Top priority for Walter Sisulu University’s (WSU) newly-elected Council will be to develop a viable financial growth strategy that will enhance gains made by the University through the WSU Turnaround Strategy.
WSU Council Chairperson Prof Lourens van Staden said the successes achieved during the two-and-a half year administration period, which have seen the University reaching a break-even budget for the first time since the merger, must be closely followed by sustained efforts to create avenues for third stream income.
“It will be imperative upon the new Council and University management to find ways of generating third-stream income for the University so it can be a self-sustainable entity with various sources of funding for growth,” said Van Staden.
Van Staden was addressing journalists on Wednesday 11 June at a media briefing convened for the official announcement of the University’s new Council.
In a show of confidence following a successful 30-month stint as University administrator from October 2011 to April 2014, Van Staden will continue his relationship with WSU as council chairperson.
Van Staden, who was voted Chairperson in a meeting held in East London on 30 May, leads a dynamic, multi-disciplinary and highly-skilled Council that will build on the gains made by the University through the Turnaround Strategy.
The Council is made up of 20 members, including the University’s Interim Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research, two senate representatives, a non-senate academic representative, a non-senate non-academic representative, two Convocation representatives, two SRC representatives and five ministerial appointees (of which Van Staden is one). An additional five Council members were elected by Council.
Key to the make-up of the new Council is the plethora of experts and specialists who possess diverse skills in a number of different fields to tackle the many issues a University Council is most commonly confronted with.
From chartered accountants to a Member of Parliament, a Supreme Court advocate to a mathematician, an architect, businesspersons, an engineer, a policy development expert, a human resource expert – the quality and calibre of the incumbent executive leadership is shaped and designed for optimal performance and success through the establishment of a multidisciplinary body.
The full Council members are:
· Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic at Tshwane University of Technology Professor Lourens van Staden (Chairperson) (Ministerial appointee)
· High Court judge Nambitha Dambuza (Council Deputy Chairperson) (Ministerial appointee)
· Advocate of the Supreme Court in private practice Lusindiso Matotie; (representing Convocation)
· Director and Design Principal architectural firm DesignSpace Africa Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa (representing Convocation)
· Executive Director of the Border Kei Chamber of Business Les Holbrook (Ministerial appointee)
· EL Industrial Development Zone CEO Simphiwe Kondlo (Ministerial appointee)
· Newly-appointed Member of Parliament Lancelot Capa (Ministerial appointee)
· Chartered Accountant and Senior Executive in the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Chantyl Mulder (elected by Council)
· Executive Director of WIPHOLD and Chief Executive Officer of Wipcapital Gloria Serobe (elected by Council)
· General Manager, HR Corporate Centre (Transnet SOC Ltd) Nandipa Tyamzashe (elected by Council)
· National Planning Commissioner and Chair of the Capable/Development State and Spatial Working Group tasked with delivering South Africa’s first National Development Plan Vuyokazi Mahlathi (elected by Council)
· Chartered Accountant and Chief Executive Officer of ANF Incorporated Temba Zakuza (elected by Council)
· WSU Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor Khaya Mfenyana (WSU Vice-Chancellor)
· WSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research Professor Sandile Songca (WSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs & Research)
· WSU Director of the School of Mathematics in the WSU Faculty of Education Dr Prince Jaca (representing WSU Senate)
· WSU Director of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Dr Kofi Acheampong (representing WSU Senate)
· WSU Senior Lecturer in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry Professor Bandile Nakani (representing WSU non-senate academics)
· WSU ICT Telecommunications Administrative Assistant Siyabulela Tshangela (representing non-academic staff)
· Buffalo City Campus SRC President Misheck Mugabe (representing the SRC)
· Mthatha Campus SRC President Sinelizwi Mgontshongo (representing the SRC)
The Council Executive will comprise six members with Van Staden as chairperson and Judge Nambitha Dambuza as Deputy Chairperson. Committee chairpersons will include Chantyl Mulder (Finance), Nandipha Tyamzashe (Human Resource), Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa (Planning and Infrastructure), and Temba Zakuza (Risk, Compliance and Audit) who’ll be charged with spearheading coordination efforts to place sharper focus on these committees for better overall University governance.
WSU Spokesperson Angela Church said that WSU had now embarked upon a new phase in the University’s ongoing transformation.
“The establishment of the new Council signals the closure of the Administration period for WSU and henceforth the Council will assume strategic responsibility for good governance at WSU. We are particularly pleased with the calibre of our new council members who bring all the high-level skills required to govern WSU in a new dispensation,” said Church.
“It is an added strength that the former Administrator, Professor Lourens Van Staden, is leading the Council as this will ensure continuity of the gains made over the past two-and-a-half years,” she concluded.