chairperson of the LESI Patent and Technology Licensing Committee and Vice-Chair of their Awards Committee.  Furthermore, she was re-elected as IAM Strategy 300 (the world's leading IP strategist), having been elected for this recognition since 2016 and has been appointed Vice-President for LESI for 2022/3.</p><p>​<br></p>
Rector's Award recipient serves to help others excelhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8706Rector's Award recipient serves to help others excelCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​Grace Mngadi's passion for leadership was recently recognised when she was awarded a Rector's Award for Excellence.<br></p><p>She is one of the 82 recipients of this year's annual <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661">Rector's Award for Excellent Achievement</a>, which recognises students for their achievements in the respective fields of academics, sports, leadership, social impact, culture and service provision. Mngadi received an award in the leadership category.</p><p>Durban-born and Gauteng-bred Mngadi elaborates that student leadership can be extremely taxing. "Students do not know of all the work that a leadership position entails. Sometimes leaders also feel uncertain about whether they are on the right track or not. An external affirmation like the Rector's Award is great in alleviating that pressure," she says. </p><p>Since 2019, Mngadi held various leadership positions at Stellenbosch University (SU). This included Deputy Speaker Internal of Student Parliament; House Committee member of Minerva; chairperson of the University of Stellenbosch Debating Union (two terms); Secretary General of SU Society of Theatrical Arts; Students' Representative Council (SRC)'s manager of the portfolio of Women and Queer Empowerment; and head of student relations of the BA Student Committee. She is also an active member of the Anti-GBV Movement at SU.</p><p>​"For me, leadership means service – serving the community so that everyone around me can excel. That drives me. Secondly, work ethic. I have never signed up for anything that I was not willing to put 110% into. It took a lot of sacrifices to see these positions through, but it was worth it," she says.<br></p><p>Mngadi paid tribute to the “amazing people and teammates" she has worked with at SU. "I would not have achieved what I did if it was not for my teammates. I am honoured to have served with such amazing people," she says. </p><p><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661">Click here</a> to read more about the Rector's Awards and recipients. </p><p><em>*A total of 82 top Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for excellence in academics, leadership, social impact, culture, sport and service provision. During the next few weeks, we will feature some of the winners.</em></p><p><br></p><p> <br></p><p><br></p>
City of Joburg CIO Dr Jairam-Owthar is new IT head at Stellenbosch Universityhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8701City of Joburg CIO Dr Jairam-Owthar is new IT head at Stellenbosch UniversityPetro Mostert<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">​She is only 39 years old, yet Dr Denisha Jairam-Owthar has achieved more in her career than most can dream of. Her resumé takes you through her academic and professional journey. Throughout there are awards of excellence or outstanding achievements popping up: academic colours in matric, a cum laude MBA-degree and best student in technology management, becoming the youngest person to receive a Doctor of Leadership in Unisa's Graduate School of Business Leadership history, chosen as the most successful and innovative progressor in SARS, director on various boards, mentor to interns and young black woman in the ICT sector, author of </span><span style="text-align:justify;">many researched and academic papers, best CIO in Public sector in 2020, and the list continues.</span></p><p><span style="text-align:justify;">Jairam-Owthar will soon exchange a very hot seat as Chief Information Officer at the City of Johannesburg, for another (hot enough) in the ICT building at Stellenbosch University. And, to add another "first" to her resumé, she will be the first-ever women Chief Director: Information Technology Division in the history of SU.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">For the past few years she was one of the major drivers behind a dramatic IT transformation at the City of Johannesburg.  Under her leadership, IT transformed from a support function to becoming the strategic kingpin of the city. She joined the city at a time when payslips were still being printed for the huge staff component of around 35 000 people.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"I work in a demanding but fantastic space. I believe my current role has moulded me and taught me a lot. It prepared me for what I see as my new role: to enable education through technology at SU. I believe IT is a critical enabler in the transformation of education. I will bring all my learnings along."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She says we live in times where digital enablement is the only way some organisations can continue. "I feel I am entering SU in a very prime time on its journey. We will have to take this excursion step-by-step, determining our stakeholders' needs carefully along the way because we are now playing in the space for online learning and teaching and have to provide for digital enablement for research-intensiveness. How will IT enable this? How will we connect a PhD student with an expert any place in the world in real-time?"