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SU signs collaboration agreement with Oudtshoorn Municipality
Author: Joanne Williams
Published: 31/05/2018
​Stellenbosch University (SU) values the opportunity to collaborate with local governments through formal Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). The University has MOUs in place with the Western Cape Government (WCG) and the City of Cape Town through its membership of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC). SU also has MOUs with the Stellenbosch and Drakenstein Local Municipalities (both in the Cape Winelands District Municipality); the Saldanha Bay Local Municipality (in the West Coast District Municipality); as well as the Hessequa Local Municipality and, most recently, the Oudtshoorn Local Municipality (both in the Eden District Municipality).

The University, with its vision to be inclusive, innovative and future-directed, and its focus on developing staff and students as thought leaders in advancing positive social impact in society, will now play a key role in the development of human and infrastructure potential in Oudtshoorn. An official MOU between SU and Oudtshoorn was signed on 18 May 2018 by Prof Nico Koopman, Vice Rector: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, and the Executive Mayor of Oudtshoorn, Cllr Colan Sylvester. “Through the signing of the MOU, Stellenbosch University solidifies and enhances its activities and initiatives in the Oudtshoorn region,” Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation, said.

The strategic focus of the agreement will be on the Oudtshoorn schools education partnership project supported by director of SUNCEP, Dr Trevor van Louw, the Eden Arts Academy, as well as the schools arts festival strategically guided by the director of the SU Woordfees, Ms Saartjie Botha. The establishment of an Agri-Park that can service the needs of the entire Little Karoo with respect to the local agricultural economy forms the third strategic focus. The University will further support Oudtshoorn’s strategies of implementing sport tourism, building healthy and socially stable communities, capacitating a workforce and communities, promoting good governance, and growing the local economy through the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Local Economic Development (LED).

As with other similar MOUs, this agreement will draw on the intellectual capital of SU and the civic infrastructure of the municipality, through capacity building and joint initiatives to address the development needs of the municipality. Initiatives form an integral part of the Oudtshoorn Municipality’s IDP.

SU staff and students are invited to establish collaborative social impact initiatives with the above municipalities through engaged scholarship and citizenship initiatives that will benefit the identified development areas, or any other potential areas. For further information, please contact the Manager: Engaged Scholarship in the Division for Social Impact, Mr Mawethu Nyakatya. Examples of existing SU Social Impact initiatives with municipalities are available on the Social Impact Platform.