UKZN graduates urged to help build ‘modern, competitive’ SA

2011-04-20 00:00

WITH 7 471 graduates at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, 155 doctorates and 321 degrees awarded cum laude and summa cum laude, the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s seven-day graduation extravaganza has drawn to a close, sealed by the last three ceremonies held in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The degrees were conferred in 19 ceremonies and represented a collective effort by the university’s nine faculties.

The faculty of humanities, development and social sciences had the biggest turnout of graudates this year — 1 898. The faculty of law had the fewest at 283.

Offering advice during one ceremony, the speaker of the Msunduzi Municipality, Babu Baijoo, said it is the role of every South African citizen to help build South Africa as a modern, globally competitive and sustainable nation.

Quoting former President Nelson Mandela, Baijoo said there are three types of people. The first group, albeit small, consists of those who always make things happen; the second group is a large one with people always waiting for something to happen; and the last is made up of people who wonder what happened.

He said there is no need for any South Africans to seek greener pastures in order to live their dream.

“It will be extremely narrow-minded to believe that this is exclusively the role of government … Together as South Africans we need to believe in a single vision, a single mission and be united in action to deliver on this better life for all.”

Baijoo said the pool of South Africans with modern and formal education is far too small. But for things to change, the graduates need to think beyond the boring routine of an eight-to-five desk job that only satisfies the narrow “KPA of bosses” and pays for the “BMW” and the “Johnny Walker Black”.

A good start, he said, would be to create jobs, a safe and secure environment and to produce food.

“Let us also make our own clothes and shoes like we used to.

“And more importantly, let us manage this country in the way it is supposed to be managed.

“To you, the graduates of this magnificent institute, I say, you can do it. Sukuma sakhe [“stand and let’s build”]. Let’s just do it.”

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