</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jairam-Owthar says being this young in IT has a lot of advantages. "I have been deliberate about my journey so far and ensured that I keep up to date in the field. I know what is happening in our industry, and I understand how to bring things together for IT. Even more so, to bring that value to the organisation. It needs to be real, it needs to be felt, it needs to be relevant for SU's needs," says Jairam-Owthar, who loves the unpredictable. "I can walk into my office, and the day can turn on its head, and I like that. The unpredictable tests you on every facet that makes you who you are."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For her, the academic space is not a new field. As a mentor for many Masters and PhD students and writing regular research and academic papers, she kept her passion for the academic world alive. Although the decision to come to SU, was not easy, Jairam-Owthar says her heart has always been in education. "This is real heart work: my purpose. I am excited to think about the power digital can bring to education and, with my skills, to bring those forward."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She started her journey doing administrative work in New York and London as she needed money to pay for her tertiary education. She completed a BCompt Honours degree in Accounting Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and thereafter, while working, studied further, completing an MBA in Technology Management. After that she completed her DBL studies at Unisa over three years.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Her working career spans from the year 2007 where she started as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the South African Revenue Services. From SARS she moved to Barclays in December 2011 and thereafter joined the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) where she is the ICT Head of Shared Services.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Reading through a 13-page CV leaves you exhausted and in awe, but the moment you start speaking to her, her relaxed, calm, and comfortable conversation style makes you realise that you do not have to understand IT jargon to understand her. She knows what it means and will ensure that the results will speak for themselves.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">One cannot help but wonder how she keeps all the balls in the air with enough time to be a mother to her 4-year-old son, Sanchen. "I have a very, very, very supportive husband and mother," Jairam-Owthar says confidently. Her mum has always encouraged her to realise her 'inner strength' and 'true potential'.  Her husband of nine years and "greatest support", Sudhir Owthar, an electronic engineer, is also in the IT industry at one of South Africa's most innovative banks. "This makes for fascinating conversations around the dinner table," she remarks. "It is great to share our knowledge and learn together because this is such a fast-paced industry where you need to be up to speed with all the latest information the world of technology offers."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dubbed as a true millennial by some journalists, one thing is for sure: Jairam-Owthar is an achiever. Amongst her many accolades, being voted by the "World Women Leadership Congress" earlier this year as "South Africa's Women Leader" is for Jairam-Owthar one of her career highlights. "To be acknowledged like this was fantastic. I was delighted to know that I made such a difference in our country. But it does not stop there; I want SU to be the most digitally up-to-date university in the country, on our continent and in the world. I know I will have the support I need, so it is possible. I want other universities to say: 'Oh my goodness, how did they do that!'."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">And as much as she is looking forward to finding her new home in the Winelands and moving into her office on campus, so too is Prof Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer of SU. "She is a dynamic leader and will be our driving force to take us into a future where words such as SmartCampus and digital learning space will become a reality. I look forward tremendously to working with her and am confident that she will take her team with her on the journey, exposing them to new learnings and mentoring and preparing the young to one day take the lead in the world of IT."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jairam-Owthar will take her seat at IT from 1 January 2022.</p><p><br></p>
Maties chess master is proud of Rector's Awardhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8691Maties chess master is proud of Rector's AwardCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​​Daniel Barrish began playing chess with his grandfather long before going to primary school. In Grade 1 he competed in his first national junior championship and won. Since then, chess has been an important part of his life.<br></p><p>His excellent performance in the sport was recently recognised at the Stellenbosch University (SU) Rector's Awards for Excellent Achievement. The awards recognise and celebrate students' achievements in academics, sports, leadership, social impact, culture and service provision. He was one of the 82 recipients of this year's Rector's Awards and received the award in the sports category for his achievements in chess, including winning the 2021 Western Cape Open Chess Championship, representing South Africa earlier this year at the African Individual Chess Championship in Malawi and at the 2021 FIDE (International Chess Federation) World Cup 2021 in Russia.</p><p>Receiving the award is a great honour, says Barrish, a final-year BCom (Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science) student at (SU) and member of the Maties Chess Club. </p><p>Competing comes naturally to Barrish, and he enjoys it. "I'm quite a competitive person, for better or worse."</p><p>He currently has his sights set on the Grand Master title, an accolade awarded to chess players of the highest class, especially those who have won an international tournament.</p><p>“My long-term goal is to become a Grand Master, but COVID, unfortunately, put a spanner in the works. To become a Grand Master, one needs to play in overseas tournaments, usually in Europe. This is quite time-consuming, expensive and difficult to arrange with COVID-19," he said. </p><p>Asked about his future plans after graduation in December, Barrish says he is weighing up two options.</p><p>One is to take six to 12 months off, work remotely, and play high-quality tournaments in Europe. The other option is to continue with his postgraduate studies and continue to experience the “great student life" at SU. “The quality of student life here is one of the main reasons I will recommend SU to friends and peers, and it's one of the main reasons I'm so reluctant to leave – so reluctant perhaps, that I'll stay on to do my Master's."</p><p><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661"><strong>Click here</strong></a> to read more about the Rector's Awards and recipients. </p><p> <em>*A total of 82 top Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for excellence in academics, leadership, social impact, culture, sport and service provision. During the next few weeks, we will feature some of the winners.</em><br></p><p> </p><p>​ </p><p>​<br></p>
Academic success celebratedhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8692Academic success celebratedDaniel Bugan<p>​​​​Faculty of Arts and Social Science student Zainab Khafif's dogged determination to make a success of her studies was rewarded with a 2021 Rector's Award of Excellent Achievement.<br></p><p>Khafif, one of many recipients of this annual award, was honoured in the academics category during a recent ceremony at Stellenbosch University. The awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of students in the areas of academics, sport, leadership, social impact, culture and service provision. </p><p>Khafif, who enrolled in a BA Language and Culture course in 2018, majoring in Psychology and General Linguistics and minoring in Sign Language Linguistics, said of the award: “Truth be told, I worked very hard and it feels gratifying that the University recognised that I worked so hard. It validates my whole undergraduate experience, perhaps more so than my actual degree certificate." </p><p>She attributes the 100% pass rate she received in her studies to a “terrifying fear of failure". </p><p>However, Khafif, who is currently doing her honours in General Linguistics, admits that her fear of failure has softened a bit and evolved to a pursuit of contentment. </p><p>“Failure now is not doing my best with the time I have. If my best is quantified below 75%, or 65%, or 55%, then so be it. Sometimes, other things in life are more important than studying. I wish I had realised this earlier." </p><p>This newfound relaxed approach to life is also evident in her future career plans which she hopes to pursue after she graduates at the end of this year.</p><p>“I am planning to teach English in South Korea next year. I reckon I'll spend a good few years teaching English in a number of countries. Being able to travel and experience different cultures is something I greatly value. One day, I'd like to open up a coffee shop. Perhaps I'll return to my studies much later on in life. Or maybe I won't. Who knows? The important thing is being content with life." </p><p>The Cape Town born student who now calls the seaside town of Hermanus home after moving there with her family when she was in high school, said growing up in a small-town environment had a huge impact on her growth and her values. </p><p>“My family is hardly well-off, so I started working part-time at a coffee shop in Grade 9 every weekend and holiday. I think being forced to learn about the value of money that you earn from your own hard work was an incredibly important lesson to learn early on in life. It has not only made me a money-conscious person (always a plus for a student), but it has also taught me the true value of hard work and my time. I suppose some of that must have rubbed off on my academics. Moving to Stellenbosch as an almost fully independent adult was also a major turning point in my life. Oftentimes I feel like my circumstances have matured me much quicker than perhaps needed, but I am who I am," she said proudly. </p><p><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661"><strong>Click here</strong></a> to read more about the Rector's Awards and recipients. </p><p><em>*A total of 82 top Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for excellence in academics, leadership, social impact, culture, sport and service provision. During the next few weeks, we will feature some of the winners.</em></p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>